Going to a Championship horse show is always exciting, for those who qualify and are able to compete at that level. Can you imagine being judged by 3 judges? The United States Dressage Federation held its first US Dressage Finals. Competitors who had qualified at the Regional Championships came from across the USA. Local equestrian and dressage rider, Susan Faulkner Evans of Greer, SC, rode her 8-year-old American Warmblood (AWS), Mission Point (Beau) in the Training Level AA Championships. Twenty-seven qualified riders across the country competed. This was a tight class with the top placing horse and riders separated by only a few points. They received a score of 70.20% from three judges earning them 4th place.
Randi Thompson, Susan’s coach states, “This is one of those success stories that all horse people like to hear. When Susan first brought Mission Point (Beau) home three years ago, he came with some issues. The previous owner did not fully disclose the severity of the issues or that he had a history of bucking riders off. In fact, several trainers had attempted to “fix” him. When they could not, he was put out to pasture as he had become too dangerous. Of course, we did not know that his history until sometime later. When he arrived, Susan gave him some time off so he could adjust to his new home. A few weeks later when we started working with him, Beau “froze up” under saddle and I knew he was ready to explode. It was about that time that Susan found more information about his history as the previous owner shared it on an internet forum. It took us at least a year before he would stop freezing up under saddle.”
Susan adds “Over the course of the past 2 years, we slowly brought Beau along, introducing new training, taking him to a few shows each summer, acquainting him with new surroundings and experiences. There were many ups and downs, as typically happens with horses. We’d score really well at one show and then have a meltdown or temper tantrum at the next. It wasn’t until this past show season that I really felt we’d clicked and I now had a partner. Beau finally trusted me as chief and I could count on him to follow my lead. I’m super thrilled to have proven our partnership by placing 4th in the USDF Dressage National Finals – ultimately the highest placing Wild Card participant in that class. But I’m equally excited to begin working on our 2nd level movements and continue to build our connection. “
Susan adds, “I look forward to pursuing my customary goal of qualifying for the Regional Championships in 2014 in 1st and possibly 2nd level as well. From there, we’ll once again strive to compete with the best of the best at the US Dressage National Finals. “
Dreams can come true. They did with Susan and Mission Point.