World Cup Las Vegas
Sarasota, Fl. On Friday, March 13, at lunch time, I was doing my daily web browsing of all sites equine, and a news item posted on the United States Dressage Federation site caught my eye. ‘Win a Free Trip to World Cup 2009, Enter by March 15’. Following the link, I went to Kyra Beth Houston’s Dressage Unlimited website, Dressage.com (well worth visiting, check it out!), filled out an entry form and clicked submit. Imagine my surprise when an email arrived on Monday "Congratulations Dressage Grand Prize Winner!" There has to be a catch, I thought before I opened it. It has to be just spam. My jaw dropped in amazement – I’d won! Tickets for two to the Rolex World Cup in Las Vegas, VIP passes, round trip airfare, and accommodations at the MGM Grand where the riders are staying. A call from Kyra Beth Houston confirmed the prizes, and believe I or not, I’m going to Vegas!
Joining me will be Sharron Fisher. Sharron profoundly touched my life last June when she generously gave me her beloved Hanoverian, Chesapeake. I give thanks every day for this wise old schoolmaster who’s introduced me to the upper levels of dressage. I’m happy she is able to share this experience with me.
We’ll have stories and photos posted on Dressage.com, so you all can share in the excitement. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I’m grateful to everyone who made it possible. Believe in the power of your dreams, because in unexpected ways, they really do come true!
There’s still tickets available for purchase, if anyone wants to join us!
Keep reading for more about Karen and her equine partners.
Small Woman, Big Dreams
There is no logical explanation for it. I wasn't born into it, or exposed to it as a child. I didn't grow up around it. Somewhere on the path to adulthood I discovered it, on the back of a borrowed horse armed with a bareback pad and a smile. I found an overwhelming love for horses and a thirst for knowledge that have become an intense passion for dressage. Knowing that horses are the best teachers, I ride. I ride anything and everything. I read books and study, watch videos, and participate in every clinic I can. I spend my money on lessons and show fees, feed, hay, and farrier. My holy grail is the harmony between horse and rider, and I search for it every chance I get. The journey has been blessed with many gifts.
There is Ringo (Caldarin Goldstar+), my 15.2 Arabian with the big personality that fills up my heart. Donated to a therapeutic riding school as an unmanageable six year old, Ringo has taught me about love and patience, lightness and grace. There is Chesapeake, my 24 year old Hanoverian schoolmaster, given to me last year by his original owner. Chesapeake has taught me about power and finesse, and introduced me to the upper levels of dressage. My perfect partners, they make me feel that anything and everything is possible when you open your mind and your heart to the spirit of the horse.
And now, the Rolex World Cup - an opportunity to see the world's finest riders compete in Las Vegas. A chance to watch the masters of dressage work their magic, to experience an equestrian event I have only dreamed about. Am I excited? Absolutely! Am I inspired? Yes, always! Thank you Kyra Beth Houston! Thank you Dressage.com!
Karen Abbattista is an actively competing Adult Amateur, with a small budget but big dreams. She has won numerous regional and national awards on Ringo (Caldarin Goldstar+), her Arabian rescue project. On her recently acquired 'free to a good home' 24 year old Hanoverian, she earned her USDF Bronze medal and the first scores needed for her Silver. With FEI aspirations and backyard horses, Karen is dedicated to learning and growing. Taking it step by step and day by day, she finds inspiration in those magical moments of oneness between horse and rider, and the understanding that the joy of dressage is found along the journey, not just when you arrive at the destination.
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