Flying Cross HT had a really impressive turnout this year, with incredibly nice horses and riders and most of the top riders and trainers in area 8 attending. In addition, they were home to the re-running of the Area 8 Training and Prelim Championships. With the divisions chocked full of top quality horses and the courses all maxed and challenging, it was set to be an interesting weekend!
We took 5 horses with us this weekend. Chelsea and Basil ran in the Open Preliminary. They had a good dressage test for 42.0, and a nice show jumping round. Sunday for XC dawned wet, cold, and pouring rain. Even in the rain, they had one of the fastest times of the day with 15 time, and clean jumping. They were terrific in the wet and cold, jumping easily around the course, making light work of everything…. Bounce, log drops, bounce bank, irish bank, sunken road, coffin, corner, water, you name it…. They had it all! Chelsea and Basil finished 5th in a big, tough open division!!! They also picked up their final qualifier for their first CCI* with this terrific outing!!! Congrats!!!!
Nikki and Oliver ran in the Training. Nikki had a gorgeous dressage test for a 30-something (I’m sorry—memory is a little fuzzy! ) . She was very bold in the show jumping, and that translated well to the cross country. Around a very challenging course that was causing dozens of penalties, they jumped clean with just a few time penalties. They pick up a qualifier for a training three day! They placed 8th in their division!
Boscoe was amazing this weekend in the Novice Horse. I’ve never seen a more impressive Novice division….. So many professionals, so many very fancy warmbloods. Warmup looked like a mini rolex event. So fancy! I took Boscoe to have fun, and didn’t worry too much that I was sitting on a little paint while others were sitting on big warmbloods. Boscoe put in a really, really lovely dressage test!!! He scored 35.3, beating many of the warmbloods…. He was so steady and so good! Even better, the porta potty man mistakenly decided to pump the porta potty that was adjacent to the ring DURING my test!!! Imagine that you’re going down the centerline and someone starts a sump pump next to the ring!!! Thank goodness that Boscoe is fearless! He was so good. Then in show jumping, he was so careful and brilliant… I don’t think he touched a fence! He jumped double clean. Then on XC, in the afternoon as the third to last horse of the day, the ground was pretty torn up. But he couldn’t care less… Boscoe was a MACHINE!! He was so brilliant…. I kept trying to help him, and he kept saying, “Oh, I’m fine—I’ve got it!” He didn’t look at a single jump….. Sunken road, coffin, trakener, jump into water, soooooo many banks, mound, nothing! He packed me around, easily scoring a double clean. Finishing on his dressage score of 35.3, he finished in 3rd place!!!!
Nemo was terrific this weekend in the Open Preliminary Division…. He was AMAZING in the dressage. In a division filled with upper level riders (many of those were Advanced riders), he easily WON the dressage…. By SEVEN points!!!!! Second place after dressage was a very respectable 33. Nemo scored a 26!!! He continued to be brilliant in show jumping, where he jumped double clean without touching a single fence. He was so amazing on XC….. It was pouring rain and I was so cold and wet…. I didn’t take him incredibly fast, but rather took very good lines and rode smoothly without any wrestling. I’m so proud of him that he’s in a snaffle on XC! He galloped around easily and came across the finish line 20 seconds under optimum, easily winning the division. Tears came to my eyes–I was so happy! Except there was a discrepancy about the finish line….. And when later I crossed the finish line for the second time, my time was then a minute over optimum. ERGH! Nemo should have easily won his division, and would have won by ten points. What a terrific horse!! His dressage score was so good that, even with a minute of time penalties for the finish line issue, he still finished in 2nd place. It was a really frustrating moment for me, but eventing is very humbling…. I know that my horse was amazing all weekend, and that I’m so proud of him. He couldn’t have been better!!! I’m so sad to have let him down, but he doesn’t know that he didn’t win…. He was amazing, and I was so proud of him. I was so happy that Nemo was so good in all three phases… What a special boy!
Hopper was competing in the Preliminary Championships. The championships were originally scheduled for Hunters Run HT, where Hopper was amazing and lay in 2nd place when they had to cancel the event due to weather. This weekend, he drew the ride #1, and had to be the first horse of the day… Always a hard spot to come from in the dressage. The last two days, he’s been better than ever, and I was SO happy to show him off!! He was so good in warmup, and they sent me over to the ring at 7:30am. I get to the ring and, oops—not ready, so they send me back! I went back to warmup, got sent back to the ring, got sent back to warmup, you get the idea. Wild! By the time I got to do the test, unfortunately, my steady dependable dressage partner was tense and frustrated, and he scored a 36 to lay in an uncharacteristic place for him in 5th place. I was very happy with him in Show Jumping. The course was difficult and unorthodox, and I loved the creativity in the course, including two fences surrounding a bank complex. The triple was a right slanting rail to a left slanting rail to a swedish oxer…. So interesting!! He was very, very good around the course. I picked too much to one fence, and we had just one rail down. It was the only fence he touched. He went into XC in 5th place. I didn’t worry about being competitive, but just wanted to give him a good run around the very championships caliber course. So we set out, in the pouring rain, and I went slower than usually but he allowed me to ride really smoothly. We were really in sync, and I felt like he was amazing at every single fence. He was so good everywhere!!!! He easily loped around inside the time, making light work of the course. Later, it turns out, we find out that this was very much a championship caliber course, and the XC was very influential. When I went back to look at the results later, it turns out that Hopper was the only horse all day, in all divisions of Prelim, to make the time on XC and go double clear! There were lots of stops, and every other horse at the event in Prelim had time. So Hopper finished what he started at Hunters Run, and he WON!!!!!!! Congratulations to Hopper on becoming the 2009 Area 8 Preliminary Level Champion!!! Congrats Hopper!!
What a day!!!! 1st Hopper, 2nd Nemo, 3rd Boscoe, 5th Basil, 8th Oliver. And without the little finish line issue, Nemo and Hopper would have won both divisions of Prelim. I was so proud of the horses and riders today!! Congrats to all!!!! And thanks to Molly, Howard, and Quin for all the great work behind the scenes!