Cross Country Updates!

fairhill6Here we go again…. Today was WET and COLD!!!!  It was about 41 degrees and pouring rain, especially rainy during Nemo’s cross country.  I debated all day long about whether or not the boys would be running… The grounds have received days of rain, and everything is supersaturated.    We have been so wet, cold, and miserable for so many days.  And after months of hard work and preparation, it is such a difficult decision to make.   I leaned towards withdrawl all day… Especially since there were a pair of corners on a perfect four and a half stride downhill without an option… Imagine that 80 horses were going to gallop down that line, just asking for trouble on a half stride… The footing would have been incredibly dangerous.   The ground jury removed the fence and a couple of others before the start of XC to try to keep the footing as safe as possible…. That made me feel much better. (I would love to have jumped the corners, but only if the horses could get enough purchase off the ground to actually JUMP them!!)  I took the approach all day of warm-up and decide.  Both boys ended up running.

My game plan for both horses was slow and safe, and if the footing wasn’t safe, just retire.   Nemo set off first, as the 16th horse of the day.   He was AMAZING!!!  He had a beautiful round.  All the way round, I made sure to find him fresh turf.  We went slowly, but saved lots of time by angling fences and making good turns.  He just stepped over the giant snake trakehner, as well as the big panda ditch and wall.  He was soo good at big, tough turning tables in the arena, and jumped well down the downhill table to chevron on 5.5 strides.   His best fence of the round was probably the sunken road, which was extremely tough!!  You had one BIG rail, one stride, down bank, one stride, up bank, bounce over a HUGE skinny!  He was picture perfect there.   The first water was VERY tough…. A big goose in the water, four strides up a mound over a toothbrush balanced on the mound.  That fence was my biggest concern for both horses.  He was SOOOO good there!  He jumped the goose really well, and was so straight and honest over the toothbrush.   At the skinny mushrooms, he took a VERY tight inside line, allowing me to angle both skinnies… What a super star!   The final water was a skinny, tough turn, rolltop drop into water, and an angled skinny brush out.  He was so good all the way round!  He jumped clean with 25 time penalties…. I was so happy with him!  He jumped a super pretty round, and recovered really well.

Hopper had the worst of the conditions…  He was the 53rd horse scheduled to go XC.  As I warmed up, I was more prepared mentally to scratch than ride, but Hopper is exceptionally good in mud.   He was all business in the warmup, and REALLY wanted to play!  He went out of the box like a tiger, and as I rode him around I worked hard to find him fresh footing everywhere.  He galloped incredibly well in the muck and mud.   Fence 8 was an incredibly tall, incredibly skinny vertical balanced on the edge of a huge steep cliff down onto the road, then a steep cliff back up the other side.  This fence and the duck-to-toothbrush question at #17 both caused lots of problems.    He was super honest here.  He was sooo good everywhere, and galloped strongly.  I was worried about the #17 toothbrush for him, but he jumped it HUGE and he was incredible.   He was so brave and scopey over the giant oxer at #15 that he jumped me out of my left stirrup (I was soaking wet!), but I kept my leg w/o the stirrup and it was fine.  What a big effort!  He was amazing all the way around.  I had a sticky jump into the water at fence #23, but Hopper is an exceptional boy and landed well.  The skinny out was numbered separately, and I momentarily thought of circling.  But we were well organized and landed well, so I kicked on to the skinny out and he was a star!  Brian O’Connor, the announcer, had to make a little fun of me, commenting on my super stickability…. LOL, I’d rather not have an opportunity to show that off!  But he was so good at every other fence, and came across the finish line easily ready to do another 2 minutes.   The most difficult part of the day with Hopper was leading him back!!  He was so fresh that he drug me most of the way back to the barn on the 1 mile long walk…. He wanted to go again!!

They were both so good!!  They came back without a mark on them, and both are happy and proud of themselves and mauling us for carrots.   Nemo is in 19th, and Hopper is in 20th. (WOW, I’m consistent! LOL)   I’m very happy with them, as they were great today, and there were 80 horses in the division as of Monday!!!  Only 28 horses and riders made it through XC, and if I count properly I’m the only rider in the CCI** to have two horses still in it after XC.  What amazing horses I’m blessed with!! I’m so proud of them!!!


About widespreadpanic

Advanced level event rider and instructor at Team CEO Eventing in Lexington KY.
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9 Responses to Cross Country Updates!

  1. More updates till the girls post!!

    In the T3D, ALL OF OUR RIDERS (Jeri, Ali, and Nikki) jumped double clean rounds around the challenging course!! Congrats girls!!!!

    In the CCI*, our only rider in that division, Chelsea, jumped a clean round and made time on steeplechase, with just a few time penalties on phase D. I heard from several folks that Chelsea had a really, particularly gorgeous XC round, footperfect everywhere.

    I’m so proud of all our ladies!!!! Of six riders today, we had 2 clean CCI** XC, 1 clean CCI* XC, and 3 clean T3D XC…. 100% of our riders!!!!!

  2. Another update…

    Go here to see the results from Fair Hill.

    Go here to see the course, and click on a red number to see a pic of the jump.


  3. equestriquin says:

    Today was such an amazing day at Midsouth! Every single one of our riders had BEAUTIFUL rounds and came off cross country completely elated. While Chelsea was on course, the announcer commented on what a beautiful round she was having, and each one of our riders made it look so easy!

    I was so proud to be associated with our gang–everyone pitched in and helped at the 10 minute box and vet box as well as back at the barn, and it went so smoothly. Molly and Becca especially worked their pants off walking horses and cooling out after the rides. What a great day, and it sounds like you all had a great (albeit soggy) day in Maryland too! Can’t wait for tomorrow!

  4. Quin, Becca, Molly…. Thanks so much for taking care of our ladies!! Three days are all about the pit crew!!!

    And check this out…..

  5. unconsciousbets says:

    Did someone get a new helmet cover??!! 😉

    I’m so glad to hear everything went well for everyone today! All day I was wishing I could give you guys some of MY weather… because it’s been gorgeous out here in CA.
    I wish I could be there for you guys!

  6. jpappy says:

    its so good to hear all this wonderful news!! you guys are amazing! keep it up and keep us posted!! (:

  7. sweetadelaide says:

    Basil was amazing xc. He was flying steeplechase and I was able to just balance him and jump right out of his amazing gallop. It took me a good 150 yards to get him pulled up to a canter lol.I took about 8 trot steps past Becca in the assistance area to make sure we had all of our shoes and he felt amazing in the trot so we were on our way to finish C. We left the start of D on a mission to jump all of the jumps nicely. HE WAS AMAZING!!!! The announcer just kept complementing how nicely he jumped everything. He was especially good at the very difficult coffin that caused some problems for others. He was obedient and attentive at our turning questions too which I was slightly more worried about especially after all the rain we have been getting. He made light work of the table turning to the corner, and was brilliant at the HUGE down hill 90 degree turning tables that a few horses landed on :/ The announcer was really proud of my ride through the water I remember hearing him say “it was one of the nicest trip through all day and I was the 32nd one through!” that was nice to hear. I was thrilled and am really happy we got back in our groove. it’s pretty cool when you get to ride a horse nice enough that you can rebuild your low confidence around a one star course!!! We had 2 rails in SJ i had one that big suprise I picked too much 🙂 and basil just touched on in the triple. Ali and Alex had BEAUTIFUL round minus a little bobble at the A element of an in and out but recovered well and jumped out nicely for one rail. Jeri also had a really nice SJ round with two rails one was in the same in and out as Ali which was not riding particularly well, and I don’t really remember the other on. Nikki and oliver jumped clean to finish 8th and she also won a bunch of cool stuff for the “best conditioned” award so we basically kicked butt!!!!!

  8. Here’s a video of the three star from fair hill that someone posted on YouTube…. (No, I’m not in the video) But check it out to see just how YUCK the weekend’s weather was!

    The poor CCI*** had to go in the afternoon…. After we CCI** riders tore it up for them. 😦

  9. Here’s a video of the three star from fair hill that someone posted on YouTube…. (No, I’m not in the video) But check it out to see just how YUCK the weekend’s weather was!

    The poor CCI*** had to go in the afternoon…. After we CCI** riders tore it up for them. 😦

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