Bucky and I jumping into the water at Southern Pines (Photo Courtesy of J Blair's iPhone)
It was a busy weekend for me at Southern Pines! Thankfully, the rain mostly held off on Friday and Saturday. I was impressed with the cross-country courses for all divisions; they were challenging and the footing was in great shape. It would not have been possible for me to compete all four horses without the hard work and dedication of Tori Kager and Jenn Cain. Thank you for all of your hard work and good job this weekend! Southern Pines was a great last hurrah before heading home to be greeted by a snow storm!
On Friday, I was happy with Paris's, Paddy's, and Missy's dressage tests; they put in good efforts and were well placed in competitive divisions.I was looking forward to Bucky's test. We have made a lot of progress during the high performance training sessions with David O'Connor, and I was excited to show off our hard work. Sadly Bucky decided to turn his test into a how-not-to tutorial, misbehaving throughout the test. I was disappointed with the test and my placing after dressage. On top of helping me all day, Jenn managed to control a spirited Wylie to score a 33 in the training rider division, and Tori rode well on Avi in the junior open training division and earned a 43.
Saturday was a crazy day for me with four cross-countries, three show jumpings, two tired grooms, and one exhausted rider! Bucky must have sensed my disappointment with his dressage; he made a strong campaign to get back in my good graces the rest of the weekend. I was really pleased with the way he attacked the cross-country course. It was our most challenging course this season, and the way he jumped makes me feel ready for The Forks. Paris, Paddy, and Missy all handled the challenging preliminary cross-country well. I was very pleased with their clear rounds. Unfortunately, the show jumping proved more challenging. Paddy studded himself, In his excitement, on cross-country. He was in pain during show-jumping, but he was a trooper only knocking down one rail. Paris show jumped well, only adding two time. I was surprised by the difficulty that Missy had in show jumping, taking down five rails was unexpected. I had hoped to finish on the ribbons on these promising horses, but I was satisfied overall with their performances. The little hiccups throughout the weekend are easy to fix. Jenn and Tori both had strong cross-country and show jumping rides. I was very pleased with their rides! I want thank Jenn and Tori for their enormous effort, getting all my horses ready in time. It was a long but rewarding day for everyone!
On Sunday, in torrential downpours, I had Bucky's show jumping left; it was a highlight of the weekend. I tried to really focus on my position throughout the course, and Bucky was clearly very focused on not knocking down any rails. He jumped really big and managed to turn in one of a handful of clear rounds. This was a big accomplishment for him given the weather and the size of the course. I have to hand it to Bucky, he usually knows when he has messed up and needs to make up for it with some impressive jumping! I was very pleasantly surprised by my Eighth place finish, and Bucky was very pleased with himself.
Check in, in a few weeks for a recap of The Fork. After this weekend, my entry for Rolex is in the mail! Bucky has asked for a throng of adoring fans to cheer him on at Rolex, so hopefully I will see many of you out there!