I am on the plane (yes, AGAIN) coming home from the North American Young Riders Championships in Lexington, KY. My two amazing students Jamie March and Claire Kelley were here competing in the Junior One Star Championship for Area 4 (the same area I competed for as a young rider). I love these two girls so much and it has been such a joy for me to help turn their Young Riders dreams into reality. The two of them were both very pleased with their dressage tests. Jamie’s horse is quite difficult on the flat and I am so proud of the enormous improvement she has made with this horse throughout the year. She is such a hard working girl and an amazing student – it brought a tear to my eye to hear her so happy about her test. Yay Jamie!!! The unfortunate bit of the weekend is that Jamie’s horse came up with a mysterious lameness on Saturday morning and she had to withdraw him from the competition. I know this was devastating for her. Obviously, there was huge disappointment in not being able to compete. More impressively to me, and why I adore Jamie so much, was her huge concern for her horse — she loves that horse so much.  I know she is very sad and I wish I could have said or done something more to make her feel better. (I love you Jamie!!!). Claire’s weekend was not without tears either. Competitively she was fantastic. She finished with the individual Silver Medal and the Team Silver Medal. This was Clifton Peekachu’s 5th NAYRC and his 5th time medaling!! Yes she had a lot to be happy about, but again her sadness of having to give Peekachu back seemed to overshadow the joy of the amazing year she had with him (Peekachu was generously on lease from the McMorris family to Claire for the year). I love how much my girls love their horses. I think this is a great reminder to many professionals out there to never lose sight of why you got into this sport to begin with.