Weathermark, a.k.a. “Markie,” was a gray Thoroughbred who carried me safely across many finish lines throughout our eight years together. I called him my “cross-country machine” because he never hesitated on the course. But our partnership meant more than competitions and ribbons. We simply enjoyed each other’s company, whether we hacked through the fields or walked on the driveway.
Markie passed away in a barn fire almost four years ago. Once I was able to compose myself, I decided that I would keep his memory alive forever. I created the Weathermark Memorial in 2012 to honor my teammate and best friend. I present a trophy to the Junior Training Level rider with the lowest overall score in Fair Hill’s May Horse Trials.
I chose Fair Hill because it was more than an Event site to me. I had my first experience at Fair Hill during the Novice Championships when I was 10 years old. My pony Riddle challenged me on the cross-country course, but I felt a sense of accomplishment when I received that yellow and black completion ribbon. I also competed at Fair Hill with my second pony Fletcher, who loved hearing the sound of the bagpipes nearby. It's very fitting that Fair Hill was my last Event with Markie. We placed third in Junior Training Level on May 16, 2009.
My hope is that Markie’s trophy puts a smile on a junior rider’s face, just as he made me smile for many years. Tayler Stewart proved her talent by winning the award for the first two years (and with two different horses!). Last year Emma Hartley and Celtic Heretage won the award by winning the Junior Open Training division with a score of 32.90. This year on May 16th Gabrielle Ciccone and her horse Some Kind of Wonderful was the lowest scoring Junior rider, competing in the Open Training division. Gabrielle scored a 26.70 in dressage, added 4 for a rail in stadium and 1.20 time in cross country to finish on a score of 31.90. Many congratulations to Gabrielle and her horse.
|Samantha Hazen (left) with Gabrielle Ciccone (middle) and Some Kind of Wonderful|
I look forward to presenting the award again next year. Maybe someday I’ll be out on the course again, remembering everything I learned from my three horses.
- Samantha Hazen (Markie's mom)
|Samantha and Markie|