February 10 2023
“Um… I think you’ve made a mistake,” I replied to the email I got from AERC, saying, “Congratulations on a great ride season! We'll be ordering an embroidered award vest for you…”
It couldn’t be me and Hillbillie Willie. We indeed had a great super fun ride season, but we only did one 50-mile ride and seven LD rides last season.
But no, they insisted, we got “5th place for Regional LD Mileage Championship in the Northwest!”
One season, umpteen years ago, Jose Viola and I ranked near the top of our Featherweight Northwest division in 50-mile rides. I would glance at the current results from time to time throughout the year in the AERC magazine because I was surprised I got to ride so many miles and stayed up there in the rankings. We got a vest that year too! But since then I’d never ridden enough miles to even pay attention. So I was completely unaware Willie and I ranked anywhere for anything last season.
Now, when you magnify our award and look at it kind of like a horse pedigree, it’s kind of like our award is somewhere down in the fourth generation with dozens of other cousins among eight regions, and it's more accurately a Regional award given by the National organization, but toMAto toMAHto, it was such a fun surprise, and it means so much to me what Willie and I accomplished, and how much fun we had last season.
I love my Standardbred, and WE LOVE OUR VEST!