2016 in the Rearview for Murphy Eventing

Photo courtesy of Katie Murphy. Photo courtesy of Katie Murphy.

Across social media, the general consensus is that 2016 stunk. Like any year, there were disappointments — and for some, more then the positive experiences within those 365 days. No year is perfect. For us, 2016 was a year of lessons learned, boundaries pushed, and the importance of finding hints of humor and joy in every day.

Laughter is a necessity. Our Stubben rep extraordinaire: Andrea Manley after her brilliant GMHA cross country run.

Our farm has never been busier! We routinely welcomed friends and horses every day of the week, and enjoyed a fabulous variety of horses and riders of all levels. For the first time, we also welcomed a slew of sale horses, all of whom found wonderful new partners. My one request of any rider is the desire to learn, and it is thrilling to see them progress and enjoy their partnership with their horse.

As my Ladies and I get to know one another better, and I welcome new Ladies to Murphy Eventing, I am having more fun with each passing season. From ground poles to complex Preliminary questions, every lesson and every ride has made for a very rewarding year.

Virginia H.T. CIC2*. Photo by Brant Gamma Photography.

Virginia H.T. CIC2*. Photo by Brant Gamma Photography.

After recovering from his 2015 fluke injury, 2016 was not just going to be a test of progression. This year was a test to see if Garth could compete at a higher level than before, while maintaining soundness. We progressed from a spring CCI* and finished our season at the CIC** in the fall. He is healthy, strong, and even more opinionated than before.

Though I was assured many times that his minute lesion would never be an issue, I was tentative to push for time cross country. Every ride, I was pensive that the greater jump efforts and long conditioning sets may result in angering that soft tissue. Compulsive care, reviews and using enough ice to build a community of igloos — Garth is perfection.

2017 is where we will redefine our position at Intermediate and the 2* level. Our goals are to be competitive from start to finish, and advance to the CCI2* level mid-season.

Competing at any level would be hard to do (and not nearly as much fun) without the help and support of friends, family, and our sponsors. We welcomed some brilliant companies to our family of sponsors and supporters: sponsors Butet and Sagmae, and Stubben welcomed me as a member of their Trainer’s Program. Blue Seal Feeds, Pad Perfect, Hit-Air, and Thumper Massager continue to play an instrumental role in our success.

Farrier George Barker has worked with our horses since I was 14 years old, and has been instrumental in our progression. Although we have begun to work with Rebecca Watts to correct a stubborn quarter crack, George’s support and professionalism will never be forgotten.

There is nothing more inspiring to know there are people and businesses that believe in you, and want you to perform at your very best. The cheers, emails, text, and smiles of support have given me courage in moments of concern, and a full heart during achievements. My support network is strong and inspiring — and I am extremely grateful.

Cheers to an extraordinary 2017!