AEC Wrapup: Day 2: Eventing Highs and Lows

AEC Day 2: Friday

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Well, you know what they say…. Eventing is a sport of extreme highs and lows, and a sport of inches. Today we met both!

First off, Micki McDaniel rode Spot Treatment in the BN Amateur Championships.  Their test was stunning… Not a single mistake, we couldn’t have asked for more! They were both stellar and their test brought tears to our eyes.  They were definitely out there performing! They scored a phenomenal 31, which I thought could have been even lower but definitely a great score at the AEC’s! Woohoo!  On top of the world!

Next up, Megan rode Nancy Thomas’ Charmed Life, a 5yo gray Dutch Warmblood who is in only his fourth horse trial ever.  Cody warmed up so brilliantly!  We were absolutely thrilled with him.  As we trotted to the ring, he was stellar.  Then, going outside the ring, the maintence crew decided to empty the trash cans beside the ring… Picture a man shaking open fresh trash bags, popping and flapping, beside the dressage arena repeatedly!  He continued to dump out huge full bags and toss them across the hill.  Poor, poor young Cody… It was all too much for his baby brain.  He bolted around the outside of the dressage ring, panicked to get away from the man eating trash bags being thrown at him.  Who could blame him? Unfortunately not the way you’d really like to start a test, eh?  Even worse, once the test started (Cody was in the only ring still running for the day, so the only horse experiencing this) the man continued on the garbage duty over and over.  Poor Cody would have a brilliant movement, then followed by a very upset moment when the trash cans would fly at him again.  It is just one of those luck of the draw moments and just something you live with in sport, but how heartbreaking it had to happen at the AEC’s!  Cody has been going so well and I really felt like he could be a  star here.  With his lifetime worst test by a significant margin, he scored a 41, not where we wanted to be going into the weekend.    But that’s just life sometimes and just the game…

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Emily headed down to XC warmup on Koda, her absolute jumping machine, in the training. She was SOOO excited to tackle this big, tough course, as they are amazing cross country and the challenging course so suits them.  In a freak moment, Koda stepped on someone else’s lost horse shoe in the warmup.   In a great moment of heartbreaking horsemanship, we withdrew Koda and Emily headed back to the barn to take care of her boy who was a bit footsore and live to play another day. Such a sad moment as they are AMAZING cross country and were set to have the time of their lives.  Another eventing moment.

Nikki Burgio and her Master Oliver headed out for cross country next.  Keeping a keen eye out for thrown shoes   J   this time we made it through warm up.   Nikki truly, truly trusted and stuck with her game plan and rode the plan to the letter.  They easily galloped to a double clean round across the tough course, with lots of “Good Boy!” to be heard around the course.  It was absolutely touching, and yet another life lesson eventing has to offer. These highs are absolutely the highest, and the moment when you’ve conquered a tough course with a beautiful round is absolutely unparalleled.  So proud of them!!

So today, we managed to feel many of the highs and lows that eventing has to offer. The great thing about our sport is that there are two more days to come, and there is much left to do!  I am so proud of everyone today in all of their moments… All four horses put their hearts into their performances, and all four riders showed up to play in a big way.  Now off to a night of margaritas and Mexican food!  Nothing better than a frozen margarita after a broiling hot day!

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About widespreadpanic

Advanced level event rider and instructor at Team CEO Eventing in Lexington KY.
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