Nine days of showing has come to and end and Avery has earned the title of 2012 POA National Congress 9-12 Overall Highpoint. She put together an incredibly consistent run of rides. Many of them were clear personal bests. Others, such as the jumping classes, saw her overcome a previous fear and reap the rewards of a lot of hard work. Namely jump lessons every tuesday, on top of her regular riding schedule, and a handful of jump shows that chewed up several prime weekends. Those new found jumping skills helped Avery in gaming classes like Scurry where barrels are combined with jumps. This in conjunction with Avery getting to open Max up a bit for games allowed her to place in all eleven events.
With the addition of flying lead changes, her western riding skills were at a new level. A result of three hour lessons with Sarah, some private tutoring for Max at the Haimer’s and ride time from Mom. A higher level of understanding was clearly achieved this year as Avery embraced these finer points and subtleties of riding. In the western pleasure classes she did a phenomenal job sticking to the game-plan of “slow and low” as other riders boxed her in or jogged passed her. Even in Senior Western Pleasure where she made it into the finals out of forty six riders, Avery had a very nice ride against the much more experience 13-18 year old riders by staying focused and riding her ride. There were times when the hours of practice with Sarah were put into action and the results were not a surprise, but then there were the rides where she wasn’t quite sure if she could pull it off. In those moments, Avery impressed us and dug deep, fighting through the nerves, fear and uncertainty to either place very high in classes that are not her strong suit or win a championship. And of course her performance as a heartbroken girlfriend of a mariachi singer in costume class was entertaining as always and the judges agreed.
Avery and Max put together an outstanding show. Her skill in trail was beautiful, she showed it in showmanship and Max stepped up for her in halter and classes like Hunter Under Saddle. They proved to be quite the team.
She had the backing of her entire family and the unwavering support of Sarah to help her through, but in the end she had to go out there and perform. We could give her all the advice in the world, lay out strategies and last minute pointers, yet she was the only one who could make it happen. Despite the adversity, the hurdles, real or perceived, she did it. And we are extremely proud of her.