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2020 Veronica Holt Dressage Technical Delegate: Arlene Gaitan

Thank you, TDF for awarding me the Veronica Holt Technical Delegate grant.  This grant was extremely helpful in offsetting my expenses to fly from Texas to North Carolina to apprentice with Carolyn VandenBerg “R” at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC).

I arrived in Tryon on Thursday, prior to the show that ran from Friday through Sunday.   Prior to arrival at the show, TIEC sent a link to answer COVID questions and electronically sign a waiver.  The app sent a QR code to use for admittance to the facility.  Upon arrival at the show, the security team checked my temperatures and gave me a wristband.  Carolyn and I then made our way to the show office to pick up day sheets, ensure show management had posted the appropriate postings, that the facility and show had COVID protocols in place, and that the arenas were set up and ready for the show the next day. 

The first day of the show we arrived an hour prior to the start of the show to ensure everything was in place for the show to begin.  The show used electronic scribing and scoring which made it easy to check scores.  The first day was light, so the show ran one ring that was panel judged.  We observed the scores to see if there were any big differences so we would be prepared to answer competitor questions if they arose.

We had to measure one pony.  After putting together a rather stubborn measuring stick, we were able to measure the pony and issue a temporary pony card.

One of our biggest challenges was that TIEC was hosting a marathon at the same time as the dressage show.  We had groups of runners passing behind the judges at C and causing a few horses to lose their cool.  The show manager took action, asking the marathoners to change their “course” to avoid being near the dressage arenas.  Fortunately, they obliged and we had no issues after that.

The show went very well and competitors were very cooperative in complying with the mask requirement. On the last day of the show, Carolyn walked me through filling out the TD report. 

This show was my third of four shows I apprenticed this year.  Each show was a unique experience that allowed me to gain understanding dealing with different situations.  Thank you again, TDF, for this opportunity!