Beth Noteman of Genoa, IL, earned the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) 2006 Amateur of the Year title by the prodigious amount of showing and winning she accomplished on her 11 year-old Arabian liver chestnut stallion HSA Haleys Comet++++// (Skamper x OK Ellazella) aka "Liver" or ĎBig Guy," who was the recipient of the 2001 AHA Horse of the Year title.
Noteman earned 665.5 points during 2006 in the Amateur Achievement Awards (AAA) program, which boosted her to the top spot. She accrued points in both amateur and open classes in third and fourth level dressage, sport horse under saddle, sport horse in hand, working hunter and hunter hack. She competed at Sport Horse and Canadian National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Horse Shows; five regional shows (6, 10, 13, 11 and 18); the following local shows: Hoosier Horse Classic, Illinois All-Arabian, Bluegrass Classic, Milestone Spring All Arabian and Scottsdale and several open dressage shows. She also won an MD Barns round pen for her accomplishments.
Noteman is proof positive that you can live the dream of Arabian horse ownership even if youíre just an "average person working full time to pay the bills." Calling herself the "little amateur that could," she fits the Thomas Jefferson adage that says, "Iím a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it."
Noteman started riding at 28 years-old after just a few lessons as a youngster and pursued it hard, taking three lessons a week riding hunt seat on a Quarter Horse. Eventually she moved to southern California and began riding dressage on her first leased Arabian mare. Then she moved to Michigan where she hooked up with Kim and Yvonne Barteau of KYB Dressage. When she was ready to buy her own Arabian, she had a vision of her ideal horse, an 8 year-old grey mare, but her trainers had a different idea.
"Yvonne chose a big 4-year-old stallion named HSA Haleys Comet that had come from Arabian Nights where she had worked," Noteman says. "It wasnít what I wanted, but she said he was going to be a very special horse and not to geld him."
The pair started riding and made their debut in training and first level tests in 2001 at Scottsdale, Canadian Nationals, Region 10 and U.S Nationals, where they took reserve or championships every time. In addition, they showed at seven open dressage shows that year, putting Comet at the top of the list for the year-end Horse Achievement Awards.
"I won a trailer and didnít even own a truck!" she says. Through the years Noteman has continued training with the Barteaus and finished a successful show season at Sport Horse Nationals where HSA Haleys Comet won a championship in Fourth Level ATR and a Top 10 in Third Level Open and ATR, Fourth Level Open, Working Hunter ATR and the Practical Horseman Hunter Classic.
She started jumping him two years ago and trailers to Milestone Arabians of Campbellville, Ontario, three times a year to train with Cheryl and Allan Ehrlick.
"Itís dumb luck that Iíve found such great mentors who are real horsemen," says Noteman. "Theyíre great teachers who make you better at what you do."
"Beth is the poster child for what our business is all about," says Kim Barteau, who has worked with Beth for almost seven years. "It was unusual to put a first time rider like Beth with an untrained horse like Comet and have it be successful. She is tenacious; sheís not in a hurry and wants to do it right. Now she competes against lots of open riders and her technical skill is better than most."
"Iíve never had a horse that trusted and respected his rider to such a degree," says Cheryl Smith-Ehrlick. "Her horse is incredibly brave. It would never cross his mind to stop at a fence that she asked him to jump. Iím impressed that Beth wanted to jump Comet to keep him happy and allow him a new avenue for his energy.
Comet has won 15 national championships, five reserves and 18 Top 10s, making him the most successful Arabian stallion in AHA history.
The AAA program assigns points for riding, handling or driving to both youth and adults. Competitors do not have to own the horse they compete with since this program tracks riders only. Qualifying classes and rides include USEF/EC-rated shows and events; AHA-recognized shows, rides and open dressage classes; USEA combined training events; and selected pole bending and barrel racing competitions in Arabian divisions.
2006 Top Ten Amateur Achievement Award Winners
1. Beth Noteman, Genoa, IL, 665.5 points
2. Bridget Atwood, Temecula, CA, 564
3. Alisha Kinney, Scottsdale, AZ, 446
4. Anthony Desiderio, Chester, NJ, 433.5
5. Kelsey Kuhn, Sonoita, AZ, 417.5
6. Allan Ehrlick, Campbellville, ON, 356
7. Brianna York, Philomath, OR, 317
8. Kristen Cooper, Englewood, CO, 299
9. McKenna Marshall, Scottsdale, AZ, 296
10. Olivia Stull, Scottsdale, AZ, 275
Courtesy: The HorseTV Channel News, http://www.horsetv.com
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/aha-horse-amateur-year-noteman-4-07.html">AHA Horse of the Year Takes Owner to Amateur of the Year</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com