We've had a few requests lately from some lovely and incredibly talented riders wanting us to sponsor them. It is something we would like to do seriously in the future, particularly at pony club or adult riding club level as we are all about supporting every day riders who don't have the benefit of big-end-of-town sponsorship. But we are a brand new business, so we feel the need to establish ourselves a little bit before we take on the responsibility of little sponsored rider mouths to feed. Plus we're lazy. And a sponsored rider program requires a bit of planning and effort...
So, anyway, we were at the HRCAV TTT Dressage in beautiful Gladysdale, Victoria, last weekend with our little pop up shop meeting the lovely HRCAV peeps when we bumped into Katie Gray. We know Katie as she fosters Arch's little older brother, Chad the Wonder Pony. Katie is a bit of a fan of Arch & Alex gear and has low (actually, no) expectations of her sponsors, and no sponsors at all, for that matter. We decided then and there that she was absolutely the perfect candidate to be A&A's first "really, not-really" sponsored rider!
We'll be following Katie's progress as she moves up the dressage ranks with her super cute and smoochy, if somewhat cowardly, pony Kokomo Bravo (aka "BK"). And we'll be making sure she keeps the amusing blog posts going otherwise we will withdraw all non-existent sponsorship benefits. Here is her first blog, wrapping up all the thrills and excitement of the TTT Dressage...
Hello to all fans of Arch & Alex, my name is Katie Gray and I was excited to be the winner of their totally unpublicised grass roots Search for a Star campaign. (Helped slightly by being the foster parent of Arch & Alex’s favourite Shetland - Mini cross and pony club stalwart ‘Chad’). Last weekend myself and my trusty equine partner, who goes by a number of names though most commonly BK, turned our attentions to Top Teams Dressage. The pinnacle event on the HRCAV dressage calendar.
BK and I turned to dressage this year as our foray into eventing had been spotted with incidences, such as some extreme bronc riding at Wandin in 2014 - a very impressive display apparently. Anyway dressage it is! He had a good run up to the event with a fourth place at Dressage in the Valley and a reserve championship at Lilydale and Yarra Glen Dressage Day in the weeks before TTT.
So we arrived at the TTT venue in Gladysdale mid-hurricane and managed to park next to an extremely large and loud tanker dedicated to emptying the 4000 or so porta-loos on site. BK and I then set out on a fast disorganised march around the grounds with me having absolutely no chance whatsoever of tying him to the float adjacent to porta-loo activity. Luckily we tracked down our favourite casual horsewear stand and the lovely Samantha babysat the big baby while I moved the float to a location away from the loos and also from falling branches and flapping signs. BK, who already looked a treat and is blessed with an amazing tail, stood calmly while we took off all of our trendy horsey casual gear and squeezed into our Adult Riding Club uniform, complete with World’s Smallest Vest.
We however pulled out all of our stops in the second test achieving lengthens in canter and trot, a lovely bouncy shiny tail and overall great horsey good looks coupled with some semi average salutes to the judge to win that test and be reserve champion overall for our section! Phew, cheers all round, ‘good job mum’ from my 2 year old and my dad was even videoing the correct person in the correct arena for most of the test. Success.
Then BK and I happily slipped out of our squeezy Adult Riding Club uniform into some super trendy and MUCH warmer gear from Arch &Alex and chatted to Samantha and Cai Lin until the presentation. BK was thrilled to get more ribbons for his collection and Samantha and Cai Lin were pleased that I continued to top their Sponsored Rider Leader Board and that despite the complete lack of structure to their Search for a Star campaign, I was not a total dud. Together we are now planning an extensive 2017 campaign and actively searching for larger (yet very cool) navy blue vests.