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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bromont Run Down!

What an up and down week I had at Bromont! Firstly the down: Charmer (owned by Beth Sokohl) captured an untimely rock between her shoe and hoof and went lame as I was to trot her in the first horse inspection! Not even my yellow dress was good enough to convince the ground jury that she would in fact be fine by the time her dressage came around.... They did however give me every chance, calling the farrier to the grounds then allowing me to represent her at the very end of the trot up (some two hours later). However it was not to be. While the ground jury did the right thing, it was so frustrating to see that Charmer was sound as a pound and ready to compete by Friday. She loves competition so I left it up to Jenny and Jordon to tell her she wouldn't be taking any further part in this show, I daren't face her wrath! AND I let them be the ones who would soak, wrap and walk her for the next 4 days! I felt so bad both because Beth is a massive supporter of mine who can't seem to catch a break this year, and because I absolutely adore Charmer to bits (most of the time) and really wanted to have a chance to shine with her. Alas it wasn't to be. I'm sure there was a reason in the greater scheme of things but I can't see it yet! Anyway, that was the only bad part of my week.

Cole and I into the 3rd water.
 
Cole and Liberty (3 star and 2 star respectively) really stood up to the challenge and jumped extremely well around the very big and imposing courses Derek Di Grazia designed. I've really come to love Derek's courses as they always seem to reward a positive, forward ride: my horses are OTTB's that LOVE positive and forward! For Cole this was a big of a leap into the unknown given he is a little light on experience at this level. Walking the course I initially thought to myself 'Holy Guacamole! How's he going to do this?!'. Then I looked at each of the questions separately and figured he had seen each one somewhere along the line and all I had to do was convince him to put them together. That is all except the Drop Of Death! Which was immediately followed by the Skinnies Of Death! This (for those who didn't see it) was a 5 foot (more like 6ft, I think they measured wrong) drop on a curving 4 or 5 strides to the two tallest and widest skinnies you've ever seen! My only strategy here (NOT what Phillip told me to do) was to jump down fairly quietly, get Cole's eye on the first skinny then close my eyes and pray to God! Obviously God answered and we successfully negotiated the obstacle, although I am glad there isn't an photographic evidence of our ride thru there. Just imagine it was foot perfect!

Jenny and Cole
While Cole feeds off my confidence, values my opinion and defers to my judgment, Liberty is a WHOLE different kettle of fish! He could not care less what I think and actively tries to contradict my opinions! At the 2nd fence I gave him a slight tap with the whip to let him know that today wasn't a day to mess around and buck me just for the fun of it (does he KNOW how much money it cost to get there?!). He rewarded my valuable input by going as fast as he possibly could from fence 4 to 5! Whereupon I was able to slow him down enough to negotiate the tough 4 stride line at which point he thought speed was again the best and only option! Gosh I wish his racing trainer could see him now, Triple Crown winners have nothing on him! After the second display of 'enthusiasm' I decided to call his bluff and tell him to go as fast as he wanted, in fact to go faster than that. It worked and he decided to come back to me and appreciate the fact that I may have seen the course prior to him (I had walked it three times) given that I seemed to know the general direction in which we were headed. I then had an absolute dream ride and was treated to just how athletic this wonderful horse is. I have to thank Mr Patrick McCuan for allowing me the opportunity to ride and compete such a gifted athlete.

Jordon and Digger at the Drop of Death
 
At the end of the weekend Liberty ended up 5th, Cole 11th. AND Cole and I are now qualified for ROLEX! Good boy Cole!! Thank you to Rege Dvorsky and Jeanne Leone who own and support Cole. They are such wonderful supporters. Many of you will also know that several people supported my efforts to get to Bromont: each of these big events costs a lot of time and money, a substantial amount coming out of my own pocket. For Bromont I had some great people who really made my life so much better and enabled me to concentrate on the event and they are: Dale Bowman of Bowmans Feed and Pet (my feed supplier), Sarah Thompson of Estrella Equine (my Aiken vet), Seema Sonnard (owner of Lightning's brother Thunder, now Keegan), Adrienne Wisenberg (owner Pierre Renard embroidery), Chris Arthur, Amanda Pommery, Cheryl Wist, Jane Gilbert, Nancy (Charcoal's best friend!), Gibby Booth and Lauren Bond (with her pies!). My biggest thank you's lie with the owners of these super horses: Beth Sokohl, Pat McCuan, Rege Dvorsky and Jeanne Leone. How incredibly lucky I am.

Liberty and I at the second jog. He looked better than I!

1 comment:

marg said...

Well done, to Kate and the team!
It is a mammoth effort to get one horse to a 3DE, let alone 3, so it is wonderful to be able to follow your progress and cheer from the sidelines.
I am So impressed that Kate seems to be immune to weather!.....

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