A big thank you to everyone for your kind words!!! Greatly appreciated :) :)
I couldn't be more proud of my boy!
Just curious in general (as I have no experience)... Do you get any real prize (not just a ribbon) if you win and become, say, 1st rider of season?
That depends entirely on the host of the HT itself. Some give Saddle Pads for the 1st place winner, and some give a bag of horse cookies and etc, etc.
There are usually always prizes for "The best dressage score" too per HT.
For the whole season - you are given points per placing. So for example, I placed 2nd place at the first HT, so I recieved 5 points for that. Then at the 2nd HT we again, placed 2nd and recieved another 5 points. And then this HT I placed 1st, so I was given 6 points.
At the end of the season, the Eventing Organization that I am a member of, totals all the points each rider incurs over the season. So for me that would = 16 points.
So at the end of the season, there is a Banquet, where riders from each level, recieved ribbons, trophies for their point standings.
Also, at the end of each season, 4 riders in each level, who have the top best point standings, get to represent Michigan at the Kentucky Team Challange held in Kentucky.
Which is a great honor! I could not represent Michigan this year, because I am in School as it is, and I cannot afford to either miss classes, or miss days of work to do so.
Next year I'll strive for Novice - see how we do. But Nelson is 21 now, and we just went through a bout of Hock and Stiffle injections - which worked fabulous, and my vet is fully confident that he can do it - but we'll see. One day at a time.