By Morgan Fenrick
Owner/Rider of "Roseville"
PC: Nicole Severino

The first time I went to Tryon International Equestrian Center I was uninformed of its prestige. It was the CSI 5* in February and I went to represent my high school’s Equestrian Club; and the venue instantly blew my mind. With fancy restaurants, pony rides, and a carousel, I was immediately intimidated. So, when I unexpectedly qualified for the American Eventing Championships, it felt like a fog had descended over my eventing career. I couldn’t go there. That was far too grand for a high schooler and an green Irish mare. For months I was silently having internal battles. “It’s the championship and only two hours away; I have to go!” “Okay, but is it worth it? To go against the best horses in the country at this awesome Disneyland for Horse people?”

 

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Finally, an opportunity to test myself presented itself. A USDF-sanctioned show at the Tryon International Equestrian Center. And overall, that was an absurdly fun weekend. The atmosphere was so relaxed (despite full barns), the show well-run, and the show grounds ideal for a horse show of any discipline. My mare, Rose and I easily obtained qualifying scores for Regionals and had the time of our lives.

 

 

So when AECs rolled around, I felt prepared and ready to tackle whatever the course designers and the full force of the USEA threw at us. Overall, the whole 5 days of the show were memorable and certainly a learning experience.

 

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In fact, Rose was so comfortable with Tryon that every time we passed Barn 7 (her barn during the dressage show) she expected us to walk into “her aisle”; the whole weekend we both felt like we were Tryon experts. We both learned that at a USEA show you’re not allowed to hack around bareback (which was news to me) and also the dressage phrase was just as successful as the previous rides there. Next was the immaculately designed cross-country, which the best part of the weekend. I had some trouble with Rose in the past regarding water complexes; but Rose did beautifully on the whole course. The only trouble we had (and if we’re Friends on Facebook, I’m sure you’ve heard about this) was right after the jump that caused a lot of people trouble. Rose’s figure-8 noseband (borrowed, no less) completely broke. Therefore, my Saint spent half of the championship course with a long piece of leather slapping her in the face. We happily passed through the finish flags with her noseband far below her jaw and some time penalties.

 

 

The last phrase, stadium jumping flew by with an unlucky rail, but we had accomplished our main goal of showing: stay in the ring, stay on and ride on and I couldn’t be happier with my amazing mare and even better, support from friends and family.

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