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Monday, August 22, 2011

Jumperland or Hollywood?

I did get a bit confused myself yesterday at Culpeper when I found myself sitting in the bleachers next to Robert Duvall! I was there with Mc Cuan Mario (Pat and Jill Mc Cuan) in the grand prix and was waiting for the course to be set. Feeling a bit weary after a whole morning watching hunters and counting Ralph Lauren shirts (I can't count beyond 99 so stopped at that point), I took a seat on the bleachers to renew my conserves of energy. The guy I sat next to did look a bit familiar, I thought he might be a farrier I'd met somewhere or a groom. Then, as there was a storm coming, I was going to ask if he could check the weather on his phone (I'd lost mine) when I started having flashbacks to The Godfather! So in my confusion I figured out it was better to look at the sky instead and figure it out myself! So after a quick 'hi' I went back to studying the course. Mario and I have done a few grand prixs now and I've gotten over the fear of the size of the fences and now can make much more technical plans and ride a lot better lines. The bigger they are, the better he jumps which is pretty handy. The line I was most worried about was the last one. It was a liverpool oxer (which looks the size of the Great Wall of China), 5 short strides to a vertical (tallest on the course, maybe the whole world), one stride to an oxer (easily big enough to double as a garage if you put a tarp over it), one stride to another vertical. The liverpool really encourages you to gallop at it, the danger however is that you land a bit strung out and struggle to get the 5 strides in. Then finishing with the triple is always and bit tricky with the horse being tired (there were 16 jumping efforts). To make it even more challenging it was lined up directly in front of the out gate! Anyway, everything went to plan, ESPECIALLY the last line, and we jumped around clear to finish in 6th place. At the beginning of this year I wouldn't have thought I'd be jumping around Grand Prixs, let alone clear! But then that's one of lifes delights, not knowing what's around the corner! I swear the eventing is in the forefront of my mind and am very much looking forward to Seneca with Cole and Ti. That IS after another jumper show tho......

This week I'm hosting a clinic with my old trainer (and guy I most look up to in the world!), Heath Ryan. I actually went up to Phillip Duttons last week and rode with him there too. He will be at my place on Tuesday and Wednesday teaching my students and I. I look forward to updating you on how it went. Then it's back to Culpeper for some more showjumping!

Mario is not in the least bit impressed by the hunter jumps... They're too small AND rustic looking....

1 comment:

marg said...

Amazed to read that you see those ENORmous jumps as colossal as I do myself!! And u still go out and jump them!
Guess it's no different jumping a pergola on a S-j course, to a Truck on an eventing gallop!!

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