Occurs to me that I never did a follow-up on the National Academy Finals results! Photos not yet available: the photographer takes forever to send, but will post when I get them!
Anyway, Alvin and I had a blast. All of the exhibitors were student-drivers, so we were all going for broke. Fortunately, all of the others hugged the rail, so Alvin and I had the inside track all to ourselves, and we lapped several people. I don’t think that was quite the right move, but we had a wonderful time and finished fourth in the preliminary round.
Then I took off down the road to Nashville, where I met my dancing team and did a complete re-set of the mindset! It’s not that easy! When I drive, it’s my duty to pay attention to where we’re going, at what speed we’re going, and ringcraft is my job. When I dance, I have no say in where we’re going, what we’re going to do when we get there, or how we get there. My job is to follow, to be supple, have self-carriage, not hang on my partner, and move off promptly when he calls for a move – but not to anticipate or offer movements not required. And smile and look gorgeous while I’m doing it.
So we did that part and did quite reasonably. Our team motto is: when teacher is happy, everyone is happy. Teacher was happy. BUT….
About the time I was finishing up dancing, I got a text from my friend at the Academy Nationals letting me know that they’d already run the driving championship. Apparently the organizer felt that she could not move the one class (in fact the least-populated class of the day, and the one with the most gear-changes) to first thing in the evening just to convenience one trainer (although we had two entries in the class), without first clearing it with all the other trainers. And one of them dug in heels and refused to cooperate. Ah well. Fortunately, Stepping Stone Farm’s Rachel Wamble won the championship! If it couldn’t be me winning that huge fluffy ribbon, it came to our barn! So there!
And next year, I fully intend to be there – and be there at the top!
Photos when I get them.