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Team #712 Jane Holman and On A Lark

Team #712: Jane Holman and On A Lark
From: The Woodlands, Texas
Ages: 73 & 27
Combined Age: 100
Test: Introductory Test B
Date: October 7, 2023

It was a dark and stormy night (actually a dark and stormy morning) and the first day of the GAIG/USDF Regional Championships 2023 was off to a rocky start.  The Houston Dressage Society (HDS) has hosted the Regionals and a concurrent open show at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center for several years and, as a long-time board member, it seemed like a swell idea to schedule my Century Club ride for this year’s event. I am currently serving as President and Sponsorship chair of HDS, I was going to be there anyway…… so why not ride? After a three-hour weather delay, On A Lark and I went down centerline at 7:50 p.m. on October 5.   

I’ve been riding for more than 45 years but I haven’t shown in at least 10 years and time takes a toll on bodies and clothing. A few weeks before the show, I pulled out my old show clothes and managed to squeeze into my white breeches. Thankfully, I had a spare pair of white cotton gloves because my leather gloves literally dissolved. But I couldn’t quite get my jacket buttoned. No worries – this has been the hottest summer on record in Houston. I thought, “I’ll be riding at 4 p.m. – jackets will be waived!!!"  And then the storms came, and the evening cooled down. My barn mates came to my rescue with braiding bands and if you look closely at the photo, you’ll see that my jacket is open ever so slightly.  

On A Lark is owned by my friend and barn mate, Brenda Anderson. On A Lark is as willing and steady as they come but, like me, hadn’t been in the show ring in many years. Nevertheless, when the bell rang, she gave me that “we got this” shake of her head and burned through the test like a champion. We ended up with the high score for the class! Go figure!  Maybe Lark and I will go for it again next year – but I think I might buy a new jacket…….