Monday, June 4, 2007

Jersey Fresh CCI**/CCI***

Hello all...
It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that my horse, my best friend, my equine partner for over fourteen years has passed away. Eight Saint James Place, we all know him as "Jamie" (I call him "Slipps") died following one of our most splendid cross country rounds to date. He was one of the last ones to run across country, in the heat of the day, but nevertheless, made the course look easy and finished with few time penalties, ears pricked and all. When I crossed the finish line, I immediatley dismounted and pulled off his saddle so that both my grooms and I could get ice on him as soon as possible, due to the weather conditions. He looked and felt very happy even after I dismounted but as soon as we reached the bottom of the hill and the vets went to take his temp and heart rate, Jamie staggered and then fell over and died almost instantly. I cannot go into details, as the image in my mind watching my hero, my champion, my partner lay there lifeless tears me apart on a daily/nightly occurrence. However, I wanted to thank everyone for their support, both Karen and David O'Connor for their supportive words. I wanted to thank my Coach, my big brother who I love dearly, Buck Davidson, for staying with me and supporting me and encouraging me to go on. He also jogged my horses for me on Sunday which was a tremendous help. I want to thank my grooms, Carrie Leese and Jackie Jenkins for their endearing support and ceaseless work. For every one of the competitors at Jersey Fresh for coming up to my mother and I and showing their support. The New Jersey Horse Park, specifically Barbara, for getting the competitors together and purchasing a tree to be planted at the horse park in Jamie's name. I want to thank everyone for the calls, the has been overwhelming. I could have never fathomed a more tramatic and horrific day. My heart has been broken into a million little pieces, most of which have left and gone with Jamie into the next world.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this horse, allow me to give you a brief summary of such an extraordinary carreer. Jamie was purchased by my mother as a three coming four year old off of a california race track and was to be a re-sell. After selling him three times, and getting him back three more, mom decided to keep him for her own. When we moved out to Virginia mom began to compete Slipps at the training level and within a year on the east coast, she found herself qualified for a one star, which she completed at Morven Park in the fall of 1999. After my horse Fishbones was injured, mom offered me the ride on her horse. What few people know is that Jamie and I never quite got along, and quite truthfully, really disliked one another. However, I was desperate at the moment and decided to give it a go on mom's horse. After that, the rest was history. Jamie and I went on to represent Area II in both the one and two star (2000 and 2001)bring home two bronze medals. Jamie carried Lainey across the pond to England to represent his country and be the highest placing Americans at Blenheim Petplan CCI***. Later in the year (2004), Jamie helped Lainey to win the prestigious Markham Trophy at Fairhill CCI*** placing fourth in the national division and sixth in the international. Jamie carried Laine across the finish flags twice at Rolex CCI****. Recently in 2007, Jamie was 2nd in the Advanced at Rocking horse in Feb., and also finished second at Red Hills in the CIC***. Lainey had planned to take Jamie to Burghley CCI**** in England in the fall of this year.
What else can I say that hasn't already been said? Not only did I lose him, the sport lost one of the most amazing and beautiful atheletes that was ever to cross a galloping lane. I will always think of him everytime I enter that box and when the countdown begins...I love you Jamie and will always miss you.