The USHJA 2023 National Championships in Las Vegas...
We made it to 2023 USHJA NATIONALS!
Samuelle Leerkamp & Idol of Kings competed in the two divisions they focussed on throughout the season at the USHJA National championships in November 2023 with trainer Emily Farmer and WON BOTH DIVISIONS! Talk about the best case dream scenario in reaching goals set.
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Las Vegas National open division .80m (an all age group, trainers included)
with a 2nd, 4th & 7th (an all age group, trainers included) in the .90m FarmVet Las Vegas Jumper open division
in the .80m USHJA children’s jumper division (17/yo and under)
with a 1st, 1st, 23rd
in the .90m USHJA children’s jumper division (17/yo and under)
with a 26st, 2nd, 1st
.90m jumpers (17/yo and under) Grand Prix winner
We feel incredibly blessed as a family (that didn't have ANY ties to the horse world prior,) to having a chance at this incredible journey that started at random! Working hard together as a team towards a goal is the true gift of this journey. Congratulations Samuelle Leerkamp & Idol of Kings! We are so proud of you both!
In this video we are taking you on our adventure to Vegas with us:
No biggie... Just finding out at random we are stall neighbors with Gracie Wahlberg and her dad...
A good day no matter what...
I did say "no matter what"...
Let's say she was a weee-bit light headed going into that ring after spending the morning going to watch and support Gracie Wahlberg instead of studying her course as per usual.
But hey! Still pondering wether winning Nationals or meeting Mark is the highlight of her Vegas adventure, so...
All worth it!
You can’t make this stuff up and that’s truly the essence of life: Life is rarely a perfect case scenario. Re-Assessing, navigating, adapting, adjusting and dealing with life’s challenges thrown into the mix ARE some of the most valuable lessons of any pursued endeavors and goals in this life.
The past few weeks have been throwing some major curve balls into our plan, training program, mindset and confidence that made us wonder if we would or should still make it to Vegas for Nationals… Idol colicing and having an abscess in one of his back hooves, Emily, our trainer, getting into a serious car crash and injury, having us all worried and reducing the initially set training schedule… Then, just a few days prior to departure Idol telling us he can’t proceed in the flat workout they had started and went to lay on the ground in pain!?
More emergency Vet calls, tears and all…
Idol was diagnosed with a common “Thoroughbred side effect”: an ulcer. The vet believes that the medications should get him back on his feet and hopefully in due time for the competition… & Emily is one tough woman sitting on the plane to Vegas as a write, ready for the journey (right after her surgery!) So thankful.
They worked so hard as a team this year… Another amazing year together to say the least!
It would of course be wonderful to see them all at their best in order to shine for their final competition together ✨ But hey!? Life’s not a best case scenario… What matters is that Idol Bug and Emily are and remain ok and we all still get an opportunity to share this experience together, once again!
We’ll see how it goes with the work put in this far & the stack of cards we’ve been dealt as of late! It is Las Vegas after all!!
Idol Bug is by far the most communicative horse we have encountered on this journey so far. It has been fascinating to learn how to read his methods of communications with us-humans.
Idol knows all too well by now that his BIG GOOFY smile usually gets him the attention he wants, and mostly, on happy days it is by way of treats (mints if possible!) BUT when in need to get our attention for other less enjoyable reasons, such as telling us something isn't right or asking for help! He knows he can use his smile as the anchor to get our attention first and then when he refuses the mint or kisses we thought he was asking for: He knows we are all ears and he further proceeds to shows us the other signs: clawing, pawing, laying down, incessantly and dramatically smiling to keep us guessing until we do figure it out. That's when his smile becomes a cry for help.
It is rather touching and incredibly humbling to realize he trusts us to try and understand his attempts of communicating with us... Such a smart boy!