I spent the weekend volunteering at Jersey Fresh. Many top horses were there including Mystery Whisper with Phillip Dutton in the irons. They won the 3* by a significant margin and just looked great. My vote for most handsome horse is Boyd's new ride, Trading Aces. He is also quite the well behaved gentleman on the ground, which is always nice. But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself. Friday was dressage. I was acting as assistant to Katie Lindsay, the FEI steward all weekend, so got to watch horses in warm-up, which was interesting. The weather was lovely all weekend, although there was a rather chilly wind on Friday. The Coffee Connection was there, so I was able to keep myself in properly made Earl Grey Tea all weekend. Saturday was cross-country day. The horses I helped cool-out - Loki (Jeff Kibbie), Hoku (Caitlin Silliman) and Art (Donna Miller) all jumped beautifully around the cross-country. Among the other riders, there were stops, a few spills and some eliminations, but the ambulances never had to roll so that makes it a great day. Once again, I was watching the warm-up, so only saw bits of actual cross-country rounds. Mystery Whisper looked super in the warm-up (actually he came out looking a bit tense, which seemed odd, but then he stopped, parked out and had a big pee after which he looked perfect). A few riders were there doing their first runs at the level and so there were some nerves. The coaches worked hard, many of them including Boyd, Buck, and Phillip fitting in coaching between their own rides. The weather was a bit warm, but the horses seemed to do very well in the vet box at the end of the cross-country.
Saturday evening, I spent some time in stabling observing the procedures for evening veterinary treatment under FEI rules - plenty of paperwork and then spent some time with the Windurra gang, including several riders and owners. Neville came by during cocktails and then all the horses went off for a jog and a hand graze. Trading Aces was very quiet and easy. CrackerJack was very well behaved, but super intent on finding the best clover and was very clear in directing me to where he wanted to go to eat. All the horses looked great after their cross-country run. The drive home was easy. I arrived home around 8:30 pm and while this would normally be shower and bed-time for me, this weekend it was shower and out to dinner with Henry and Mark time. We had a lovely meal with some very nice wine at Melograno, leading me to hit the pillow around 11:30. This meant that it seemed really early when my alarm clock rang on Sunday morning, but I was up and out and making excellent time (right up until the point where US-1 was totally closed for a major accident). Luckily the detour didn't take too long and I arrived back at the Horse Park before the jog. 4 of the first 6 horses were held, which seemed rather unusual, but it got much smoother after that. The adorable palomino pony, Willya Love Me did not re-present. Both Merging, Laurie Cameron's lovely mare and Nyls du Terroir were not accepted on reinspection. Holly Payne's Santino was accepted. Jog outfits ran the gamut from riding wear to chinos and shirts to full out suits and dresses. I've posted some fashion thoughts (though not all related to the jog) here: http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=353228.
The stadium jumping was very influential this weekend, http://www.evententries.com/livescoring/14957.html. Karen jumped clear to take first and second in the CIC** with young Connor Husain finishing 3rd. I've been watching Connor since he bought Folk Lore (previously owned by Kaiti Saunders) and have been impressed. He really put it altogether this weekend at his first 2* Meanwhile, Boyd and CrackerJack, another great jumping grey horse, won the CCI**. Jeff and Loki conquered their stadium woes, dropping two rails, but having a much better looking ride, with Loki pretty obviously trying a bit more than in some past runs. Hoku also had two rails, but finished up 9th and incredibly impressive job for a pair that had their first advanced start at the April Fair Hill in 2011 and then 8+ months of healing and recovery after Hoku's burns before their next outing. It was fun watching them going and getting to see Jenna back in action as eventing mom. On the 3* side, the top of the leaderboard jiggled around a fair bit, though Rebecca Howard held on to her lead to win the CIC*** division. Phillip and Mystery Whisper started with 2 rails in hand and by the time they went in had three in hand. They did drop one, but still won finishing 8.8 points up on Michael Pollard and Jude's Law. Selena O'Hanlon and Colombo were third. Both the US and Canadian selectors were out in full force for the weekend.
In other places, Lynn and Keebler returned to action in Michigan, and Keebler even scored a ribbon http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=353162. Closer to home, Emily and Rachel from Blue Hill Farm headed to the Plantation unrecognized event to see what Cole and Khoi thought of training level. Apparently, they both thought training level was just fine as Khoi won the training horse division finishing on his dressage score and Cole ended up 7th with 2 rails in the SJ, which Rachel claimed were hers, and a clean xc round. Rachel said he felt really great on the cross-country. The day before Sally Cousins captured the top 3 intermediate ribbons and a few at other levels as well.
And, on a final note, the weekend wrapped up with a Phillies win with Cole Hamels looking great and wonderful Henry margaritas with dinner. The first mother's day without my mom hit home watching Sunday night baseball, seeing all the pink that the MLB sports for this day and remembering a year ago knowing that my mom was reaching the end of her time. She will always be in my thoughts, and I am a believer in the tenet that we live on in the memories of those who love us.