This last show of 2023 was a little bittersweet to me. The end of my first season as president had me reflecting on many different thoughts: was I the type of leader I hoped I could be? Did I set the tone to create a positive and welcoming atmosphere for our members? Did I find success in the goals I had for myself this season?
This year looked a little different for me since I am starting over with a new youngster at home. I knew that by purchasing a younger horse, I would essentially be putting my show goals on hold this year. Many of my clients were also in what I’ll call a “transition year”, with horses either overcoming injury, or riders looking for a new partner. No matter what, it just seemed the DoubleStar Team was destined to sit out most of this season. And I was actually okay with that because it meant I could dedicate a good chunk of my energy towards my EMAA management-related goals.
Another thing that really hit me in the feels at this last show was my time spent up in the announcer booth. Yep, that was me you got to listen to all weekend. I’ve spent so many years popping up into that booth, but never running it alone. Manning that booth, announcing class order and placings and having that responsibility just didn’t feel right without the real Voice of EMAA. In the year of Kevin’s passing and being put in a position to step in last minute to his role, announcing for him at our last show of the year was just bittersweet. I remember every voice inflection and intonation he would put into names. I remember the funny quirks he’d sneak in, how he’d remind every nervous rider to breathe and smile as they passed the booth. Or the jokes he’d toss out to the confident ones. Kevin was more than our show announcer, he was everyone’s biggest cheerleader, and the person our show revolved around. I hope that he got a chance to glance down at us from Heaven and see that while the show must go on, it certainly isn’t the same without him.
As we close out this season and transition back into work-mode, back to school-mode, fall sports-mode, I hope that each of our members can look back on this summer and have a reason to smile. I hope that you all have that one class, or one placing you’ll remember as you move forward with your days, that propels you forward. I’ve always believed that it’s not always the big wins that bring the most joy. Neck ribbons and trophies look great sitting on the shelf, but sometimes it’s the 2nd or 3rd place that pushes us to keep going. Straighten the centerline, smooth out the transition, or really nail that halt. If practice makes perfect, then practice needs to be born from passion. Because passion will always lead you to the big win.
Have a wonderful Winter, my friends, and I will see you at our Year-End Banquet.
It Takes a Village!
Anyone who has been around horse shows for even one season knows the old adage “It takes a village…” and its no different when running our shows. EMAA is beyond grateful to our many volunteers who help with ring stewarding, handing out ribbons, setting up patterns, etc.
THANK YOU TO OUR MANY VOLUNTEERS DURING THE 2023 SHOW SEASON!
Your willingness to donate your time helps us create the best horse show experience possible!
Special Moments from the Board:
Amy Sommer: My dear friend Julie Pierce lost her horse a few years ago. She happened to come to our awards banquet that fall and she told me that missed showing so much. That stuck with me. I tried to get back in the show ring with my old show horse Intimidator (aka Hershey) the following year, but Hershey had other plans to go and leave us. So this year still very determined to get her in the ring, I got her in the ring with my daughter’s old show horse Bailey. Julie could only make a couple shows this year, but she had so much fun.
In the second photo, I got the opportunity to lead my little buddy Wesson in leadline. He nailed tipping his hat to the judge.
So proud of my daughter, Kaitlynn Sommer trying/learning sidesaddle for the first time. She‘s using my sidesaddle that my parents bought me when I was teenager. For this to go full circle.
Zara Wright: There were so many wonderful memories made this season and it is so hard to just highlight one. One of my favorite memories from the 2023 season was welcoming RE Rocketman to the family! We are hoping for a fun and successful 2024 season alongside our San-Lue Family.
Taylor DeBlair: Show season never feels long enough! This was my first year involved with the EMAA board. From conducting the new sponsorship program to getting “Vinny” to his first western class, it has been quite a year. A highlight of the season was working close with Kenidy Kohler to help her run the outgate. One morning, she surprised me by asking if I could help her go into her first hunt-seat class. I am beyond impressed watching all the youth classes this year and am ecstatic for upcoming plans for next year!
Treasurer, Sharon Murch – Although unexpected circumstances prevented my horses and/or I from competing this year, all “stablemates” are doing well. The youngest of the crew (my 4 year old Major Mac V son) went back to “school” in July to see if his clumsy long legs were ready to go back to work again. Although I hear that he had some issues adjusting to “boarding school”, he is finding his legs and he has a good “teacher” that is being very patient with him! 😊 Next year will be his year! EMAA 4 brought a surprise baby shower for our Show Manager/Secretary Rebecca Rett and husband Brian to welcome little Caleb due in December. We would like to thank everyone that brought their well – wishes for the expecting couple, watched the gift opening, and/or helped eat the four cakes all weekend! Thanks to everyone for keeping the secret!
Rebecca Rhet: Thank you to my EMAA Family for throwing me a surprise baby shower at EMAA 4! Brian, baby BOY Rett, and I sure felt the love and we can't wait for the 2024 season!
Kim Winger: Another great show season with EMAA. The best part for me is spending the weekend with some of my family! (Megan, Andrew, and pictured granddaughters Abby and Bella) These are cherished memories in the making, rain or shine!
Let Me Tell You About My Best Friend
Submitted by: Larissa Lincoln
Thirteen years ago, we drove down to Springfield Ohio for an in-person Addis Auction where trainers from all over the country would consign their horses. I had scoured the auction booklet for weeks prior, trying to nail down which horses I was going to test ride and bid on. All the specific qualities I was looking for...I wanted a gelding, already in the double bridle, level-headed and gray or at least a lot of chrome! When I saw Sanjit in the warm-up arena being test ridden, I immediately wrote in big bold letters in my book NO. He was a little feisty and didn’t hit any of my wants. Well, as horses were going through, he came up and man did he put on a show. I gave the go-ahead to bid, and we won him! So instead of bringing home a broke, ready to show horse I loaded up a green-broke 3-year-old who had never been in a double bridle and had almost no chrome on him.
At home, I didn’t have anywhere with boundaries to ride him, so I ended up sending him to Tia Zukowski to help put on the finishing touches. I had always told her to go as slow as he needed as I wanted him to be my partner for the next 20+ years! Sanjit has been the most amazing horse I have ever had the pleasure of working with. He has given me my confidence back in both the show ring and on trails. He may not love everything that I have him do (cough, showmanship, cough) but he tolerates all my wild ideas and always exceeds my expectations. Never in a million years did I think I would have a horse who would be so versatile and so kind.
Some fun facts about Sanjit:
He absolutely LOVES scratches and being groomed.
He is an absolute cookie monster but be careful as he will slurp up your entire hand!
He HATES cold water, even in the hottest weather so you will always see me hauling around his water heater for baths.
He is always super lazy when lunging or long-lining but kicks it up under saddle.
What does EMAA mean to me?
Submitted by Monica Krentz
My passion for Arabian horses started very young. My neighbor raised them and all I wanted was a horse as a child! That dream came true when my mom bought her first horse when she was 40. They couldn't keep me out of the barn. I grew up showing my little Arabian in open shows in northern MI among mostly stock breeds. College brought me to the Lansing area and my time on the MSU Equestrian team introduced me to people that showed locally. My introduction to EMAA started in 2009. I came to the show knowing two people and by the end of that first show I had made many new lifelong friendships. Those same friendships and more are even stronger today.
Our EMAA organization is truly one of a kind. The people that make up our membership are the most encouraging, helpful, supportive, and kind people I've ever shown with. Everyone wants to see each other do well in the ring even if they are your competition as well. Many of you know Miz Nobel Bey, we had an amazing show season last year, she was just a junior horse when I started showing EMAA and the encouragement I received was incredible. If you're about to go in the ring with something amiss, someone will stop you and help you fix it first. The willingness to offer that helping hand sets these show's apart.
Some of my favorite memories growing up are going to horse shows with my family. I'm now creating those memories with my daughter. Our kids are the future of the horse industry and I appreciate how much EMAA supports the youth at the shows and encourages them to participate in the events. Kudos to all of you that showed in the costume class at the last show! The costumes were all fantastic and we are now planning ours for next season. I can't thank EMAA enough for continuing to provide shows that have great competition and the best atmosphere, while keeping them affordable. My daughter and I both look forward to our horse show weekends, they are the highlight of my summer.
Shoutout to my horse show family, we couldn't do this without you! Love you all!
These pictures are 14 years apart and the memories between them are priceless!
2023 Year End Banquet
We are looking forward to seeing everyone and celebrating the 2023 season!
You are able to reserve tickets online or via mail-in form. Program ads are available for purchase as well! Give a friend or family member a shout-out! See you all soon.
Thank you to our Sponsors for the 2023 Season!