Lauren and Wicket Take On Tadpole Eventing at Chatt Hills

This has to be the cutest reader submission that's hit the team inbox in a long time! Lauren Eckardt of Big Time Eventing sent in this blog from her student, 10-year-old Lauren Pye, who recounts the tale of her Tadpole three-phase at Chattahoochee Hills with her pony Wicket.

Lauren Pye and Wicket at Chatt Hills. Photo courtesy of Jim Holbel. Lauren Pye and Wicket at Chatt Hills. Photo courtesy of Jim Holbel.

Hi! Ny name is Lauren Pye, and I am 10 years old. My pony’s name is Wicket, and he is 13 years old. I got him for my birthday two years ago. Last Friday we arrived at Chattahoochee Hills in Fairburn, Georgia. We planned to school cross country and stay for the schooling show on Saturday. Then I unpacked and got Wicket ready to school cross country.

I was doing the Tadpole three-phase, but my trainer, Lauren Eckardt, always has me jumping other things like Beginner Novice. When we approached the ditches, I will admit I was nervous. We don’t do ditches a lot, and I know Wicket likes to jump them big. I knew I shouldn’t have been so nervous because I know I can trust him, but I was still a bit afraid.

I stayed on the ditch for awhile, but then I came at it at a canter. I knew he usually jumps them big, but I had no clue he would jump this one so big! I was hanging on tight to his mane, and then we got to the other side. I’m not sure how big he jumped, but it had to have been at least two feet!

Hang on tight, Lauren! Photo courtesy of Jim Holbel.

Hang on tight, Lauren! Photo courtesy of Jim Holbel.

The very next day we did the show. I was very nervous then, too, but I’m always nervous at shows. Luckily the nerves helped me this time! On dressage we scored a 36.0 and had double clear in both jumping phases. I finished in second place, which is the highest I have ever finished in a Tadpole three-phase!

The person ahead of me was a girl from our farm. Her name is Alexis, and she is my friend, so I was REALLY happy for her! She was riding Bigtime Graffitti. Getting second was so awesome and amazing, but I would have been happy with whatever I got because Wicket and I have come so far together.

My cross country course at the show was so fun. As I entered the start box, I was nervous, but I knew Wicket was fully capable of jumping any jump out there, so I knew we were prepared. We headed to the first jump. I was excited, but nervous, but excited at the same time!

While I was out there I completely forgot anyone else was out there, and I forgot I was doing a course at a show! I was so happy to be jumping and having such a great time that I didn’t notice anything else. When we got to the finish flags, I was so happy that the announcer even said, “Lauren Pye looks like she had the time of her life out there!” And I did!