It is our pleasure to announce the achievement of Lifetime Bronze Rider Medal in Working Equitation, Novice B level, to Mary Duffy, who achieved all of her scores on her 18-year-old German Riding Pony Napoli! This incredible horse and rider team earned their final qualifying scores on July 19th 2020, at the Murrieta Equestrian Center, with a score of 73.39% in Dressage, and a score of 72.78% in Ease of Handling at the Novice B level.
Mary states that Napoli is an 18 year “young” German Riding Pony who was imported for a friend of hers by Polly Limond when he was four years old. As luck would have it, Mary’s friend felt the pony was not a match for her, and Mary remembers, “It was literally love at first sight when I saw him.” She states, “It didn’t work out for my friend, but he is perfect for me in every way!”
Mary has had the good fortune of watching an introduction to Working Equitation lesson about two years ago, and she has been hooked ever since! She says the riding experiences throughout her lifetime that have prepared her for Working Equitation include: English, Western, Gymkhana,Vaulting, plus Cattle Sorting and Penning. She states that she rode Hunter/Jumpers extensively in her youth, and then moved on to Eventing and Dressage. What an achievement to be so well rounded in the Equestrian World! Mary says “All of these experiences have helped me to dive right in to the Sport of Working Equitation, and I feel I have finally come back around to home”.
What Mary likes about Working Equitation is that “It directly applies all of the elements of training and horsemanship. You must have solid and fluid communication with your horse to ride a seamless pattern. Each component challenges me to be a better rider in a different way, and I also love the supportive and inclusive camaraderie we have here in Northern Calif Region 2!”
When asked what she feels is most challenging, she says that understanding all of the rules in Ease of Handling and Speed, and memorizing two different courses in a short amount of time is difficult. When asked what advise she would share with others getting into the sport of Working Equitation, Mary says, “Just jump in and do it! I’ve never competed in any discipline where the judges have been so helpful and invested in assisting us master each of the elements.” Mary states her belief is not to let things hold you back, just to focus on enriching the partnership between you and your horse.
Mary states there are many people she’d like to thank and mention, that have contributed to her success in Working Equitation with her German Riding Pony Napoli. She says, “Mj Misailidis and Monica Fay have been with me from the beginning, and inspire me to be a better equestrian every day! Thanks also to Katrina Sanders for being such a patient coach and mentor in Working Equitation. Her strong advise is to find or create a community that supports this wonderful sport, and come join us, the journey is definitely worth it!”
Mary earned the following scores to qualify for her Lifetime Bronze Rider Medal:
- 77.50% in Dressage, Novice A. June 8, 2019 B-Rated Competition, Woodland, CA. Judge: Susan Watkins.
- 71.14% in Dressage, Novice A. June 9, 2019 B-Rated Competition, Woodland, CA. Judge: Susan Watkins.
- 73.93% in Dressage, Novice B. July 18, 2020, B-Rated Competition, Murieta, CA. Judge: Rebecca Algar.
- 73.39% in Dressage, Novice B. July 19, 2020, B-Rated Competition, Murieta, CA. Judge: Rebecca Algar.
- 69.69% in Ease of Handling, Novice A. June 8, 2019 B-Rated Competition, Woodland, CA. Judge: Susan Watkins.
- 73.24% in Ease of Handling, Novice A. June 9, 2019 B-Rated Competition, Woodland, CA. Judge: Susan Watkins.
- 65.00% in Ease of Handling, Novice B. September 1, 2019 B-Rated Competition, Woodland, CA. Judge: Susan Watkins.
- 72.78% in Ease of Handling, Novice B. July 19, 2020, B-Rated Competition, Murieta, CA. Judge: Rebecca Algar.