Bucky and I in our flat lesson with David O'Connor
Bucky and I clearing a big table on our way home! (Photo by J Blair)
There comes a moment when even the most enthralled eventer questions their dedication. That moment occurred while warming Missy up for dressage in the pouring rain. Bad weather and deep mud aside, I was very happy with the weekend. Before dropping into a recap, I would like to take a moment to thank Jenn for slogging through the literal and proverbial mud all weekend, allowing me to make all my ride times! Jenn also had a successful weekend running Wylie at his first prelim this season. Wylie performed well in the terrible weather during dressage, and he jumped well around both the cross-country and show jumping. Good job Jenn and Wiley! I would also like to thank Tori, who stayed home and made sure the barn was still standing when I came back! Team Lilybridge runs smoothly thanks to both of your hard work.
They say bad things come in three, apparently that applies to weather. It was cold, rainy, and windy during Missy's dressage on Thursday. Once I persuaded her to leave the stall, she was obedient and put in a very consistent test. I was very proud of her place in seventh after dressage. Thankfully, it stopped raining by Bucky's test on Friday.
Fortunately a much more obedient Bucky trotted into the arena. I am grateful to David O'Connor for working with us before we went into our test. David has been challenging both of us on the flat; we are constantly improving with his support. I was happy with my test and the development it showed. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with the score and my position after dressage. I spent the rest of the day Friday walking the intermediate and three star courses. Both courses were highly technical and required unbroken focus from horse and rider.
Saturday brought the sunshine and sunburns. In a break from protocol that Bucky did not endorse, I show jumped him and rode cross-country on Missy. Fortunately, Bucky channeled his high spirits into the show jumping arena. He easily cleared most of the fences, and I was surprised by the rail we pulled. In hindsight, It may have been fortunate to end our streak of clear rounds before Rolex. Earlier that morning, Missy handled the cross-country course well. She was not responding to my half halts as much as usual, so she came into the water too fast and stumbled up the bank. I did not attempt to jump the cabin after the bank, but she managed the combination on the second attempt. Missy got valuable experience during her second intermediate run, and she will feel more confident and able at the next competition.
Sunday was the most important day of the competition, with Bucky's cross-country. I felt confident in Bucky; he loves his job, and he is a very skillful jumper. Bucky jumped great throughout the course. I rode more conservatively in the water than normal, because I was determined not to have another mishap there! I wasn't as competitive with Bucky as I had aimed to be, but we had three mishap free rides. We go into our next competition feeling well prepared. Missy show jumped better than at Southern Pines, dropping two rails. We are still figuring it out, but she has a great attitude and plenty of talent!
Thank you for checking up on our progress. Check Lilybridge's Facebook page for video and pictures of the weekend. Stop by next week for a recap of Plantation Spring Horse Trials. Paris will be running her first intermediate. I am very excited to see how she handles the challenge!
Tori Kager and Avi clear a show jump on the way to completing their first clear prelim. Thanks to Chris Kager for the photo.
Many of you probably celebrated Easter by sharing a large meal with close family and friends. We here at Lilybridge have a slightly different take on the holiday, nothing says Easter like competing your best friend in the rain. The girls were all troopers handling the inclement weather, and the easter bunny rewarded them with sugar free ribbons!
Tori Kager finished fifth on her wonderful mount Avi. The pair were tied for seventh after dressage with a 39.6. They had one rail down in show jumping, and they went clear cross country. Congrats Tori on your first clear preliminary! Meanwhile in the open preliminary Julie Henk and Merry Sioux had great runs in the show jumping and cross country, and they moved up to finish in sixth place. Well done Julie!
Eliza Crosby and Woodstock Rawley finished in fifth on their dressage score. They had a lovely dressage, scoring a 33 which put them into seventh place. They made easy work of the show jumping and cross country, adding no points to their score and moving up two places. Olivia Sabers and Stonewall Winters had an equally strong show jumping and cross country finishing in seventh. Good work Eliza and Olivia!
I have been busy getting Bucky ready for The Fork and settling back into the barn. I enjoyed the weather in Aiken and I am hoping it will eventually arrive at Lilybridge. Come on Spring!! Check in next week for a recap of The Fork. Hopefully Bucky will be on his best behavior on the flat!