Tonight was the 2017 Arkansas Hunter Jumper Association (AHJA) Year-End Awards Banquet. Although our show year ends in early November, the club takes the rest of the year off so as not to conflict with any holidays, and then has the banquet the following January.
Because I’m the club secretary, I coordinate with the show secretary a lot, and the two of us work together to keep track of members and points throughout the year. It works out pretty well, especially because Paige is the show secretary, and also basically my best horsey friend.
After winning four championships and one reserve out of five shows for the year, it was pretty easy to figure out where I was in the standings for my division with common sense alone. So it wasn’t any surprise to me that I’d be winning certain awards.
After the November show, we got to work on calculating totals for the year-end awards. So there wouldn’t be any conflict of interest, I let Paige calculate the points for any awards that I could possibly win, and I worked on divisions and awards I wasn’t in or eligible for. That’s when Paige told me that I had won something that I wasn’t expecting. At first I thought she was joking. I was certain that it was really going to come down to a couple other riders, but not me. When she told me she was serious, I told her she needed to double- and triple-check! I was still having irrational fears about it all being a mistake right up until the banquet, and even now it still feels sort of surreal.
Anyway, on to the awards I won!
Participation Award: Awarded to all riders who competed in at least five out of six (or four out of five) AHJA shows for the current year. Participation in a clinic or other AHJA event can count in place of participation in one show.
Class Champions and Class Reserve Champions: Awarded to all riders who accumulate the highest and second highest number of points in each class throughout the year. Classes aren’t individually announced, so you can only win one Class Champion and/or one Class Reserve. I won a Class Champion award because I had the most points in four classes. Unfortunately, I was just a few points away from winning a Class Reserve for the fifth class in my division.
Division High Point Awards: Champion, Reserve, and 3rd through 8th place for the horse/rider combination based on accumulated points in the Hunter/Equitation or Jumper classes in each division.
At the September show, Prada and I entered the two flat classes in the 18″ Beginner Rider Division as a warm-up, and we won first place in both of them. Those 20 points were actually enough to earn us 8th Place in the 18″ Beginner Rider Division High Point Awards.
In our “actual” division, the 2′ Limit Rider Division, Prada and I won Division High Point Champion.
USHJA/AHJA Mini Medal (Affiliate Award): Year-end equitation award given to the top 8 high point riders who are members of both AHJA and USHJA and who have earned the highest cumulative points in either Beginner Rider Equitation Over Fences or Limit Rider Equitation Over Fences. I won Mini Medal Champion.
Most prestigious, and surprising of all, was that I won High Point Rider, which is awarded to the rider with the most accumulated points in Equitation classes for the year out of all riders in any division. Although I had known about it since Paige told me in November, I was still in a state of shock that I actually won it.
My whole “team” had a really good show year, and it was great to get together with my barn family, my training family, and all of the AHJA members in general to celebrate all of our accomplishments.