Monday, June 11, 2012

Running, Riding and Rooting for the Unionville Crowd

With Keegan temporarily out of action, I still managed to find other things to do. Every time I don't ride for a while, I find myself wondering how I do fit it into my schedule.

Saturday, I spent judging the stadium jumping at Plantation. Aileen Elliot stepped in as control/announcer and did a lovely job, making the absence of Dick Thompson, to whom the event was dedicated the more affecting. It was a lovely day, made better by the super volunteer/worker group I had. Hats off to Ben, John, Sarah, Quinn, Hannah, Ralph, Tracy (who stepped in at the last minute), Liam (timer extraordinaire) and any of you I may have missed as you went about your jobs. Denis has assembled a really great crew, who juggle their work at the events with school and, for many of them, other jobs. Having them there makes the job of stadium judging both easier and more enjoyable. It wasn't too long a day as many of the usual suspects were up north. I would like to offer some shout outs to those who were at Plantation. Courtney Cooper finished 1st and 2nd in the Open Preliminary on a couple of her homebreds. Tag was running his first event back after colic surgery. He is the 1st of 8 they bred and is by Aberjack. Hope came along 3rd and is by R Johnson. It will be fun to watch as the others (ages 4-7) come along. It was an interesting coincidence that Courtney Coopers RStar was winning the preliminary here while Kristi Nunnink's R-Star was winning the intermediate at Aspen Farm. Jason Racey won the preliminary rider on his Dodger, and Jen Hoey on the adorable Harrison added only a bit of xc time to their dressage score to finish up in 3rd. In the training, Erin Sylvester piloted Denis Glacum's handsome Stonewall Winters to a win (and was also 2nd in the novice on Paddy the Caddy), closely followed by Tatiana Herrero Bernstein - out visiting from Michigan for some summer training - who was riding her Callisto in his first go at training. They were followed by David Ziegler in 3rd place on Peter Berk's Princeton Pride (careful Peter, I think David would like to steal this one!). Morgan McCue won another junior training division. She is sitting 2nd on the leaderboard in junior training. Amanda Clement did a lovely job with Gloria Cascarino's Pressed for Time. Amanda is becoming quite the catch rider, with Lesley Collins reclaiming the ride for this event on her Ruckus and taking home the pink ribbon. A final mention to Tik Maynard who had a 3rd in the preliminary and then coached and rode three BN horses, staying cheerful and organized throughout. The day ended early enough for dinner with Henry, Barbara Rose, Gina Sand and other family friends at the New Tavern.

Sunday, I got a slightly later start than intended and paid by running from 8:30-10:30 in the hot sun, rather than the cooler early morning. I was very happy at how pleasant and polite everyone was out on the trail. It was very crowded, but bicyclists announced they were passing, runners smiled and waved them by, apologizing for cutting in front of pedestrians, dog walkers made room for jogging strollers and there was much smiling and waving as all those enjoying the path shared it. It made the run even better. Headed out to Chadds Ford after and mostly hung out while Henry rearranged wine and hung new light fixtures. It is starting to look like a home. Then called my dad to wish him a happy Father's Day, apparently a week early. Oops. The Phillies lost to the Orioles in extra innings for the second time in the series, but Detroit managed a come from behind win and the Devils won one, though despite geography, I think I am rooting for the Kings back in the Stanley cup running for the first time in around 20 years.

Meanwhile, up in Canada, the CCI was running at Bromont. Phillip Dutton, Boyd Martin, Sally Cousins, Ryan Wood, Caitlin Silliman, and many others were all there. The hometown crowd had a great showing with Boyd and Trading Aces coming second in the CCI*** closely followed by Kevin Keane and Fernhill Flutter, Phillip Dutton aboard Atlas and in 5th at their first CCI***, Caitlin and Hoku! So great to see them continuing to do well. And it was nice to see Jon Holling get the win. Also impressive was Patti Springsteen's Running Order finishing 2nd in the 2 star with Doug Payne in the irons. Full scores at event entries, and EN had lots of great coverage

Onward into the work week and volunteering at the para selection trials.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The weeks never get less busy. I ran the Virginia Wine Country half marathon on Saturday. Beautiful setting. Nice smaller race, not the best organization ever, but friendly and fun and since the weather was perfect, it was pretty easy to overlook organizational glitches and just enjoy. Then headed over and spent the afternoon at Waredaca. Funny to be there with no official job. Watched a bit, chatted with Jeff and with Steph and Keith - congrats on their new home in Frederick, MD and then got to chat with Gretchen while we dismantled the YEH jumping course. Drove from there down to DC and had some pretty good crab chowder, a beer, and a pomegranate nojito (non-alcoholic mint/pom/lime/seltzer, really good). Henry got in a bit later. Sunday was yoga, brunch and then teaching with Stacey Ackerman. I really enjoy doing our short course on outcomes research for devices and diagnostics. Interest has grown over the 5 or 6 years we've been teaching the course and this was a great, engaged group, making it even more fun. Sunday night wine dinner at Equinox, a very nice DC restaurant that allowed corkage so we drank several bottles of great Henry wine. Online scoring let me know that Josie and Keebler had ended up 3rd after the xc decimated the novice competition. Caitlin and Tucker finished on their dressage score in 2nd place, so it was a great weekend for my distant horses.

The week brought good news and bad news. On the sad side, the eventing (and greater world) lost two wonderful men, Jim Ligon and Dick Thompson, both xc controllers and announcers extraordinaire with additional ties as horse owners, teachers, leaders within organizations such as the Radnor Hunt and pony club. They will both be sorely missed. I was able to spend some great time scribing for Dick, hearing stories of horses and people stretching back through the years in eventing. He remained involved in eventing through the need for an amputation caused by a non-resolving infection in his leg (the picture is of him at the Plantation CIC in September 2011, shortly before the amputation), getting a prosthetic and the issues with it. I will really miss him at the events.

There was also the loss of a lovely four footed eventer, Meadow Sparrow. I think it is because of this little mare that I have a soft spot for Connemara eventers, palominos even more. I remember Maddie Blackman bringing her up through the ranks (or maybe being brought up through the ranks by her as she was definitely an alpha mare). When Maddie outgrew her, Meadow Sparrow went to Alexis Rappaport, primarily doing the junior jumpers at the same time Alexis was eventing with Gizmo. Blondie took brilliantly to that career as well (and looked great all dolled out in her jumper gear). I know both Maddie and Lexi will miss her and remember her as instrumental to their riding careers, and the rest of us will also miss the lovely girl.

Less major, but still frustrating bad news include Keebler coming in Tuesday limping lame in one of his hinds, unknown etiology so far (ultrasound update to follow) and Keegan coming up limping halfway through a jumping lesson (apparently another hoof rim bruise), so no Plantation this weekend.

On the good side, the second city house has a pending contract (hopefully not jinxing us as the process isn't done) after less than 48 hours on the market. Henry continues to improve the country house - several pictures hung, appliances, computer, etc in place, all the painting done. The new mattress is meant to arrive today and washers and dryers on Friday (separate pony laundry once again).

Lots of work to do, which is probably why I am a) blogging, and b) not doing a very good job of it, so more at a later date.