Happy, smiling faces is what you are going to see at the horse trials and CICs at Richland Park this weekend! Pictured above is the PRO/AM team comprised of Valerie and her novice rider counterparts standing under the last fence at Richland. Freddie helped his teammates today by moving up into 5th after a very beautiful, and most importantly clean, show jumping round. This is Freddie's eventing debut here in the U.S. and he is certainly rising to the occasion. Aside from some small attention issues in dressage, he was a really good boy on Friday. Today he spent all day getting used to the atmosphere surrounding show jumping, and believe me it is a lot! This is my first time competing at Richland, and it will certainly not be the last. They run a top notch event here at Richland Park and I will gladly bring my barn back in the future.
While we are thrilled with the performance of the baby, the highlight of the day happened when the day first began, with Morris heading out on the cross country course at 8:30. To get to the point for those of you reading on a cell phone...he was amazing, jumped around clean and was the 2nd fastest time of the division! We moved up into 5th by the time it was all said and done.
For those of you who want all the gory details: It was a beautiful morning, but with bright sun and crystal blue skies there were a few last minute adjustments made to the course. Good job to all of the officials for making some good decisions in the best interest of the horses and competitors...there were still plenty of tough questions out there even without the sunken road and the double corners. It took Morris a bit to settle in to the first part of the course, which was a touch of a shame because both waters on the course were very early, fences 5AB and 8AB and 9. There was quite a crowd at each, even this early, and the cheering and clapping is always fun and gets you galloping along to the next jump all puffed up for more. Fence 4 was a ditch and wall, again early, and then fence 6 was probably one that I was most concerned about. I have a picture somewhere and will get it to you in a bit; but basically a ditch and brush built on top of a bank, with a substantial drop landing. Eek. Props to Morris and I...rode it beautifully and it was probably the highlight of my course! The galloping was super, with some really big, bold jumps stacked a bit towards the end and Morris finished feeling like a million bucks.
We show jump sometime in the morning tomorrow, and Freddie does his first ever cross country round at 2:00 in the afternoon. Stay tuned!