It starts in about a month. There's actually a practice show at Rio Vista this month, but it's not rated so most of the people at my barn are opting not to spend the money for a non-rated show.
Last year, Jones and I mostly competed on the TSSA, or Schooling Show circuit. We were in one of the higher classes so there weren't very many competitors and we won the year-end championship in Open Hunter and the year-end placing of Fourth in Junior Equitation fairly easily. Even though we had some pretty craptastical rounds, the points worked out.
This year I'd prefer to do Centex. Centex is not schooling shows--many of the shows operated by Centex also have classes recognized by the Texas Hunter Jumper Association (THJA). There are many, many riders and more horses, and some of the shows are two days long as opposed to the traditional Saturday TSSA show. Competition is very fierce. People count up their points until the very last show, when they do the best they can and bite their fingernails until results are posted on the website.
And then there is the Summer Circuit. It's comprised of three shows in the middle of the summer, each one three days long. (The real kicker here is that one is scheduled for the exact same dates as BreyerFest--joy. And there's no rain date because it's at the Expo center, which has a covered arena.) They're extremely prestigious and if you can win at those, you're probably good on the A circuit, too.
Yes, it seems strange that I'd like to throw myself headlong into the huge competition of CTHJA, but the truth is that the other shows are enormously boring. TSSA offers little competition and I don't think either I or Jones could achieve our potential at such shows. Plus, this is the last year we have to show that I'll not be out of practice (my dad wants me to not ride at boarding school for at least the first two trimesters--if at all, because there won't be much time for me to get away anyway). It's the best chance we have to succeed, so I figure...
Does anyone else who reads this blog show hunters or jumpers? I'd love to have a chat if you do--or even if you don't.