Friday, September 10, 2010

American Eventing Championships - Dressage Day

A quick hello and then good night from Fairburn, GA where we are competing at the lovely Chattahoochee Hills for the American Eventing Championships! Today was the first day of competition for the Preliminary, Intermediate, and Advanced. Morris did his dressage today and was so so good, you would all be very proud! A huge competition, tons of atmosphere, and everyone that got here qualified throughout the year and came to bring home the bacon! Morris really rose to the occasion, probably the best he had been quality wise in the dressage. This could be in part due to the fact that Lara had him turned out better than any other horse in the OI, he was just absolutely glittering and I don't think she had a hair out of place. I might be slightly biased...but he really looked amazing and I think he wanted to go in there and just strut it! He stayed very focused and gave me a chance to ride for nearly all of my movements. I was rewarded with his best score to date - a 35.8. Good news is I'm only 7 points off of the lead. Bad news is I'm in 27th place! Ridiculous! Nearly 60 horses in the Open Intermediate, so I shouldn't be too disappointed. It has been nearly a year now that Morris and I have been together and looking back we have come so far in such a little amount of time. There were 3 or 4 places I would like a minor redo from my test today that coulda bought me a few more points, maybe down to a 33 or so. Other than that, he was pretty much on his "A" game.
I really hope he's on his "A" game for tomorrow, we run XC at 12:33 and it is going to be hot and I hope that we are just smokin' around the course! Above are 3 pictures of some of the more difficult parts. Course is very long, ground is hard and it is hot and humid....all factors that will make it easy to move up or down! Early on at fence 4 there is a tough accuracy question involving a mound. 5 and 6 are some pretty good sized (read: BIG) angled tables. The drop at fence 11 is pictured above, you pretty much look and feel like you are jumping off of the edge of the earth and then you continue in either 4 or 5 strides (make that decision early btw) to angle a skinny of healthy proportions. There is a turning corner question in the back field that will catch you because you just come blitzing up to it after 3 or so galloping fences, and the coffin is back there as well and it is not inviting at all. Will be a little tough of Morris on the way to that one to let him know that I hate him until he gives me reason to feel otherwise :) The water comes towards the end, big drop in and then you better land with your reins and stirrups because you have to land and kick and steer to get the job done to the next two skinnies in the water set on pretty forward distances. After that you get to gallop up to the bounce bank (not much of a reward, is it) that's in an ABC combination with a left handed corner. Whew. All in 6 minutes 11 seconds.
Better check in tomorrow to see how we go!

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