World Equestrian Brands Thanksgiving Challenge: And the Winner Is…

What are you thankful for this year? That’s the question we asked EN readers for the 2018 Thanksgiving Challenge from World Equestrian Brands, and your responses were numerous and heartfelt.

One entry in particular jumped out to EN’s chinchilla judging squad: Julie Howard’s “Ode to the Adult Rider Program.” The USEA Adult Rider Program, in all its various area incarnations, deserves all the praises we can sing unto it — plus we’re a sucker for a cheeky rhyme. Our winner will receive a custom E.A. Mattes Square or Eurofit Sheepskin pad in her choice of dressage or all purpose style and with two piping colors. This amazing prize (retail value: $330) is made possible thanks to our friends World Equestrian Brands.

Over the holiday weekend, we are honored to share all of your special stories of thanks. We’re thankful for YOU. Go Eventing. 

Julie Howard with Missy Alaimo volunteering at GMHA H.T. and getting points for their teams: “The ARP is all about friendship and good competitive fun!” Photo courtesy of Julie Howard.

Ode to the Adult Rider Program

‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving and all through the barn
I’m thinking of things I’m thankful for, so I’ll spin you a yarn
Yes, it’s cold up here in ol’ Area 1
But all that it means is that we pack in the fun!
It’s a short season but we love it because of our mates
Both four legged and two legged and ones behind gates
We are blessed with the Adult Rider Program for oldies like me
Suzanne Adams runs a wonderful program and we participate with glee
It starts with team selection for young and for old
We’re put with a group at random and we do as we’re told
We come up with crazy names like “James and the Js”
Or the “Lucky Lucious Ladies” and we hope that we slay
We score points for placing and for just showing up
In our quest for those bragging rights and the big first place cup
We all volunteer and get points for that too
Marge Potorski’s got that prize locked up despite what we do
We have our own Facebook page and trash talk others we will
We love to tease each other and compete just for the thrill
It just doesn’t matter if you win or you place
We get points for entering and showing our face
There are the GMHA Young and the Rest of Us challenges
And other challenges at shows
We win saddle pads and ribbons and other swag dontcha know
The prizes we love them because they are swanky
We sport our ARP saddle pads and damn they look dandy
We also have parties and challenges galore
The selfie competition when volunteering helps even the scores
Some people are funny in their rain gear when judging
And others post selfies when they’re scribing and not budging
But the RIBBONS! They’re HUGE! They go down to the floor
As for the color of them, it doesn’t really matter any more
For we are the Adult Riders and our bones they may creak
But we have so much fun, both the bold and the meek!
So yes, I am thankful for that much and more
And look out 2019 – We’ll be watching our team scores!

Many thanks to the great Adult Rider Program Coordinator for Area 1 – Suzanne Adams! It’s a
blast and we can’t wait until next year!