Region 5 had it's sporthorse regional show that year at Donida Farms, and Baythoven and Karen did us proud. Bay went up in a 6-horse trailer with a few other horses from the barn. We all followed the horse trailer up in our own cars. The DH and I brought up the rear, and the DH got to play with his CB radio keeping in contact with the trailer all the way. About an hour before our exit our trainer told us she was going to need to pull off of the freeway. The horse trailer had blown a tire. I imagine it was an interesting sight seeing a 6-horse trailer and about 5 automobiles all parked along side the road waiting for the guy from Les Schwab to bring us a new tire. The horses got a bit restless, but it didn't take long to get back on the road. Once we arrived at the venue, checked in, and got the horses settled we all headed out to our hotel. We were exhausted and excited for what would come the next day.
We had never been to Donida Farms before. It is a nice place. They had a couple of dressage rings going. They had jumping going. They had in-hand going. Of course there was also the warm up ring for all the under saddle classes. There was plenty to do and see. If memory serves me, our first day there was a preshow. We had Karen and Bay do a first level test just as a warm up for Saturday. They rode First Level Test 1-JTR 17 and Under. The ride was beautiful. Poetry. They scored a 73.666 and came in first place of six. During that first day we were able to get Bay settled in and familiar with his surroundings. Both Karen and the DH spent quite a bit of time leading him around the grounds so he could get out of his stall and see the sights. During one of these walkabouts the DH ran into a couple of competitors who knew Bay. They not only knew Bay, they said his previous trainer was at the show and the DH got the opportunity to talk to her for a bit and find out some of his previous history.
On Saturday Karen showed Bay in First Level Test 4-JTR 17 and under. While not the poetry in motion of the day before (why is he always better in the preshow?) it was still a good ride, and we were confident that they would score and place well, and they did. They scored a 68.684 and came in second place out of nine. This placed them Reserve Champion for the class.
Their final test was a Second Level Test 4-ATR Sweepstakes class. Karen wasn't happy with this ride. As a matter of fact, after she left the ring she rode directly back to the stalls not stopping to check in with what anyone else thought. Having had two daughters and being wise in the way of 14-year-old girls, we left her alone to work through her disappointment. Later on she told us she had felt Bay wasn't giving her his best and that they had probably blown their opportunity at second level. I personally had thought they had a good ride but this was not a junior to ride class. There were six horses in the class, and it was hard to tell for sure what the judges would think. Our rides were over. There was nothing left to do but wait for the scores of the final ride and cheer on the rest of our friends. It was while we walking back from watching another girl from our barn ride that the announcement for the Second Level ride came over the loudspeaker. Karen and FTF Baythoven had earned a 64.286 and secured Reserve Champion. Karen was bowled over. Her mother and I were hugging each other, hugging Karen, hugging anyone who entered our field of vision. The DH just grinned as if he'd known it all along.