Monday, September 30, 2013

Road to the OHTA Championships - Part Two

Penny snoozing before cross.
  Saturday brought dressage and cross country for me, and just dressage for Alayne.  I had an excellent warm up and I was really happy with my test.  The judging was tough, but I think fair for the division.  Scores in our ring were a lot higher then the others, however I do feel like my placing was probably appropriate overall.  We were 16th after dressage on a 62.3 (41 US or %58).  Watching the video I can see where we are weaker than the other riders who have been together longer and competing longer.  Penny is just getting back into shape and I am really happy where she is considering those factors.  I am not too worried about the dressage, we can work all winter to improve that.  The good thing is Penny is really willing and she always tries %100.


Alayne and Cayd preparing to enter at A.
  Alayne had an excellent test.  It was nice and steady and very workmanlike.  She was 13th after dressage in a very competitive division.  After Alayne's dressage it was time for Penny and I to go cross country - wahoo!  I overheard in the warm up that the course was riding fast - I know how Penny and I have a habit of being too quick so I was going to be sure to not to do that again!  We set out and the course rode well.  it was really fun and felt easy.  We jumped everything out of stride and Penny flew into the water like a pro.  We made it back clear and without time penalties.  Go Penny!

 The unfortunate thing was that every single person in our division (20+) also jumped clear, and only a few people had time penalties.  A sure sign the course was too easy for a Championship division.  It was disappointing, it looked as though this was going to turn into a glorified dressage show.  Regardless, we moved up to 14th with the two riders with time faults.  Things were not looking promising for me getting one of those big beautiful ribbons! Boo!


Penny flying over the jump before the water.
  We walked Alaynes course another time then prepared to hit the competitors party.  There was a live band with dinner.  We sat by the fire and drank some cold Canadian beer.  Nothing beats a night like this!  We met some new people, made some new friends, and had some good laughs.  A quick check on the ponies before we got into our nice toasty Gooseneck bed (thanks to the space heater!).

 First thing on the list Sunday morning was another course walk.  After walking again, we grazed the horses and then got Alayne ready for her cross country.  I tacked Penny up and met Alayne at cross warm up.  I thought I could take Penny for a little ride to get her out of her stall and I could get a better view for filming on her back, plus move from one place to another quicker.  The course proved to be as tough as it walked, with people falling off left right and center, riders were not making it past the 5th jump without a run out and other problems.


Alayne and Cayd fly into the crystal blue waters!
 Alayne and Cayden blazed around the course making it look easy.  They had an unfortunate issue at the double skinny brushes and just missed the second element after Cayden took a BIG jump in.  He ran out a second time when she represented, but she got him over and finished with little time faults.  A sure disappointment but completing this course was a huge accomplishment in itself in my eyes!  By far the scariest Prelim I have ever seen.

  After cross I stood in 14th place and Alayne was sitting 13th.  With just stadium left we had nothing to lose and everything to gain to take our shot at bringing home a ribbon.

Part 3 coming up!

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