Monday, May 7, 2012

The advantage of Area II

One of the great things about Area 2 is the easy proximity to so much going on. Usually, there is no trouble finding what you need (especially at the lower levels), it is more just a matter of picking among offerings. This weekend, I both competed and volunteered. The competition was a combined test at Blue Goose Stables. Cindi Cauffman and I went. We both ended up with ribbons. Keegan was a champ, staying calm and settled through all of it. We grazed a bit while watching Ben warm up for dressage, then headed back to tack up and did our warm-up, with help from Steph Cauffman. Keegan put in a very nice test, there was a bit of tenseness here and there, but never for long and the only time he really came off the aids was a few steps before our final halt, which was when Ben called to him from the side of the ring. I was quite pleased that while he did look up and over, it was only a step or two before he willingly went back on the aids. We went straight back to retack (as I did dressage in my new dressage saddle), and then headed over to stadium. The warm-up jumps were interestingly in the stadium jumping ring. Kind of a nice thing for the young horses, so they could have a tour. Keegan didn't really get a tour. We jumped the 3 warm-up fences, jumping one bending line twice for a total of 5 warm-up jumps, then jumped around, clean and easy as could be. The fences were on the small side for novice, but there were a couple that were scary enough, though a total non-event for Keegan the brave. We finished up and were back at Blue Hill before 1 pm (pretty good given that we didn't leave Blue Hill until just before 9am). So time for a few errands before a very nice dinner with friends at Marigold Kitchen in University City.

Sunday, I volunteered as the stadium steward for the Fair Hill starter trial. We had a lovely, efficient day. A little bit cooler than forecast, but I had plenty of warm stuff in my car. It was great seeing the Cairn O'Mount crew there in force. Lots of great young students getting inculcated into the eventing culture under the excellent guidance of Susie Beale, assisted by her daughter Gillian Beale King. Amanda Clement was 3rd on Lesley Collins' Ruckus. They made a great pair. It was also great to see Jenn Cain (former Blue Hill Farm working student) and her Jester looking good. Lots of professionals out on their young horses and Erin Sylvester was coaching a big crew with the same focus and concentration as she brought to Rolex just last week. There were only a couple of falls in the SJ and those were fairly soft landings, so a good day. Many nice young horses, ridiculously cute ponies and a fairly large number of people making their first forays into eventing.

Meanwhile, at MCTA Kate Chadderton was having a blast at the advanced with Cole, Sally Cousins was winning that advanced on Westerly, Kaiti Saunders and Truman having a great go in their season opener at the preliminary and Boyd Martin and Ryan Wood with a huge number of horses. One state over, the Blue Hill crowd was out in force at the CDCTA dressage show at Morven Park. Missy no doubt had her hands full, with 8 horses there. Elizabeth posted about her great TOC on facebook and I know Rachel and Taldi were making their debut at 4th level, David and Topper theirs at 3rd level, Gigi was riding JD as well as Hobbs, Mary Jordan was there after a stint at Blue Hill, and Becca and Lolu were also along, but I have no idea how things turned out because dressage lacks the stalking tool advantage of live scoring. If anyone wants to really get more amateurs into dressage, consider a good live scoring program as well as a good online entry program. I have multiple graduate degrees and can barely figure out how to enter a recognized dressage show whereas between and xentry, entering events has become a snap. That digression aside, further south, Poplar Place was running, including the lower level area 3 championships. Debi Crowley and Vantage Point ended up 4th, finishing on their dressage score in the championship division and Caitlin rode my Gin and Tonic to a great experience in the non-champtionship BN (since it is after all, only his second event), also finishing on their dressage score. Chimene Evans and Sam (whom I saw at the Leslie Law clinic) had a great finish as well.

Sunday evening, both the Cubs and the Phillies won as did the 76ers taking a 3-1 lead over the 1st place Chicago Bulls (who admittedly are hampered by injuries). Sadly, the Flyers lost falling to 1-3 to the Devils, but they have come back before. Maybe they can do it again.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

You make us Area 1 Folk jealous! Love that you volunteer!