Dear friends,

Koenraad thought it would be best for me to recap the evening as he’s very busy celebrating. Seems he and Junior have a lot to talk about so I promised him I’d try my best…

This evening at the Harrisburg Nationals started out a little similar to the first night. I went in to see Junior and his stablemate – tonight which was Snazzy Jazzy. However, as most who know me, I am a student at Walder’s Way and a bona-fide Junior groupie! Junior is a horse near and dear to my heart as he has the patience of a saint and not only does he know his job, but when I am riding him, he knows mine too!!!

I have been looking forward to seeing Junior perform in a horse show for quite some time as I know his pedigree and past performance are nothing short of magnificent and it is a blessing and a true honor to ride this wonderful champion.

I had the good fortune to have a little time to get to the schooling ring and as luck would have it Chelsey came into the arena with Junior as they were there to watch Jeff school Snazzy Jazzy. I asked Chelsey if she was at all nervous. She said a little and she told me that she had not performed in a large stage as far as horse shows go. I told her that she had a great horse with her and I felt good about that. I know that Junior knows his job but I also felt that Chelsey would be ok. She and Junior looked very comfortable together and I did not think too much about it other than I was looking forward to seeing them have the chance to share their talents with the audience.

After a long wait it was time for the Itty Bitty jump class. I was so full of anticipation and their performance did not disappoint. I had no idea that I was about to witness an exceptional display of talent and heart. They made it look easy and natural;  I was amazed. They flew over jump after jump with the finesse of seasoned veterans and the reality was this was her FIRST time on a big stage!! They exuded such grand confidence as they went around the course. It was flawless, like poetry in motion.

Chelsey and Junior

Her trainer, Dr. Jeff Walder understands and knows the capabilities of his students. He also works tirelessly to help each student attain their personal best. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone so happy or heard…. as what I saw this evening when Chelsey and Junior completed their round. I think that Chelsey’s effort demonstrated very clearly that his teaching style with his students works. Countless hours of practice went into preparing for this moment so for trainer and student this result was an admirable achievement I don’t think either of them will ever forget.

Many heartfelt congratulations to trainer and student alike and congratulations to Chelsey on her memorable ribbon, I hope that you never forget this night with Junior and the Walders. You made your family proud too! It was very touching to see how proud of you that they all were. You challenged yourself and now you will only be stronger for the next time. What an inspiration for us all! I wish you much success as you move forward with your riding and whatever you choose to be great at next!!!

Celebrate and go forward with confidence!

Susan ♥

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