Dedication
Brooke, Age 13, Doylestown, PA

Beep, beep, beep, my alarm clock rang. 5:30 it said. I turned back over, ignoring the ear piercing ring. “Brooke!” my mom said somewhere in the darkness. “Get up! We’ll be late to your first horse show of the season!”

Turning back over, I coughed, making my throat sore. A hoarse “okay” escaped my lips.
“Hurry,” she replied. As I stood up, I was pulled back by a sudden sense of dizziness. I didn’t want to admit it, but I didn’t feel so good. Pulling on my riding breeches and polo shirt, I walk to the bathroom. Getting ready to braid my hair, my mom felt my forehead, and a worried look came to her face. She said, “I think you have a fever. Does anything hurt?”

“My throat hurts and I was dizzy,” I tell her.

“Let me call your trainer, Carol,” my mom says and walks away. I despised the feeling that I wanted to lay back down, yet I stayed in the bathroom. My mom came back in and said that Carol didn’t want me to ride if I didn’t feel up to it. After much persuading, I was allowed to go to the show.

I finally spotted our big four-horse trailer, after a long car ride to Buxmont Equestrian Center. I jumped out of the car and ran over to see my horse, Noel. “Whoa!” Carol started. “How about you go sit in the car until it’s your time to ride?”

“Why? I want to help!” I complained.

“You need to conserve your energy until you ride. Jillian, Kayla, me, and your mom will get Noel ready for you,” Carol answered. Annoyed, I stomped back to the car and sat down. I wished I could go help Jilli and Kayla get a mud-covered, mane tangled Noel ready.

After what felt like hours of just waiting, it was finally time to go ride! I saw Noel, polished like a black pearl, glistening in the sunlight, waiting to be ridden. Carol gave me a leg up onto Noel and again I felt the overcoming sense of dizziness. I dismounted, sick to my stomach, and walked to the back of the trailer. Unfortunately, I threw up. Embarrassed, I walked back to Noel and the group, remounted Noel, and then felt better. “Class Beginner Hunter Equitation, ages twelve to sixteen, to the ring in five minutes,” the loud speaker bellowed.

“Are you ready?” my mom and Carol said almost in unison.

“Yes!” I said confidently.

Our first class was jumping. I decided to go last and all too soon it was my turn. I entered the arena at a canter. I remembered to keep calm by counting Noel’s strides. 1, 2,3,4,1,2,3,4, I counted. Nearing the fence, I went into two-point and sailed over the two-foot fence. After the landing, I made a sharp 90 degree angle to the hedge. The first two fences went by without a problem. Two more to go: 1, 2,3,4,1,2,3,4. A simple in and out jump, and it would be over. We sailed over the two fences and it was over! A perfect round! All sixteen riders walked into the ring, backs to the judge. I placed Noel in between Jilli’s and Kayla’s horses. All eyes were on us. The moment never seemed to end. I noticed the ribbon runner gathering the elegant ribbons and conferencing with the judge. Noel was starting to become impatient and the leather reins in my hands were starting to sweat.

Finally, the loud speaker cracked to life: “First place: Jillian on Fashionista. Second place: Kayla on the Faults in Our Stars. Third place--” there was a pause “--Brooke on A Christmas Noel!” I was overjoyed. I was so surprised that they just announced my name! We walked out of the ring. I was smiling huge. My mom and Carol were almost in tears that I was able to accomplish that. In the next two classes, I didn’t place, but I was still happy. After that moment, I felt sick no longer.

Now, as I look at my yellow third place ribbon, draping across my bed, I remember that if you are dedicated enough than you can overcome anything that stands in your way. 

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