Monday, July 14, 2008

Maui Jim Rocks

I hopped on a plane after teaching on Friday and headed to Chicagoland. Made reasonable time on the Chicagoland highways - big surprise - and reached Lamplight around 5:00 in the evening. Due to major storms the prior day, training show jumping had already gone (so much for that part of the apprenticing experience). I was luck enough to spend the evening setting the show jump courses with Ana Schravesande. There were two, one for the preliminary and one for the CIC*, CIC**, CIC***, Int and Advanced. Had to find enough safety cups, ended the evening still missing the number 12 (leading to the Sesame Street adventure, finding the number 12 on Saturday morning). Headed to the hotel (many thanks to Lynn Cronin for sharing). Had some confusion as neither my GPS nor Sprint directory information realized that a Days Inn existed in St. Charles, but got there and crashed after hearing from Lynn about Katie Lindsay's mouse (an inside joke occassioned by concerns about the cheese wedge jump at Red Hills). Also got to see the smurf jump (related inside joke). Saturday (after finding and posting the number 12 on the appropriate jump), I did a short apprenticing stint with Roger Haller in the preliminary show jumping arena. It was a fairly soft course, and almost everyone did well, including Kaiti Saunders doing her first prelim on her new(ish) horse Truman. He looked to be having a grand time and the pair looked great together. Headed over to XC after SJ and spent the afternoon as crossing guard for the galloping lane. Got to see the tough bending line early on the course and the Maui Jim water from my post, so excellent volunteering opportunity and fabulous weather. I saved Dorothy Crowell's life (or at least alerted her to oncoming fast galloping horse where she was about to be). The two CIC*** horses that looked fantastic to me on the part of the course I could see were Sara Dierks' Somerset and Allison Springer's Arthur who finished 1 and 2. Leslie Law and Eric Dierks got to share the Dumbs**t award (given by Katie L) for jumping the final fence of the intermediate rather than of the CIC* while on CIC* horses (good to know even a gold medalist can make this mistake and while in first place). Sunday, no apprenticing to be had, so I gofered for the judges and got to observe Karen Winn and Jo Young judging the SJ for the upper levels which was fun and educational. Approximately 4 stopwatches died over the course of the day, but they were the only casualties. Erica Peterson from Michigan (Lynn's trainer) finished 4th in the CIC**. Leslie Law won it (perhaps compensating for the prior day's goof). There were a couple rider falls, but without injury. Lisa Riedel and her young horse, Springer had several rails, but completed the Intermediate. Out on training and preliminary XC, things seemed to go well. Kaiti had a clean round with only time as the last ride of the day. Headed back to the airport and avoided the I-90 traffic jam, making it back to ORD easily and getting home about an hour later than planned due to flight delays. Dreamt of stadium jumping courses.

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