Road to Fair Hill

2016_aikenEight months ago I stole the camera from Antonio and took this picture. At the time I didn’t realize I was looking through the lens at a partnership that would flourish in the months to come. They ran Preliminary that weekend in Aiken, and this weekend they run their first CCI** at Fair Hill International.

When we went to Aiken in February, Chris and I had just started to talk about him coming back to Virginia, joining our team and bringing our businesses together. What a journey it has become! There have been days filled with happiness, days filled with tears of uncertainty, endless laughter, hard and harder work, a growth of a friendship and moments that we will cherish forever.

The elements of this year is what has made this coming weekend so special to me. In Aiken, I thought I would help Chris and Billy with their dressage. I would stand by the ring, help him stabilize his connection and see if we could find the inner warmblood in that beautiful Thoroughbred body. I had no idea I would soon find myself trekking up and down hills while they would school cross-country, dying a thousand times at the size of the fences. I had no idea how much I would hold my breath praying they would keep as many rails in the cups as they jumped stadium. I had no idea how nauseous I would feel watching him go down centerline hoping he would get every point he could for a good dressage score.

The growth Chris has made with Billy has been monumental. The dedication to Billy’s development has been unwavering and whatever happens this weekend is only a progression of their growth together. I could not be more proud of them today and everyday. And I cannot wait to look through the lens again for another peek of their future.

To Chris and Billy, you both are incredible inside and out; be safe, ride your heart out, and know that no matter what happens, you both have so much to offer in the future to come! Thank you for an amazing year!