On Saturday my coach put on a clear round jumper show at his base, Winters End Farm. Classes ranged from cross rails to 1.0m, and you could do the long (derby) or short version of the course. No placings, just a clear round ribbon. This show was perfect timing for Penny's fitness and training plan, getting her ready for an event this weekend.
I signed up for the .90 and 1.0m long course. Jessica came along with me with Mia and signed up for the same. We have a young girl Nicole riding Mia also now and I am teaching her on her. Nicole has been on the blog before as she used to ride Alayne's horses for her regularly. She is a 13 year old and has only been riding for a few years, and mostly green broke OTTBs. Getting to ride Mia is a whole new experience for her, and surely one that build lots of confidence and skill for the future!
We walked the course with Nicole when it was set for cross rails. Winters End is such a beautiful facility, they really spared nothing when making their outdoor ring. It has a large bank and a Devils Dyke a la' Spruce Meadows inspiration. A great thing about their shows is also their quality of fences. Rick has built them all himself and they are just stunning. The course was great, lots of questions but not too tough. The long course included options and the Devils Dyke and a skinny at the bottom of the large bank. The liverpool was out for the larger divisions and everything just looked so fun!
Nicole went first and did the cross rail and the .75m class. She put in two foot perfect clear rounds earning her two nice red ribbons at her first ever jumper show! This kid just blew me away, her and Mia make a great pair and are so fun to watch. We took a little break from the heat after and gave Mia a little sponge bath while they set the course for the .9m.
|Mia and Jess|
After our break from the sun, we tacked up and headed down for our first round. It was a scorcher this day, we opted not to walk the course and just get on with it. This prompted much heckling from Rick who is a very thorough showjumping coach and rider. Jessica went first with Mia and delivered another foot perfect round. I don't know what else to say other than - this pony can JUMP! Penny and I were next into the ring. We did a little tour around to look at some fences and the liverpool. Penny was very spooky about the jumps, and the flower boxes. I was thinking...oh this should be good. Once we had our canter established and headed for the first fence, I knew it was on. We flew around the course, Penny eating the jumps one by one. Our turning still needs work so some lines were not at straight as I had hoped, but the control has improved immensely. When she got strong I asked her to come back and wait and she did. She listened well and we just zoomed around the course. The devils dyke and bank down to skinny were just childs play. We jumped clean and secured our clear round ribbon - who hoo!
That has to be the most fun I have ever had doing a jumper course. It is also a relief to have Penny jump so well as we have not done any course work yet this year - and the event we are attending Sunday is known for it's difficult stadium courses. I am feeling much more confident going into it. I opted to just leave it after the one round. She was so good, and it was very hot and she is not super fit yet so there was no sense pushing her. Out of 7 rounds between our friends, only one rail dropped. Dana was also there with Archie and she rode two beautiful clears in the cross rail division.
A perfect Saturday show morning!