Sunday, January 31, 2010

Eventing off to a great start.

Not sure what it is with me and the rain but almost EVERY competition I've done in the last year has involved rain... This weekend was no disappointment with sub freezing conditions for the dressage and show jumping. I had four horses Collection Pass, McCuan Mario, Rhythm and Blues and Canyonleigh Sirecho. Mario scored a very satisfying 29 in the dressage, Cole 34 and Rocco 35. All four show jumped clear in their own styles and techniques. Sunday was better weather, and by better weather I mean the sun came out.. There was however still ice in the water jump, not very inviting! All cross countried clear with Mario taking it very slow due to the wet conditions and the fact I wanted to school his brakes! Cole ended up 3rd, Mario 8th, Rocco 4th and Boo 10th.

Then it was a quick trip back to the barn to ride Ti and Lois who are competing on Wednesday then a dash (there may have been some speeding laws broken) to the airport so I could get back to Maryland to teach on Monday. A team can only be as effective as the team members. Brittany Meyer's organisational skills and motivational force make the day to day operations run exceptionally smoothly. This Wednesday Ti and Lois are competing at Full Gallop with me and Brittany is riding Forbidden Colours. Please check back for photos and possibly video in a couple of days. Enjoy the cold! Or heat if you're in Australia!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Show season starts with a super weekend!

What a great start to the year! On Friday and Sunday I took advantage of the 'AA' rated show jumping competition held in Aiken to test our horses to see where we stand at the beginning of the year. These show can be invaluable guides for the horses schooling, fitness and also for the rider to get back into the swing of things. I rode Cole, Titanium, Mario and Lois on Friday while Brittany Meyer rode Parker and Keifer. Despite the fact that this is the first show for these horses in a while they all jumped very well, particularly the babies Lois and Titanium. I was very proud of Brittany who had an outstanding performance winning a class on Parker. The mini prix was on Sunday and the weather deteriorated quite badly until we were competing in fairly sloppy conditions, in spite of the best efforts of the organisers to improve. Luckily for me Mario was as happy as a duck in water with the conditions and jumped two fantastic clear rounds! There were few clear rounds so even with a conservative jump off (we need to school those) we ended up third. So like I said, I great start to the year! We know the areas we need to improve and had some very positive rounds. I'm back in Maryland teaching early this week so Brittany is holding the fort and keeping everything running smoothly in SC. Please take the time to check out the video from Mario's Mini Prix.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sunny South!

For me as soon as the snow starts to fall it's time to leave beautiful Maryland and head to the warmer climate of Aiken, South Carolina. So after Christmas in Australia with my family and a stay with my mum we packed up the horses, dogs and people and hit Interstate 95. After doing the trip twice in one week we are now happily settled with the horses enjoying the sun and sand, the dogs enjoying the change of scenery and the humans enjoying seeing the thermometer find it's way past the teens. Pine Ridge (where we're staying) is a fantastic facility with a big jumping arena, super dressage arena with full length mirrors, sandy trotting track and great hacking. This is also Kadi Eykamps winter base with her team. Mario (Patrick McCuan), Cole(Rege Dvorsky), Boo(Robin Doser) and Lois(Joe and Krista Hubschman) along with Rocco (Lisa Kurr) and Titanium (Chaney Taggart) are all starting their competition season here. Brittany Meyer is with me working for three months and has two horses, her own Parker and Jess Jones' cute paint Keifer.

My first competition is this Friday with the PSJ jumping series held at Highfields followed by a Mini-Prix on Sunday. I'll post some pictures in the next couple of days so keep checking back for more updates.

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