Friday, February 24, 2012

A Paradise Recap & More Bettina!

Team Lily wrapped up another great competition over the weekend with the help of many visitors from home!  I was so pleased to have parents, owners, and a few families down for the weekend as riders and horses put in yet another great performance at Lellie Ward's Paradise Farm.

Andi Lawrence and Annelise Aurillo had their second preliminary runs this past weekend on their respective mounts, Armani and Your Lucky Day.  Andi wrapped up a great competition finishing four in the JYOP while Annelise had a great run, finishing seventh. Wyn Maling rode well in the training to finish sixth in a very competitive division.  Julie Henk was back on the competition scene with her new ride, Merry Sioux.  The two had their first start at novice after just a few days of getting to know each other, and despite some time faults on cross country had a great first outing.

I was pleased to have Lori Daneker and Frank McEntee down for the weekend to watch their young horses, Peace Proposal and Paddy the Caddy in the competition.  Both horses were great and jumped well to finish on their dressage scores.

We were lucky enough to have Bettina back for two more days of lessons this week!  My first lesson was very insightful as Bettina broke down the Advanced A test for me to ride.  We worked on having a plan for every movement in the test, and this helped Bucky be more confident in the arena.  I have one more lesson with her, and we are then off to Pine Top for the Advanced Horse Trials on Friday!  Stay tuned for updates!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Frigid Pine Top Recap!

It is a rare and unfortunate occurrence when the temperature is colder with us down south than it is at home in Pennsylvania.  Such was the case this past Sunday morning as I walked my Training cross-country course at Pine Top Farm and the temperature was a blustery 22 degrees.  Despite the frigid temperatures and brutal winds, Team Lily had a great weekend at Pine Top Farm's Winter Horse Trials.  

Abigail Wilson had her second run of the season on Fernhill Flag in the JYOP and finished up in fifth place, just a few points out of the lead.  Abigail is looking forward to having her first intermediate start at Pine Top in two weeks, so she went out on the weekend with the plan for a strong, confidence building run.  The wind and cold temperatures did not lend to a soft and relaxed dressage test on Rory, but he made up for it by jumping a very clear and confident round in the show-jumping.  She and Rory looked unimpressed by the preliminary questions on the cross-country as they cruised around with ease.  I am very excited to coach her around her first intermediate in two weeks, as she and Rory are looking very ready!

The two young ones had their second competition of the year this weekend as well.  Peace Proposal rode in the Training and Paddy the Caddy had a blast in the Novice.  Both horses could have behaved better in the dressage, but were unfortunately very distracted by the heavy winds and cold temperatures.  They made up for disappointing dressage tests by jumping very well around their show-jumping and cross-country courses.  Both horses will be competing this coming weekend at Paradise Farm with their owners' watching, so the pressure will be on!

The highlight of my weekend was, of course, Bucky's first run of the season at Intermediate.  He was very excited to be out and competing, and he felt on his game for all three phases.  He was very steady in the dressage and scored a 34, which left some room for improvement before his Advanced in two weeks.  He jumped very well in the show-jumping, and just had an unlucky last rail down.  I was most pleased with the way he cruised around the cross-country, as we set off to have a smooth and steady first run of the season.  He did just that, jumping very smoothly and finishing about 45 seconds over the optimum.  He felt great around all three phases and I am looking very forward to our Advanced run at Pine Top in two weeks!

I now have to focus on being prepared for all our Team Lily visitors coming down for Paradise Farm Horse Trials this weekend!  Stay tuned for updates on the weekend . . .

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

2012 Competition Season is in Full Swing!

We are just five days into the month of February and already have two competitions successfully completed for Team Lily!  We had six horses competing this past Wednesday at Full Gallop Farm, and two horses at Sporting Days on Saturday.

Our day at Full Gallop was a long one, starting early and not wrapping up until after five, but it was a great first event for the season.  All the courses were surprisingly tough for an early season event, so I was so pleased to see all six horses jump around well!  

Abigail Wilson rode her own Fernhill Flag in the Preliminary, and finished in a respectable 6th place.  Abigail and Rory are looking to move up to the intermediate at the end of the month, so I was pleased to see them cruise through the course with ease.  Andi Lawrence and Annelise Aurillo rode in the training on their respective mounts Armani and Your Lucky Day, and had a great last run at training.  Both of these girls were looking forward to their first preliminarys in a few days coming, so they rode cautiously slow to save their horses legs.  Despite their time faults Annelise and Andi finished their division 4th and 6th.  

Our newest edition to the team, Wyn Maling, finished 5th on her horse Stellar in the novice.  This pair was fresh off the truck from Massachusetts just a few days prior, so I was quite impressed with their performance!   I rounded off the great day with my two youngsters, Peace Proposal and Paddy the Caddy.  Parris was just a tad exuberant in the dressage but jumped very well to finish 8th, while Paddy shocked all of us to finish 2nd in just his second event of his career.  Both horses jumped around with ease, and I am looking very forward to moving them up a level while they are down here. 

We continued our early season success at Sporting Days Farm on Saturday as Andi Lawrence and Annelise Aurillo jumped clear around their first ever preliminary competitions.  Both girls put in respectable dressage tests, jumped well in the show jumping, and rocked around the cross-country with ease.  It was rewarding for me to see Andi cruise around the course with George, as I can remember Sporting Days was his first preliminary ever just a few years ago.  He is not an easy ride, and she has developed a strong nature in her jump riding that is suiting him well. 

It was equally as rewarding to see Annelise and Wex conquer their first preliminary together.  Just a year ago, Wex was remarkably green as I schooled him around the novice course at Sporting Days.  It is a real attribute to Annelise as a rider to see how well she has brought this young horse from novice to preliminary in a year's time.  It was just a few years ago when Andi and Annelise were kicking around on their ponies Wilson and Willie, and its amazing to see how far they've come!

We are off to Pine Top Farm this coming weekend, so stay tuned for updates!  Keep you eyes on the live scores as Bucky is having his first run of the season in the intermediate!