After weeks of preparation and a change of venue to the beautiful Oaks of Lake City, we had a hugely successful event camp in April. Twenty campers enjoyed their jam-packed weekend with some beautiful weather. Our instructors – Chris Cox who taught the Green Beans exclusively, Ashley Leith for stadium jumping, Pat Schmoll for dressage, and Dean Graham for cross-country – were all excellent, and gave all the riders valuable instruction and encouragement. At mealtime, Bess Darrow (equine dentist) gave a humorous and educational talk about horses’ teeth (who knew the subject could be so funny?!!) which everyone really enjoyed. Saturday evening Sabrina Morris came from Ocala to talk about equine massage therapy and some of her experiences. Sunday before the mini-event, Don Collier spoke about Start Box procedures.
After a quick ride around the courses, we held our mini-event starting with a judged dressage test, a stadium round , and then straight to cross-country for their final phase. Winners in their respective divisions included Chris Aytug, Karen Joyal (riding Buddy, Barbie’s Connemara, after her mare lost a shoe on Saturday and was not able to compete), Jayne Pass, and Lindsay Schmidt. Congratulations to everyone – I know it was a long & exhausting weekend for you and your mounts, but all of you did a wonderful job!
A HUGE Thank You to all our wonderful volunteers as well — Lisa Koch for scoring, Donna Arteaga for scribing, Don & Pat Collier for timing cross country, Krista Wilson for timing stadium, Garry Foster for jump crew, Amanda Quillen for being Queen Gofer, and a special Thank You to Mary Smith and Cynthia Christen for coming all the way from Tallahassee for the weekend just to help out in the kitchen, food prep,clean up, and carrying water to the riders all weekend. We could not have done it without all of you. If I have forgotten any names, please forgive me.
I also have to thank the Board Members who did SO much work in preparation for the camp as well as helping things run smoothly during the weekend. Lori Rice, Amanda Lowe, and Barbie Beckford were instrumental in making this one of the best camps ever! The staff at The Oaks were SO accommodating for us, and have invited us back next year! We’ve gotten nothing but rave reviews about camp, which makes all our work worthwhile! Here are a few examples:
From Keith Lowe:
I just wanted to say that I had a challenging, hot, and exhausting weekend; however it was one of the most rewarding riding experiences I have ever had.
1) The facility – I had no complaints about the facility and location. I look forward to riding at The Oaks again sometime in the near future, and I hope they will permit you to have use the facility again.
2) The Instructor(s) – while I only had exposure to Chris Cox, I found her to be a very hard, challenging, and tough instructor; but that is what I expect and want from one. You pay for an instructor who will make you do things you are not comfortable with, but that is their job to assess what they think you are capable of doing and to “encourage” you to do it. I will say she wore me out over the weekend, but I had no complaints whatsoever with her or the quality of her instruction… and I am thankful she was patient with Ranger and me.
3) The volunteers – You couldn’t ask for a nicer group of people to help make a tiring weekend more comfortable and to make sure we kept to schedule. Now that I have been to one of these, I am amazed at the amount of work it take to put this clinic on, and I hope that I can help with that in the future (I think Amanda has claimed first rights to ride in 2014 😉
Anyway, I can’t thank you and everyone involved enough for everything this weekend.
Thanks again for a wonderful weekend. I came away with so much more insight into what this horse needs and thrives on. Can’t wait to see what happens next.
Karin Rychak and Rio Bravo.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to attend FHTA’s Event Camp this year. I’ve had a couple days to reflect on the experience and I wanted to let you know I had a great time. My horse and I have a better understanding of the challenges and excitement involved with eventing. You did an excellent job organizing the camp, and the facility was perfect. Everyone was so polite and supportive. I may be sore and a bit bruised but I have no regrets! I look forward to doing my homework and coming back stronger next year!
The clinic was beyond superb. I had a great time,enjoyed every rider,horse,got to meet some really nice people. Thank you for all the hard work you do/did to pull this together with your band of intrepid helpers.-
-Pat Schmoll, event camp dressage instructor