STEVENSON — The Maryland Combined Training Association had the last of three annual competitions last weekend.
Known as "Jenny Camp" to combined training enthusiasts in several states, the event's venue for the second year in a row was St. Timothy's School in Baltimore County.
As usual, Jenny Camp drew a strong contingent from Carroll County.
Jim and Edna McNemar competed on Rocky and Sable, respectively, with Edna bringing home a ribbon for fifth-place overall in the Novice Rider B division. Krissy Kirk and her inimitable Mr. Shadowberry won their division and a special trophy. And eight students and one boarder from Beth Stambaugh's Lightning Bolt Farm near Westminster brought home various ribbons on their horses and ponies.
Combined training began as a military discipline for horse and rider, and the name Jenny Camp honors a mare who had a successful eventing career with the U.S. Cavalry.
The most exciting part of combined training -- forhorses, riders and spectators -- is the cross-country phase. Designer and builder Jim Miller of Westminster made some changes to fences on the cross-country course this year.
It isn't just problems at the jumps that can cause elimination or lower scores, as Beth Bryant, a16-year-old student of Beth Stambaugh's, learned. Bryant and her horse, Duke, were eliminated for having a riding crop 2 inches longer than the allowable length.
The rest of Stambaugh's riders -- HeatherArnold and Fergie, Amy Elwell and Gumby, Cathy Freisner and Birdie, Kristen Lewis and Iced Tea, Troy Staley and Sassy, Debbie Wiltrout and Tree, Cindy Holloway and April, and Jennifer Miller and Copper -- completed all three phases of the event.
Arnold placed second in dressage and won the Pre-Novice level with clean efforts in the cross country and stadium phases.
Wiltrout and Lewis also benefited from good cross country and stadium rounds. Wiltrout had finished seventh in dressage but pulled up to fifth overall in the Novice Rider division with Tree's good jumping efforts.
Lewis pinned eighth overall in Novice Rider with her 12-year-old quarter horse pony mare Iced Tea.
"I thought we had done better in dressage, but our score wasn't the best and after dressage we were tied for 10th," Lewis said. "I've just started teaching her dressage."
Miller, Holloway and Elwell didn't come back to Carroll County with any ribbons, but that didn't stop them from gaining valuable experience.
"We were second after dressage and not placing well overall was all my fault," Miller, a junior at Westminster High, explained.
Miller and Copper, a quarter horse mare, went on to the stadium phase, which they finished with no penalties.
For Holloway, an eighth-grader at North Carroll Middle,and her pony mare, April, Jenny Camp was only the second combined training competition.
"She was good but very cautious about some of the fences on the cross country course, so we had refusals," Hollowaysaid.
"But her dressage was pretty good; she is definitely improving."
Amy Elwell's Gumby had a case of the stumbles, said Amy's mother, Judy. The Thoroughbred mare, who did not take to racing, tripped over her own feet in both the dressage and cross country phases.
"Gumby used to be spooky and flighty, but now she follows Amy aroundlike a puppy dog," said Judy Elwell, whose daughter also runs cross country at Westminster High.
Troy Staley and Cathy Freisner competed at Pre-Novice level on horses facing their first combined trainingevent. Although ribbonless, both riders and their horses acquitted themselves well.
"Cathy's horse had a run-out on the cross country course but then finished up by jumping very well," Beth Stambaugh said.
"Troy did a good dressage test and worked really hard for this.He and his horse just need more mileage."
It has become a sure bet that Krissy Kirk and her gray gelding quarter horse Mr. Shadowberrywill do well at a combined training event, and so it was at Jenny Camp.
The dynamic duo was second after dressage and won the Open Novice division with clean cross country and stadium scores. The pair also received a special trophy.
The names of Kirk and Mr. Shadowberry will be engraved on a silver tray known as the Welcome Doctor trophy, presented to the junior Maryland Combined Training Association member with the best score in any Novice division.
"The course was challenging for a Novice division but rode very nicely," Kirk said.
"Berry was fine. He rolled right along."