|Screenshot from the video of the last show.|
Penn is fancier than Mikey was, end of story. I never tried to qualify Mikey for Championships because in reality I didn't want to spend the money to place last. I was also more keen to get my Bronze which meant not lingering at 1st/2nd level and perfecting them. I decided since I have to revisit all the bronze levels with Penn, I want to try to go to Regional Championships with him because I think we'd have a good shot at being "middle of the pack" there. That means I have to be working 1-3 (the qualifying test) and working it well (62%+). Two qualifying scores from two different shows/judges and I can go. Not so hard... right?
Also... I feel completely wrong to admit it because it's too much to try for, but I want to go to Finals. Who wouldn't? In order to go, you either have to be 1st or 2nd at Championships, or get 68%+ in your Championship test for a Wildcard invitation. Now that's an eek, considering I've never gotten above a 64.2% at recognized competition and I highly doubt I'd be in the top 2. Still, non-achievable goal = set. It's something we can work for year after year anyway!
So the end goal means I have to qualify. And qualifying starts at the regular, USDF/USEF sanctioned shows.
Which also means I need to pick a region to compete in because you can't compete at two Championships and you have to earn qualifying scores in that region. I live in Region 1 near the border between Region 1 and 2, and up to this point, I've competed exclusively in Region 2. I had plans this year to compete in Region 1, which as we know, didn't happen. Since I live on the edge of regions, finding "close by" shows means "finding shows that don't take 10 years to drive to." I need to pick a region, and then I won't go to any of the other region's shows because well, recognized showing costs money and they're not going to get me anything extra.
I used my Excel skills to pull the cities of all the 2015 shows in Region 1 and 2, and then did quick mapping to figure out how far away places are.
|Region 1 locations.|
Can we talk about how Region 1 Championships are a minimum of an 8 hour 7 min drive from me? And how I would have to fill up the truck twice on the way down, just to make it there? It looks like Region 1 alternates holding Championships with the Virginia Horse Park in Lexington, VA (which is 3 hours closer to me and very close to where I picked Penn up).
The first 4 locations in the Region 1 list are perfectly acceptable driving distances. Between the first 4 locations, there are 7 qualifying classes (two day shows only hold 1 qualifying class at each level). However, I know the show at the Loch Moy tends to hold it's show after entries for Championships are due, and the rest hold their shows between the end of May and beginning of August. I don't think we'd be ready for the end of May (#2 on the list), and beginning of June doesn't seem much better (#4 x2), so that's 4 qualifying classes that are out. Well hell. I mean, I'll probably give them a go anyway, but still, that's pressure I didn't want.
|Region 2 locations.|
|All shows locations within 5 hours of the barn.|
|The list of possibly acceptable drives.|
Then I found this tidbit when doing some googling:
USDF will presume qualified horse/rider combinations will compete in the region in which the rider resides as determined by the address associated with the rider’s membership information on file as of July 1. Riders are NOT required to be a resident of the region to compete in that region’s championship. Riders, who wish to compete at Regional Championships in a region other than their region of residence, must submit a Change of Region Form, at no cost if done prior to July 1. Change of Region Forms may be accepted from July 2 up to August 1, with a late fee of $100; from August 2, up to the closing date of the championship region the rider is declaring for, with a late fee of $300. No changes to region may be made after the closing date of the region in which a rider wishes to enter, for any reason. In addition, all persons living outside of the United States must declare a region by the deadline of July 1 of the current competition year.Yupp, I have to apply to qualify in Region 2. Looks like it's Region 1. Part of the problem with Region 1 is finding places to stay overnight that won't break the bank once you get into VA and MD. I don't know how I'll do the 8+ hour drive to Championships in NC by myself, that almost takes the fun out of it. Husband can't come with me to that, so Mom will come instead, but she can't (won't) drive the trailer. Maybe I'd be better off taking the slightly longer drives across OH for Region 2 shows for a better drive to Championships?
Either way, next year's horse shows will be picked by shopping from a list of locations in what will most likely be Region 1.