Tell us about yourself.
My name is Molly McNulty-Finn, I’m 17 years old, and from Albany, New York. I ride at Dutch Manor Stables in Guilderland, New York and attend school at The Albany Academy for Girls. My life is centered around school and the barn, so I do not do any other sports or other activities. I go to the barn right after school for as long as I can, usually about 6-7 days of the week. In the summer I go to as many horse shows as I can!
Tell us about the horse that you showed.
I showed my horse Calvin (Designer’s Gold) in Tryon. Our goal when I first got him was to do hunters and equitation, but we realized jumpers was a much happier job for him and myself. He really loves his job and is happy being on the road at shows. He also loves walks on the hills around the barn and being outside!
Tell us a little about the show that you attended.
I competed at Tryon International Equestrian Center for the first time this year, however Dutch Manor had gone before. The show was beautiful! It had five rings (including a Grand Prix ring with a stadium), each with an attached schooling area, along with two other schooling rings. The footing was beautiful. After perfect weather for both weeks, the last day poured rain. The rings drained so well that there was not even a puddle in any ring. The stables had a tack room that locked as well as fans attached to each stall. There was cold and heated water for baths, matted aisles, picnic tables outside each barn, raised viewing pavilions around each ring, and a covered walkway to each ring. There were shops, restaurants, and entertainment facilities on the property, including a diner, Dover, art galleries, General Store and even a yoga studio! The crew, management, and staff was extremely kind, helpful, and competent. The time schedule was kept constantly updated online so everyone knew exactly when to be on. It was such a beautiful, relaxing, and enjoyable show. I learned so much and it has already helped me a lot at shows I have gone to since!
Tell us about your show experience.
I competed primarily in .90 m jumpers with a few .80s to start off. Every morning when I first arrive I like to brush Calvin off. I then go learn my course and walk it when I can. Then I go back to the barn and lay out my tack and do whatever I need to do before it is time to get on!
What was your most memorable moment from this show?
My most memorable moment was one day of showing where I had two really great rounds and I finally relaxed. I still put a lot of pressure on myself, especially on my second trip, but I finally did not let it get to me.
How did you prepare for this show? Did you feel prepared when you arrived?
I knew about Tryon for almost the whole winter, so every lesson and ride I had it in the back of my mind and considered it preparation. It was hard because we hadn’t ridden outside in a long time, and it was our first show of the season. This meant it was a little rough in the beginning, but I overall felt prepared. Everyone who went to the show was so helpful and supportive and made sure I had everything I needed!
How do you think this show has prepared you for the rest of the show season?
Although a lot of preparation was done for this show, it was still a lot of getting used to as both my horse and I were very rusty and this was a lot to take in. We had some issues we had never experienced before and had to fix them quickly and effectively. This prepared me extremely well for the rest of the show season because I had to learn to just ride what I had. Learning to take challenges as they come without panicking or getting phased was hard for me the first week, but by the second week I thought I came a long way. This was probably the most important lesson I learned the whole show because it is absolutely something that comes up at least once every show, and it is important for me to learn to just ride through it. Calvin and I have both become so much more confident in the jumper ring which is something I’m very thankful for!
What are your goals for your riding this year, or for the show season?
This year I would like to clean up my trips a little bit with tighter turns. This is something I believe I came a long way with in Tryon by riding to the base of the jump and riding with more thought into my approach.