Age is just a number. I have been hearing that all my life. Now that I am older I choose to believe it. Recently I came across a small clipping from the US Dressage Federation magazine that I had saved some years ago. It is a list of the winners of various USDF awards and it gives the age of the oldest recipients of the year. Take a look. I have added the riding requirements for these awards so you will know they did not get these as sympathy awards!
Oldest bronze medal recipient: 93 Six scores of 60% or higher.Two at 1st level, 2 at 2nd level and 2 at 3rd. All must be from different judges and rides.
Silver medalist: 94 Four scores of 60% or higher. Two at 4th level and two at Prix St.George. All must be from different judges and rides.
Gold Medalist: 70 Four scores of 60% or higher Two at Intermediare 1, Intermediare A or Intermediare B. Two at Grand Prix. Different judges and rides.
Bronze freestyle bar recipient: 74 Freestyle scores 65% or higher. Two 1st level, two 2nd level, two 3rd level. Different rides and judges.
Silver Freestyle bar: 77 Four scores 65 % or higher at 4th level. Different rides and judges.
Gold Freestyle Bar: 64 Four scores 65% or higher, two from Intermediare 1 and two from Grand Prix. Different judges and rides.
The list goes on but other notable accomplishments that caught my eye were for the Masters Challenge Awards.These riders must be 60 years of age or older at the time the scores are earned. The riders below outdid themselves.
Master’s Challenge Award Third Level: 93
Master’s Challenge Award FEI levels: 77
Bravo to all of these riders. I can tell you that the person who got their silver medal at age 94…ninety four…is one amazing rider. That is four times down that centerline, and twice doing the Prix St. George and getting 60% or better.
I have Masters Challenge Awards up to and including the FEI level. I also have my Silver Medal. But I was only in my 60s when I did it. A young age relative to these amazing riders. When I told my coach Belinda Trussell about this post and the age of the Silver Medalist she said: “Great, you’ve got 20 more years!”
So…..age is just a number after all.