Over the last weekend of January I traveled down to Wellington, FL to go watch the Exquis World Masters Dressage Masters CDI 5*. It was held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The start list was filled with world class Grand Prix riders: Steffen Peters, Anky Van Grunsven, Edward Gal, Hans-Peter Minderhound, and Lars Peterson to name a few.
It was a great to watch with the Grand Prix on Friday, and then the Grand Prix Special and Kur on Saturday night. Steffen had a tremendous Grand Prix and it was quite remarkable to watch a Grand Prix with only a couple of minor errors. He ended up scoring a 75.5%. The freestyles were just as good. Anky had a horrible Grand Prix and while I'm not her biggest fan, it was fun to watch a big turnaround. From the moment they entered the stadium for the Kur you could tell she was "on" and that there was no way any of the mistakes from Friday were going to happen.
I ended up staying with a very old friend of mine Ana Gilmour. I knew Ana way back when, during my Keenridge days. Ana came out in January of 1997 from Wisconsin for a few weeks. A couple of years after I left Hilda's Ana came over and worked for Hilda for a few years.
Through Facebook, Ana and I reconnected only a couple of months ago. I hadn't spoken to her since that time back in '97. To be quite honest, I was a little nervous about spending a couple of days with her as I hadn't seen/talked to her in ages.
Well, that nervousness was all for not, as it was like we had been friends the entire time. I attribute this to the connection we have of working for Hilda. Having that same bond of common suffering means that we related to each other right away.
I have a very similiar relationship with my friend Amanda Olson. I knew Amanda as a teenager in Washington, and then we worked at Hilda's together. Since that time, Amanada and I have also had a close bond. I mostly attributed that to us knowing each other as kids, but after hanging out with Ana, I'm thinking the bond of common suffering is more of a reason why.
I can go into details of how that is, but really it is one of those things you need to experience to understand. It is really cool (as stupid as that sounds) to know I have two close friends for life through my time at Keenridge.