I like to think that Iron Icon (AKA Sterling) and I were meant to be teammates. He was picked out for me by our trainer, Alison Koenig, because she knew he would be exactly what we wanted. My mom and I weren't sure we were ready for a new horse, let alone a two year old, but after my first ride on Sterling we knew it was a done deal. We have had four show seasons together now and each one has been an adventure as Sterling and I continue to learn, grow, and work on so many events. We've been fortunate enough to accomplish a lot over the past few years, and I never would have dreamed of doing some of the things we have.
2013 was beyond a dream come true and most of it still hasn't sunk in for me.
This year Sterling and I had the huge privilege of working with Becki Schwab and Alisa Bernhard while Alison was pregnant. I am so grateful for their willingness to take us in, teach us so much, and help me accomplish my dreams. Some of our highlights for the year include earning High Point Horse at CapGun, nationally qualifying for the AQHA World show in six classes, earning spots in the AQHA national standings, competing at the IHJA Medal Finals, multiple high points for WQHA and BQHA, and a great show at Congress.
Between Alisa and I showing, Sterling came home from Congress with six medals including a Reserve Championship and top five placings. Our consistent placings in the Novice Amateur Division lead to us earning the title of Reserve Champion High Point Novice Amateur. I would have never dreamed of accomplishing something like this and I still get choked up thinking about it.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped get Sterling and I where we are today. Thank you Alison Koenig for making Sterling into everything I ever wanted in a horse and making me the rider I am today. You always saw the potential and never gave up on us. Thank you to Becki Schwab for an amazing year.
We learned so much from you and had a blast doing it. Thank you Alisa Bernhard for taking us to the next level and having high expectations for us. I feel so blessed to show with someone of your caliber and I will cherish the experience forever! Thank you to Alexis and Staci Daugird for letting Sterling add even more classes to his repertoire; the small-fry classes! I never thought I would see my 17 hand hunter showing in the western pleasure, but for Alexis he did! Thank you Alexis for loving Sterling as much as I do and for being his number one fan!
Thank you's also go out to Linda Ehret, Abbie and Ginny Dvorak, Krystle Kuhse, Rick Skelly, Ellen Jost, and everyone who has helped us along the way adding to our partnership. A huge thank you to my parents, Pat and Craig Bloyer, for their endless support and helping me reach as many opportunities as possible. Thank you for putting me on a horse before I could walk and following me along my journey. I love you!
Lastly, I would like to thank Sterling for being the best teammate I could ask for. He definitely has his quirks but always does his job and takes good care of me. I have learned so much from him and I can't wait to see what the future brings. I am so lucky to say that the horse of my dreams is my reality.
I'm sad to say I don't know how much showing we will be doing this next summer as I prepare for graduate school but I'm so grateful for the show season we had in 2013. It truly was the season I've been working and waiting for and I'm so blessed to have that dream come true. There's nothing quite like that moment when the years of work, sweat, tears, sacrifice, and dreaming pay off.
Good luck to everyone in 2014!