I've had the priviledge of becoming friends with Ahna and Scott Bowman of Bowman Sport Horses. We truly enjoy each other's company as well as competing with one another and that's what, I think makes this commentary interesting.
We talk a lot abour sportsmanship but I doubt if many people are sincere. Hypocracy seems to run rampant in the horse show world but sometimes there really is good sportsmanship. Ahna and Scott, Joanne Salisbury and myself became good friends with each other by showing against one another.
They own an oustanding mare called Lady Loria and Joanne owns Rosie's First Gold (Tilly). These two mares have beat each other going back and forth for years. We truely admire Lady Loria even though she beat Tilly and when Tilly beat Lady Loria, Scott and Ahna were complimentary right back.
One time, Tilly came out Reserve Champion with Lady Loria beating her once again. I believed the better mare - that day - had won the day but I was taken aback though when Ahna said "that mare can ride in my trailer anytime". She was sincere and complimentary. A good sportsman and boy, did that make us feel good!
The competition between the mares and our barns continued and our friendship grew from a few sincere words to respect and friendship. Joanne, Angela Wilson (who shows Tilly) and I have come to love and respect the Bowmans as friends, good sports and competitors, and we know the feeling is mutual.
Good horsemen respect one another and respect good horses no matter who wins on any given day. Respect then makes it easy to be good sportsmen. Improving your horsemanship will improve your relationships with fellow competitors because as you learn you will come to respect their work and as your horsemanship improves, they will grow in their respect for your work too. See you next week! JD