Jeanne, myself and Lillian. Not a great shot, but the only one we took on the whole trip!
Cole's year ended well with VA Horse Trials with a top ten finish in the intemediate. I was super happy with his showjumping: of the 35 horses who started, 2 showjumped clear and 4 had one rail down each. Our hard work and experience in the showjumping (it pays to go to a couple of indoor shows) paid off with just one rail down. 10 horses alone had 5 or more rails! So Cole now gets a short break then back into to get ready for winter. He just has a couple more boxes to check (changes!) before his first advanced mid Feb. Lightning had a great test with a 29! Not bad for his second event! Unfortunately he wasn't so keen on the cross country, he just didn't understand why he had to gallop AWAY from the safety of the trailers and the other horses! Ronnie did a combined test, I thought it would be better to wait until there wasn't snow on the ground to do his first training!
Then on to Ireland for a spot of horse shopping. It was my first time there and I'm well and truly impressed with the quality of horses! Jeanne Leone (Cole's co owner, with Rege Dvorsky) came to keep me company and make sure I didn't get carried away with eating sausage rolls! I did eat 6 within the first hour but I digress... We saw some super horses, didn't crash the hire car (I was thankful to be driving on the correct side of the road again, I'm much faster!) and got to see the famous Coolmore stud in the flesh. And now the wait begins as we prepare for the new arrivals at the beginning of December! We were also able to catch up with Lillian Heard (while trialing the wonderful Fernhill horses) and see how she's settled into Irish life. Apparently quite well judging by her new found driving skills and new lilt in her accent! From Potomac to Kilkenny via West Grove, she's gathering some awesome experiences and skills. Back on the home front I want to share this message (Rege's personal blog!) from Cole's owner, Rege. Cole is one of my best horses and I was well assured he was in good hands! I'm also glad to see that the eventing terminology is entering Rege's vocabulary! Hope you enjoy as much as I did:
Well, Cole is missing his rider,Kate, while she is in Ireland looking for his replacement.Today was my first ride on Cole, being Kate has left. I immediately noticed Cole hard on the bit with little flexion on his left side.On the flats, he needed some coaxing on the counter-canter and I found it tough to get him on the proper lead.I was hoping to have my helmet cam for this historic ride, but I left it in Jeanne's Jeep and did not have the keys to open the door.Oh, to be back in Pittsburgh.Back to the ride. Cole did well over a sequence of skinny's and corner jumps. But I was surprised to be launched in the air as he bucked me off before the liverpool !!!All this said, I believe I can make him the horse he can be. I will put him on a series of neutracueticals until Kate returns.Conclusion: Cole is like an old woman with a Virginia ham under her arm crying that she has no bread!!!He has the heart, but needs the Chadderton back in his life.The grass is always greener on the other side, NOT....he's allready here.
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