I have just arrived home from an exciting and successful weekend at The Fork Horse Trials and CIC***. The weekend started with more than sixty competitors in the CIC*** division; the competition was stiff and the cross-country track was tough. No Boundaries had his final competition for the lead-up to Kentucky, and I am pleased to say that the weekend could not have been better!
When we arrived to the Fork on Wednesday, I was able to catch up with Silva Martin for some dressage training. Life has been incredibly hectic through the move to Farideh Farm, so I was feeling very unprepared for the three-star test. Luckily, Silva got me right back on track, and we were able to put in a good test on Thursday. We scored a 51 to round out the dressage phase in the top twenty. Having my dressage on Thursday gave me plenty of time to focus on the cross-country. It was one of the toughest tracks I have seen thus far, so I am glad I had the extra time to size it up.
The Fork is notorious for tough CIC*** tracks, and this year was no exception to the rule. Mark Phillips designed the three-star course with pre-Rolex type questions for those horses as well as some easier options for the greener rides. Riders had the opportunity to walk the cross-country course with Mark on Friday afternoon, and this helped us all have a good plan of attack for Saturday. I continue to train with Boyd Martin, and his insight into this course walk and my lead up to Rolex has been invaluable to me.
Bucky jumped around the course with ease on Saturday morning, coming in with just a few time faults. More than half of the CIC*** division experienced trouble on the cross-country, so we cruised into 8th place with our clean ride. He looked great on Saturday evening, and jogged very well for the ground jury on Sunday morning as well.
Sunday was the highlight of my weekend, as the pressure to produce a clean show-jumping round rolled out in front of me. This was the first time since last year's Jersey Fresh CCI*** that I felt the pressure of sitting in a competitive placing going into show-jumping. The scores were very tight and not many rails were falling. My round was not the smoothest I have ridden, but that did not hold Bucky back from jumping a great clear round. We finished the competition in 8th place, enjoying a victory gallop surrounded by some of the best 3 and 4 star horse and rider combinations in the country!
Bucky will enjoy a day of rest before heading back to our fitness and training for Kentucky. We are almost two weeks away from the start of competition and the pressure is on! I will keep up frequent updates in these crucial next few weeks!
I would like to take a moment to thank each and every follower who watched the Fork online and knew my results through the weekend often before I did! Its so fun to experience this success and know that all of you are right there following me.
Countdown is 14 days . . .