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The Early Years - Part 2

Not exactly.....The mortgage would need to be paid, perhaps the boys would want to go to college so we kept working in the horse world. Brian became a top judge, traveling 35-40 long weekends a year, judging on 4 continents, including the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, and became an educator of horse show judges in the US. Penny continued being the best horse show manager in the world, organizing as many as 20 national and international competitions a year mostly in central Virginia. We both served on numerous committees and received many awards from the United States Eventing Association for our work within the sport. In hindsight our "breaking point" in the horse world seems to have been the 2005, 06 and 07 North American Junior and Young Rider Championship that we hosted/organized at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Va. This was an international competition for 14-21 year olds in the three Olympic disciplines of Dressage, Eventing and Show Jumping. We also added Reining and Vaulting as demonstration sports which were well received by the athletes and the governing bodies. While we thoroughly enjoyed the spirit and enthusiasm shown by the young riders, we found it to be an emotional drain on us. After that nothing quite seemed to put that enthusiasm back into us. We continued with the big shows but really enjoyed the more local shows that brought out the local aspiring Olympic riders, some of whom were under 10!

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