Monday, August 29, 2011
Canterdown Farewell....A Happy Goodbye to an Event I Grew Up At
One of my favourite events said goodbye this year, as they ran their final Horse Trials. Canterdown is a great place, the owners are fabulous and so friendly and supportive of the local eventing community. I am really sad to see this come to an end. Not only because it is such a great place, because I grew up eventing there, because it is the closest event to my place....but also because it is just one of the many events I have seen disappear over the years in my area.
It seems like every few years we lose another, and in Eastern Ontario we can not afford to lose much more. The sad thing about the whole issue is that riders in Eastern Ontario often drive 4 or 5 hours to events on the other side of the province when there is an event running in their neck of the woods the same day. I can't figure out why. Maybe they are bored of the courses, maybe they don't like the events, maybe they don't want to compete where they know people. All I know is that this sort of thing is what hinders attendance and eventually runs an event right out of existence.
The good thing is that Canterdown will still be open for schooling and clinics. They are encouraging it's use as a cross country facility. Thankfully we haven't lost it completely.
Some candids from the photographer that day:
A Cute Shot
Another Good One
This year we had some enormous rainfall which led for some slippery conditions. My division went early on so thankfully the footing wasn't too bad. There were a few scary moments later in the day in the stadium ring, which is on grass and on a hilled field. There was no rain for my dressage test and although there was still tension, we scored a personal best that day, landing 6th after dressage out of 13.
The cross country looked good, since I had done most of the fences at the novice event I wasn't worried. They did add a few coop/house type fences though that were a decent size and would give us something new and exciting. The course;
Archie was a fantastic ride cross country and we had another clear round. He scared the crowd by getting over excited towards the second last fence, and going a little sideways before flying over. People were surprised he went over. I knew the whole time he was going over, he was just trying to contain himself from launching 20 feet! We had a vet check after and the vet commented that Archie was very fit and he came back to his resting heart rate after the 5 minute wait. We were also the lucky ones to be randomly selected for a drug test. YAY! Good thing Arch is a trakkie, he peed right away for the collection guy. Results came back a big, fat, negative! Duh, like I would ever drug my horse!
By the time our stadium round came it was raining pretty hard. I have to say the course was really poorly designed, I don't think they had a professional course designer in so that was a bit of a downer. A lot of people were commenting how there was no flow and sort of just ran in circles around another. Regardless of the course, it was very slippery and I vowed to trot certain parts of it. The trotting seemed to be our demise and we took 2 rails, however Archie was much better with no head tossing and no going sideways. A big improvement for us. I had switched his bit from the pelham to a mullen mouth happy mouth. He is happier in this but I still do not have enough brakes. I need to find a happy medium. I have begun experimenting with different bits and well see how that goes.
All in all we ended up 5th, which seems to be our colour this year. I couldn't be happier with our green ribbon and I couldn't be happier with my boy! A great final outing at the wonderful Canterdown Horse Trials.
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