Sara Kozumplik-Murphy: Thanks to the Owners

Sara Kozumplik-Murphy is en route to the USEA Convention to present the PRO As You Like It Owner’s Award at the PRO Year-End Awards ceremony tonight. She sent in a great blog thanking the owners who do so much to support our sport. Thanks to Sara for writing. Go owners!

Sara and Edy at Sara's wedding. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

From Sara:

As I wait to board my flight to Cincinnati lugging around a massive bag of awards for the people who really make this sport work (owners and grooms), I thought I would take a minute to write a little love letter to the enablers in our lives (officially called owners).

I have been blessed with great owners from the very beginning of my eventing career. My parents have always helped out to the extent that they could, and it is my Mum’s fault that I live in perpetual debt. Listen, she pushed the horse crack while I was still a baby; what did anyone expect?

Growing up in a riding school (yes, all your British Horse Society riding instructor stereotypes are correct), I had the perfect opportunity to get owners together at an early age. I didn’t know it was a “syndicate” that I was putting together — just that a couple of my students families would agree to come together to buy a “project.”

Everyone has their own story of how they make it work in this sport, and I am always fascinated by the creative ways people come up with to support the wonderful horses in their lives.

For my part, the “PRO As You Like It Award For Owners” that I am giving out this evening to Sheri Weber would not be possible without my best friend, Edy Rameika. In fact, pretty much nothing in my life would be possible without her. An owner of mine for 15 years, Edy has given me support with absolutely no strings. She has let me make mistake after mistake, never leaving me for a cooler (or, let’s face it, better) rider when she could have done so many, many times.

Edy, like many of our great owners in this country, loves the journey — having young horses and seeing where they go, laughing at their different quirks, rejoicing in their victories, and supporting them through the inevitable injuries and heartbreak that are part and parcel with eventing.

I would like to say that now I have the right group of young horses, the perfect dressage and show jumping plan, and this is the year for her GREAT success! Of course I believe that, and maybe I have managed to learn a small amount over the years, but let’s not hold our breath? As anyone knows, as soon as one part of the three phases starts going well, the rest goes completely crap.

What I have finally realized is that owners like Edy are in it for the long haul. They love the horses and they love the sport. The struggle to improve each of their programs is their passion. They are not scared of falling down, and they look through a much wider lens than riders manage to a lot of the time.

Edy has quietly sponsored a lot of events over the years, and I doubt that many people know that she has funded $5,000 a year since 2006 for the owners award. As You Like It was my Pony Club horse that took care of me at top events all over the world, and Edy was quietly there then as she is now. This is her award, created to honor and thank all the owners in our sport. To her, and to them, I say a huge THANK YOU! Without you, we wouldn’t have a sport; it’s as simple as that.

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