We have just wrapped up a great weekend at the Plantation Field CIC competition on our home turf of Unionville, PA. Thanks to Katie and Cuyler Walker, Dennis Glaccum, and the help of countless others, the event was smooth and successful for riders and spectators alike. I competed No Boundaries in the CIC***, and Abigail Wilson competed Fernhill Flag in the CIC*. Despite minor hiccups on both mine and Abigails' parts during the weekend, we were delighted with the outcomes of both rides.
Dressage day was beautiful and a bit chilly, which made the horses fresh for their FEI tests. It was our first time riding in the brand-new competition arena, so many of the horses were spooky and excited. These factors helped my test with Bucky as it made him more forward, however it made Rory a bit more difficult to ride since he was excited by the wind and atmosphere. Abigail and I are headed to CCIs in a month's time so we have our work cut out for us to get those dressage scores down!
Cross-country day was just as beautiful as the day before, and it made for great going on the tough CIC tracks. All of the courses have been redesigned for this year, so many of the combinations had never been seen before. For the most part all the courses rode well, and both Abigail and I were happy with our rides. I was very proud of how aggressively Abigail attacked the course, as it was giving many riders trouble. She rode forward right out of the box, and it suited her horse very well. I was very pleased with how Bucky jumped around the 3* course, despite our mishap at the bank out of the first water. I was unable to cover the four-stride distance across the water, so we stumbled up the bank and were unable to bounce the skinny. Though it was no disobedience on Bucky's part, it was a great reminder to me to ride every jump and every stride even when everything feels spot on. After representing and jumping well out of the water, he jumped confidently around the rest of the track. He is feeling ready for Fair Hill!
The horses pulled up well from the cross-country and were very fresh for the show-jumping on Sunday. Abigail had one rail down in her course but rode remarkably well. She has been working so hard to understand the right ride for her horse over fences, and this weekend made it clear that their partnership is truly coming together. I am excited to coach them through their first CCI* at the Kentucky Horse Park in October, they are looking very ready for it! Bucky also had a phenomenal round in the show-jumping on Sunday. He felt very calm and relaxed the entire round, and jumped very well. I am excited to see all that we have been working on over the summer come together in competition.
I would like to say a special thanks to the Crosby's for their endless volunteer efforts at Plantation Field, and a thanks to Gayle Hughes and Sumner Crosby for the great pictures they took of the weekend. Next weekend we are off to Middleburg Horse Trials with all of the Novice and Training horses. Stay tuned!