|Penny in the showjumping, showing her scope.|
The final phase proved to be quite a show - a total and utter gong show that is. The course walked horribly. Everything was on a half stride. Not a short or a long distance, but a complete half stride. Everyone walking the course was discussing the distances and how they were going to try the course. I didn't really have a good game plan coming out of my course walk because I really didn't think there was a way that would work better than another to jump around clean.
As expected, the course was not a fun or challenging ride. I mean it was challenging because it was nearly impossible to jump clean, but it wasn't challenging as in - you have to be able to ride. It was a trappy and dangerous ride, with several people falling off in the Pre Training division. Out of 50+ Pre Training riders, only 4 had clear rounds. The clear rounds were flukes, just lucky rails that stayed up. I did not see a single ride that looked easy and well done. That was not the riders faults, the course was just that horribly set up. Two riders before I was set to go, a girl fell off and had to be taken away by ambulance. We waited for over an hour for the ring to clear and the ambulance to come back. Having waited until after 1pm to start the stadium, our ride time was dragged, and it was almost 4pm by the time I got in the ring. Poor Penny was exhausted. I had warmed her up almost 2 hours earlier and just gave her a quick little warm up before our round. In hind sight I should have jumped a few more fences but to be honest, I was tired, she was tired, and I just wanted to get this over with and head out on our long journey home!
Penny was a gem, she tried her heart out for me. I didn't have her straight and she took the first rail. We had an unlucky rub at the third fence and had it down too. I rode the rest of the course very forward and we jumped the rest clean. I was obviously disappointed in myself, I made a few mistakes I could have avoided which ultimately would have landed me in the top ten. It just wasn't my day - such is with eventing. I watched the remaining riders go and although all but two riders had rails - many multiple, it wasn't enough to land us in ribbon contention. We did however still move up 2 places to finish 12th. A finish I was ok with having only had Penny for 2 months!
|Trying her heart out.|
Alaynes' luck was about as good as mine, and she had a very uncharacteristic 4 rails down with Cayden. A horse I rarely if ever see have a fence down. The Prelim showjumping looked like a lumberjack show with rails flying and horses hanging in the air everywhere. It wasn't pretty, and I'm sure jumping just 2 hours after they completed a grueling cross country didn't help either. A note to organizers next year - let Prelim go cross on Saturday with the rest of us, and start showjumping at 8 or 9am on Sunday. Some of us have long drives home and have to work on Monday!
It was a long day. We left ribbonless but we sure had learned some valuable lessons. It was good fun and I really enjoyed the venue at Cedar Run. We left at about 6:30 pm, starting the 4+ hr journey home in the rain. Looking forward to next year, where we can hopefully redeem ourselves and TTE can bring home some of those big, beautiful, ribbons. Go TTE!
|The stadium results speak for themselves.|