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June 2017


If you missed Pine Hill 2017 held in Bellville, TX May 27 & 28, well you missed a great event!  The weather cooperated, there was nothing but sunshine falling from the sky and we actually needed hammers to drive stakes in the ground!

The course was offically designed by the HACA committee, but you could see Keith Yutzy’s signature all over it, especially in Cones.  I overheard more than one competitor comment how easy it looked until you started driving!  For me, anything more than 3 balls down constitutes “bowling” and by my defintion, well it was a fine day for bowling!  But the Marathon was totally inviting expecially at Training Level.  Twelve of the 14 Training Level entries drove perfect marathons with zero penalties!  What a friendly, well-marked,  course, and what good drivers!

Pine Hill was organized by Linda Yutzy, with strong support from Bonnie McMurtry.  The event ran smoothly and scores were out 15 minutes after the last horse was off the Marathon!  I think that’s a record, but I can’t be sure, Linda is always single minded about getting the scores out!

As usual, there were a few hardworking volunteers who really made things happen, and several of them came from North Texas.  Jheroen Dorenbosch and George Pederson helped Keith finish the course.  Paula Long came early and stayed late checking competitors in, setting cones, and being a start timer. Jean Stuard was a superb Dressage Coordinator. Jean, Ruthie Graves & Jheroen judged hazards. Jheroen and new NTW member Gary Moyer stayed late to help the HACA folks take down the course. I helped Bonnie McMurtry and Claire Zadow wrangle volunteers and I was a traffic cop on the Marathon! Alta and George Pederson also spent the weekend helping out where ever help was needed.

Of course every event Jheroen and I go to makes us think about what could be better at Sunrise Ridge. Bonnie McMurtry provided superb lunches for the volunteers and I’m always jealous of the pavillion even when it doesn’t rain.  It’s so nice to have a central gathering place that’s out of the weather!  Keith’s Obstacles are always well designed and we covet the permanent elements.  Jheroen and I also recognize that some things at Sunrise Ridge are pretty good as they are.  We love our Cones out under the 100 year old Pecan trees and the level grass-covered Dressage Court is almost elegant.

But what’s truly elegant is the idea of the three big Texas driving clubs helping each other provide challenging, well-run competitions for the community.  Most of us will show up again for Let’s Have Fun Texas in Burnet and yet again for Black Star in Rockwall.  Along with competitors from Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, we’re keeping the Texas driving scene alive and well.  Thank you for coming along for the drive!

Let me know your thoughts!
All the best, Kate Morgan, President NTW