Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Richland Report

I know, I know Richland was FOREVER ago or so it seems. But what can I say, time flies when you are having fun. Or, I've been really busy with the earthquake, hurricane, and now flooding and the havoc that it is wreaking in my little daily life! More details, in chronological order:

Richland Park is one of the best events of the year. The timing this year was incredible, how did they know that I would miss both an earthquake AND a hurricane while away competing? Thank you!! The organizers and volunteers are so insanely nice, (thank you Rick Dunkerton for working your scheduling magic), the courses and footing this year were great, the FREE competitors parties (yes, plural) and the fact that all of my favorite people and ponies were there just make it a destination event. I think that Richland should apply for the AECs, after all I think it is 12 hours from anywhere and they proved this weekend that they can run what seemed to be a thousand horses without a hitch. Job well done! And my horses and Trisha get a job well done as well! Morris was great in his advanced dressage test, it was that pesky test B and he was so much calmer and focused about his half pass and flying change routine. Someone is really growing up! Smarty won the warm up and then pretty much embarrassed and exhausted me in the arena if that is possible. Last I checked, however, the reinback does not call for flinging ones head into the air, and then staring eye to eye at the judge inside her box while we somehow leap backwards into the middle of the arena. All was forgiven, however, as soon as he started jumping. In only his second intermediate, he was clean and fast around a significant track, taking all of the direct routes, jumping everything with textbook form, and Chubbs even kicked it into a higher gear this time, finishing barely 10 seconds over the time. Yay! I'm afraid I can't say the same for Morris, he was his usual clean and fast self except for the fact that he took a great disliking to the combination involving the massive ditch and brush drop fence early on in the course. I think his confidence is still a little rattled in the ditch department from Stuart, as it took some serious convincing to get him to the other side. The rest of the course, however, he didn't let a single ditch get to him. There was a VERY tough line of skinny ditch and brushes, two strides apart, and Morris jumped through there beautifully. I took the option at the coffin having already had trouble early on in the course, looking back I think he would have been fine to go the direct route. Better safe than sorry, save it for next time! His show jumping was so much better than his last appearance at Richland. It is tricky out there on the hill and Marc's course really plays into the terrain. Morris fell victim to the downhill triple, getting the rail on "C" other than that it was a pleasant round. Smarty's past life as a show jumper came in handy, we jumped a smart fast round with just a single rail down early in the course...he apologized profusely afterwards and swore it would never happen again lol.
We were smart this year and made the drive home on Monday, Trisha did an incredible job all weekend keeping the horses, Gunsmoke, Richard and I all in line. And then it was a big week for her getting ready for Seneca Valley where she and Marian and a bunch of other students and young horses were set to compete. I declare it a successful trip, even if Saturday did take forever thanks to an over-hour-long rain delay for wicked downpours and lightning. It was well worth the wait, however, with Smarty putting in a lovely dressage test and double clear show jumping round in the pouring rain. (Did I mention that we went to Karen's and she kicked both of us into action, one doesn't go magically from last to first in one week at Intermediate lol?) Marian and Trisha each are officially preliminary riders!! and are looking forward to taking that experience with them to dominate the half-star at Waredaca in a few short weeks. Lucky was the best he has been since arriving in the USA in early June. His jumping is incredible and I can't wait until he is older and wiser and cruising around a 3* track. Splash continued her winning streak - yawn - this time with owner Sabrina Valente in the tack. Her sister Nikki was hot on her heels, finishing 3rd, and let me say how much these girls deserved the top spots, they rode like nobody's business!

And finally, here I get a chance to sit in front of my computer and type. Not much else to do, it has rained 10 inches in 2 days, or something close to that. I'm afraid gallop sets are taking place tomorrow in the indoor, at least we have the world's largest indoor :) Next stop for all of us, Plantation where we aim to get some horses qualified for Fair Hill. Fingers crossed!

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