All I can say from today is that I have the two best grooms in the world! At the end of a long day of coaching and riding and coaching and riding, I took the last horse of the day back to the barns to finish up and help the girls pack… And found all the horses wrapped, all the tack packed, and Andrea and Jenny smiling, waiting for my return… Aren’t they absolute super stars???
But more from the beginning… If there is anything noteworthy about Queeny Park, I’d say that (1) the people are fantastic, and (2) the ground is HILLY. And when I say hills, I mean hills on XC, hills in SJ, and yes, even hills in dressage! The small space, flat cups, round rails, shade, and steep hills in show jumping make Queeny Park perhaps the most difficult show jumping phase of any horse trial I’ve attended in the US at this level. Add in lots of lines on half strides, and it can get interesting!
It was a day of pink for the Team CEO girls… Kelly and Owen learned a ton today and earned a gorgeous pink ribbon for their weekend, a great success! Quin had a beautiful round that we are all so proud of—and her dressage score of 31 is her lifetime best! She too earned 5th in a very tough division. My darling baby Ex had a huge weekend of growth, and learned so much… He finished 5th in Novice. Our young horse Vie was an absolute joy in her first novice, and finished 9th.
My third horse for the weekend was Lovesweetlove, a great OTTB owned by the fabulous family of Colin, Jacquie, and Gemma Stobbes. I was honored to ride him in his first USEA horse trial this weekend. In a highly competitive division, he did not dissappoint…. Though lots of ride times and coaching meant I only had 5 minutes to warm him up for his test, he stepped up to the plate brilliantly and scored a 25.7 in dressage. He learned an immense amount on the way to his double clean XC, and he really used that information to carry forward in a confident clear round in SJ today. With the lowest finishing score of the entire HT, Buddy was brilliant to WIN his first ever USEA horse trial!!! On his dressage score of 25.7. Needless to say, it wasn’t a pink weekend for him… It was an orange weekend, as I think he ate a dozen or so carrots… He was a big fan. =)
No horse trial is complete without a little interstate drama, and by the time they had closed I-64 on us for the second time that day, we were ready to be home! But the girls and I have a great time on road trips, and make the most of our time… Let’s just say that all the pony camps and horse trials are now all planned and scheduled! We were very productive… =)
Thanks to Howard for all the great TLC and photos this weekend, to the Stobbs for the opportunity to compete their lovely guy, and to Andrea and Jenny who were phenomenal grooms.