Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fair Hill Spring Horse Trials!

Fair Hill International kicked off their spring Horse Trials and CIC in Elkton, Maryland this past weekend.  Team Lily packed up the trailer to take over the Training divisions for the weekend.  We were competing in some stormy weather most of the day on Saturday, but Sunday brought sunshine and warmer temperatures!  The footing on the cross-country held up surprisingly well despite all the rain.  The going was deep in many spots, but not as slick as we all expected.

My young riders Abigail Wilson and Eliza Crosby rose to the occasion and performed spectacularly this weekend!  They both had competitive dressage tests, and with double clear jump rides they secured the first and third place positions respectively in the Junior Training division.  Abigail has been working on sorting out some kinks with Fernhill Flag on the cross-country, so it was very rewarding for her to see her hard work paying off.  This has just been the third competition for Eliza on her mount Happy Valley, so a third place finish is very exciting!

I had two young horses entered in the Training divisions this weekend, and they both had good rounds.  I rode Your Lucky Day for Annelise Aurillo in his third Training competition this weekend, and he had a very respectable fifth place finish!  I also rode Kodiak's Moment for Paul and Jane Lawrence, who finished well with a double clear cross-country in his training division. 

I will be taking the younger riders and green horses to the St. Augustine Spring Horse Trials this weekend to get most of them their first start of the season!   Stay tuned to the blog for updates!  Thanks to Sumner Crosby for our own portfolio of photos from the weekend at Fair Hill!  The pictures look great!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fork Wrap Up!!

Bucky and I have arrived home late last night after a great weekend at the Fork CIC*** in Norwood, North Carolina.  We finished up the weekend with great jump rides to place in the top 25 of the CIC***.  With this finish, we are now qualified for the Jersey Fresh CCI*** May 11th - 15th.  He is looking fresh and full of himself today, and I think very impressed with his efforts this weekend!

The cross-country on Saturday proved to be a true CIC*** test with enough problems spread throughout the course.  Bucky felt great straight out of the start box, and jumped around the course in an effortless manner.  He made my job easy!  He has taken well to every course he has run this year, and he feels like each course experience makes him more and more solid at the Advanced level.  He finished with just 2.8 time faults on Saturday, and we weren't even pushing for time!  I have allowed him to pick the pace he is comfortable sticking to, and with each run he gets a bit more competitive with his pace.  I imagine he will be competitive by the time he gets to Jersey.

I was most pleased with our ride in the show jumping ride on Sunday.  The past few show jump rides we have had this spring have been rough, and on Sunday I wanted to make sure I gave him the best ride I could to get him jumping better.  I set out to have a slower ride around the course to keep him relaxed and focused on the jumps.  We had two rails down that were a bit unlucky in my opinion, but I felt it was by far the best round he has jumped at this level.  I will look to shave a few seconds off my time in the coming courses while still keeping him relaxed and jumping well.  

We will be looking forward to competing at the Fair Hill CIC*** in two weeks and then heading to Jersey Fresh CCI*** in the beginning of May.  Now that I have all my qualifications for Jersey, I am looking forward to fine tuning my dressage and show jumping to get a bit more competitive for the CCI.  I hope you all will come to cheer us on at these more local competitions in the coming weeks!

This coming weekend we will be packing up to make the long drive to Plantation Field Horse Trials.  I have a few young horses competing, as well as a few young riders!  Stay tuned to the blog for updates and results and for now Bucky is going to take a well deserved rest!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

News From The Fork!

The Fork CIC*** kicks off this weekend in Norwood, North Carolina.  Abigail Wilson and I arrived yesterday afternoon and were welcomed by perfect weather!  Abigail and her horse Rory will be competing in the Preliminary this weekend, while Bucky and I have our debut in the CIC***.  We have just completed our dressage about an hour ago and Bucky put in a great effort to score a 56. We have lots to improve on, but his test today was a great start. Abigail will be riding her dressage later in the morning.

We took a walk around the preliminary and CIC*** courses last night and both courses looked good. The preliminary looks like a confidence building course which will be great for Abigail and Rory. It has a few tough questions with lots of open galloping in between each combination. The three-star looks nice and open, so Bucky and I should be able to get a good rhythm going early on. It has some new questions on it, one being a downhill brush to double corners late in the course. This combination sits directly in front of the main water and sponsors tent, making it tough for the horses to focus on the jumps.  I imagine this combination will demand a precise and accurate ride to get the horses onto their line.  I took some photos on my walk last night, so enjoy the virtual course walk! Stay tuned to the blog for updates throughout the weekend!

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