What a great weekend at River Glen!
The weekend dawned hot and muggy, with a forty degree rise from Wednesday to our arrival on Friday! WOW! Then, of course, we must remember that it is April… So of course Sunday, cross country day, was colder and pouring rain! Then again, perhaps we wouldn’t be eventers if we didn’t learn to gallop in a rainstorm, eh?
Nikki and Oliver had a terrific weekend… They scored a 37.5 in dressage, despite a very confused rider riding around her dressage ring during her test! How distracting would it be for your judge to have to ask another rider to leave in the middle of your test???? Nikki did a great job of keeping her good head on her shoulders. She had a brilliant double clean show jumping round, too! Her XC was much improved, and they had a great round. An unrelated spook before the last fence was ruled as a refusal unfortunately, or she would have placed 4th in a big class of open novice.
Maddy has been working so very hard lately with Bernie… Their dressage was at the top of the board all winter against the big boys, and I couldn’t wait to show them off back home. Sadly, Bernie came up with a bell boot rub on Friday morning just before we left, and the decision should always be in the horse’s best interest. So, while it was really dissappointing, we left Bernie at home for some R&R. The good news is that it is incredibly minor and he is just fine now! Maddy has such a great attitude… She still rode along to groom for the weekend, and we really appreciate her support and team spirit.
Chelsea and Basil had a HUGE weekend…. They proved that they are bored at Training! They had a terrific show jumping round with just one rail—but there were only two clear rounds in the division of 20! The pair tackled the challenging XC with ease. I took Chelsea’s watch so she’d be able to focus on balance and preparing for the jumps, and galloping at the appropriate speed, rather than making her ride against the clock. She proved very well prepared–she rode 10 seconds under the optimum time, using only the watch in her head! They scored a double clean XC over a course that is very difficult to make time. They finished 7th! I am very proud to say that Chelsea and Basil have proven that they have conquered Training Level. And having schooled extensively at Preliminary and having done well at multiple Prelim CT’s so far, they have earned their wings this weekend to move up to the Prelim level this spring! Congrats to both Chelsea and Maddy, who will both be looking to moveup this spring… A landmark in any rider’s life!
Hopper had a real breakthrough weekend…. This year’s River Glen had the most impressive division of Intermediate I’ve ever seen there! We were saying it all week… This was a truly nice group of very competitive intermediate horses. There were 14 horses in the OI division this year, with four being ridden by advanced riders, and at least 12 of those were ridden by professional names I recognized. I knew from Wednesday when they released the ride times that this would be a very competitive weekend! Hopper was the first horse of the day, a spot which can be difficult to earn good scores. He performed a really good test that I was very happy with, earning six 8’s, and scoring 37. Apparently the following tests all earned higher scores, with only one other horse earning a score in the 30’s. Hopper won the dressage for the division! I was so proud of him… He’s come so far from his very first horse trial at River Glen not so long ago. He was terrific in Show Jumping,and jumped a really nice round! He is not a naturally careful horse, but rather a hard-knocking campaigner we saved from the killer truck, so SJ proves hard for him. He had two rails down, but a really good round, and I was very proud of him! On the XC, he proved to be a great trailblazer for the field, jumping a really nice clean round in the pouring rain. He jumped a slow, solid round, and was brilliant!! He finished 8th with solid performances in all three divisions. I’m very proud of this young man!
Nemo also was very good this weekend. I’m still recovering from a tailbone injury from a month ago, and let me tell you–by the second sitting dressage test of the day, I was hurting!! Nemo was terrific and was steady and quiet and accurate, but I was dissappointed in myself as my discomfort led to a test that wasn’t nearly up to par for this horse. His work has been so amazing at home and I was so excited to show off all of Nemo’s hard work! I, alas, only brought out of him a steady, accurate, but boring test, without any of the flash he’s really capable of. I was really dissappointed with myself, but it was still good enough for 41 (the scores were really high in this division) and fourth place after dressage. (Which is at least exciting that his work has improved to the point that what I felt like was a dissappointing test still put him 4th of 14 very, very nice horses and riders!) Let me tell you, I was committed to redeeming myself to my beloved partner in Show Jumping! I rode Nemo more forward than usual, and I was very happy with that ride… Nemo rewarded me by trying his heart out at every fence, easily clearing each by quite a bit. I was thrilled with him–it’s hard to pull a rail when you don’t touch a single fence! He handily jumped a double clean round. This moved him up to 2nd after SJ! On XC, because I was the only rider with two intermediate horses, Nemo was the last horse in the division to go. And as it was raining heavily, the footing was really torn up for him. Nemo was really mature on course, and I was able to save alot of time–not by going faster in between fences, but by making tighter lines and not wasting time fighting with him. He was very mature and really terrific, and I was suprised to see that he obtained the 2nd fastest round of the day! He was so good everywhere, and I was really focused on taking good care of my dear partner by not going so fast in between fences. But he was so rideable and responsive that we were able to save time anway! When the overnight leader had a stop, we were fortunate enough to move up… And Nemo won the Intermediate Division at River Glen! So I started out the weekend winning on one horse, and ended up winning on the other! Congrats to Nemo for such a great performance!
I was so proud of all of our riders and horses this weekend. What an exciting start to the season!! Photos on snapfish soon!