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Team #591 Beth Roy and Sarina

Team #591: Beth Roy and Sarina
From: Beemer, Nebraska
Ages: 78 & 23
Combined Age: 101
Test: Second Level Musical Freestyle
Date: September 25, 2022

I have had a love of horses as far back as I can remember.  I grew up on a family farm near Beemer, Nebraska, where I developed my love of riding from my father, Howard. Not only did Howard ride and use a team of Belgian work horses in his cattle feedlot, he knew every aspect of how to care for horses, including being their farrier and veterinarian.  He was always bringing a new horse home, and when I was five he brought me a Shetland pony named Taffy and soon after a part-Quarter Horse named Ginger.  Taffy taught me how to ride, and Ginger and I could beat the neighbor boys at a quarter mile on country gravel roads.

Growing up in rural Nebraska, Western Pleasure was the only way of riding I knew.  I recall trying out barrel racing at the local livestock show and found out that was not my thing!  So I rode on our farm, worked with cattle, occasionally rode in the local town parade, and loved everything about being around our horses.  Then I went off to college, began a career that took me to the Washington D.C. area, married, and started a family.  For over a decade I was only able to find occasional opportunities to ride. At that point in my life, I had never heard of dressage. A friend who knew I loved horses took me to her barn in Maryland where she had a dressage horse.  Before long, I started taking dressage lessons, leased, and later bought a sweet Thoroughbred mare named Obies Indy and began showing at a very basic dressage level.  I had many wonderful years learning dressage and doing some shows on my wonderful Indy.   After she retired, I was ready to continue to pursue dressage and started looking for a special horse.

I purchased a four-year-old 16.2-hand Dutch Warmblood named Sarina who is now 23.  She was imported from Holland as a broodmare because of her good bloodlines. She is a granddaughter of Voltaire. But it turned out that she was not suited for that role, and lucky for me I bought her.  It was apparent early on that Sarina is an ambitious mare who likes to work.  She has a lot of energy and is a challenge but fun to ride because she is very forward and she never seems to tire.   She also is a real sweetheart.  Sarina likes to train, and in my opinion, is a classy horse. But Sarina is most happy heading out on country roads and riding in our farm’s soybean, corn, and alfalfa fields.  And yes, we fit in dressage work on those country rides.  Sarina is afraid of cattle but likes dogs and chickens, and she is not frightened by even the biggest farm machines. 

We have taken dressage lessons for most of our 20 years together, first in Maryland and later in Nebraska.  After I retired from a position in Maryland, I built a horse barn on my family farm in Nebraska and moved Sarina there in 2013. I started taking dressage lessons and working with a wonderful trainer, Shan Lawton of Omaha, NE.  About five years ago a friend at the Nebraska Dressage Association (NDA) told me about the Century Club, and that at that time no Nebraskan had done a Century Club ride.  Sarina and I were eligible in 2022 when I turned 78 and Sarina 23.  I decided to ride a Second Level musical freestyle.  Shan developed the choreography for the ride and I chose the music to represent strong women and to be fun!  For the trot music, I chose Helen Reddy’s “I am Woman,” Lady Gaga's “Born This Way” for the walk, and Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” for the canter and the finale.  Riding to the music’s rhythm as well as achieving the correct movements took hours of practice. During the rehearsals, my husband Harold helped me with the rhythm, which is not my strong suit. We did our Century Club ride at the NDA Schooling Show Championships at Lancaster Event Center in Lincoln.  I had many friends and family to cheer us on.  I was anxious before the show, but Sarina was such a champ that she helped me relax, we had a great time, and the judges were positive about our ride.

I am very appreciative of TDF for the honor of recognizing me as a member of the Century Club.  I am now one of three Nebraska women who have completed this challenge.  I am not sure I will show again next year, but I do plan to volunteer with the Omaha Equestrian Foundation at next year's FEI World Cup Finals in Omaha.  Omaha hosted this show in 2017 and was selected to host this show again on April 4 - 8, 2023.  Hope to see you there!