Thursday, June 9, 2016

MVRU Riders earn top spots at Appleatchee

Twelve riders and eight horses representing Methow Valley Riding Unlimited’s equestrian team traveled to Wenatchee last weekend to compete in the Appleatchee Riders Dressage Show. The show has been an annual tradition for the team since 2001, offering an opportunity for young and new riders to experience their first show.

“It was a tremendous learning experience. We had riders ranging in age from 4 to 68," said head coach Annie Budiselich. "Four of those riders were doing their first dressage show. It was hard work in the intense heat but it built camaraderie.”

Highlights from the weekend included many first and second place ribbons, including three riders receiving high score awards:

·       Sydney Schuler, 13 of Winthrop riding Buttons, a Percheron  cross owned by Methow Valley Riding Unlimited;

·       Tulie Budiselich 20, of Twisp, riding Willy, a Haflinger owned by Cindy Mackie, and

·        Alexis Larson, 12, of Kirkland, riding Sparks Fly, a Welsh/Welsh Cob also owned by Methow Valley Riding Unlimited.

Hana and her proud mama Jasmine
Hana Werntz, age 4 of Twisp, competed in her first horse show, trotting with Sparks Fly to Katy Perry’s “Firework” while dressed in a blue tutu.

Three other team members also experienced their first dressage show: Kierra Reichert, 12, of Winthrop, Kristy Vieth, 14 of Twisp, and Pippa Smith, 9, of Riverside, WA, all earning ribbons for their performances at the introductory level. Reichert placed first in her equitation class on MV Finesse, a Morgan-quarter horse cross owned by Methow Valley Riding Unlimited.

Riders await results of equitation class.

Adult riders competing included Bob Levy, 63, of Winthrop on his Irish Sporthorse Paddy, Jasmine Minbashian, 45, of Twisp, riding thoroughbred Wyatt Russian owned by Annie Budiselich and Bob Levy, Cathy Upper, 63, of Winthrop, riding Forest, a thoroughbred owned by Tulie Budiselich, and Cindy Mackie, 68, of Winthrop riding her Haflinger, Willy. Team coaches Annie and Tulie Budiselich also competed at first and second levels respectively.

Mackie and Tulie Budiselich also rode a Western dressage test, which is similar to English dressage but the test is ridden in Western tack with a “soft feel.”
Tulie got high point doing western dressage on Willy

Dressage is a term that comes from the French word meaning "training" and its purpose is to develop the horse’s natural athletic ability and willingness to work, making him calm, supple and attentive to his rider. When the series of movements are performed well, there is an impression of the horse 'dancing' with their rider.

In dressage competitions, horse and rider perform a “test” comprised of a series of movements appropriate for their level of training while being scored by a judge.  Scores are given as a percentage and scores above 60% show proficiency at that level. 

MVRU wants to extend a HUGE thank you to the parents who helped make this trip possible. We couldn't do it without your support! A very special thanks to Deb Schuler and Nancy Juergens for being our most excellent camp hosts. And last but not least to Eli Smith for taking such great photos and sharing them with us.

 More of Eli's photos:
Jasmine and Wyatt Russian

Kierra and Finesse won their equitation class

Pippa on Sparks
Cathy and Forest rode a very relaxed test

Lexi showing off Sparks' free walk.

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