Monday, August 20, 2012

in which I get to visit a new venue

I spent the weekend TDing at the Erie Hunt and Saddle Club Horse Trials. I had never been there before, despite it being less than 5 hours from Ann Arbor, so well in reach as a possible venue, but not one that was on our rounds at the time. It was a great weekend, assisted by perfect weather, but also by a great group of organizers, officials, volunteers and competitors that I had the privilege of spending the weekend with. Peg Hull, one of the co-organizers put me up in her lovely home that was very close to the venue and I was kept in tea and food throughout the weekend. There were plenty of volunteers who did an excellent job (making my job pretty easy) and I got to visit with the Steve Bernstein and Maria Herrero who were out watching Tatiana and Callisto's preliminary debut (which was a great success). I met Therese Evans, who is based in Ohio, but spends some of her training time with Boyd and Silva Martin, so there was a connection we didn't know about, but discovered after the event. John Williams' Cross Country Course and Lew Trumble's SJ course were both lovely, flowing courses and, did I mention, the weather was perfect.

Looking forward to getting back on my horse this week.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

the problem with postponing

So, I haven't been doing the weekly blog, in part just because it doesn't seem like so much is going on, but then I think about blogging and realize, wow! No particular big thing, but so many things going on, so in no particular order:

We love the house in Chadds Ford. It is possible that I love it more than does Henry (being quite the country mouse, city mouse pair), but he has plunged into land ownership with flair. We have added a crepe myrtle, two apple trees, a japanese maple and additional butterfly bushes to the landscaping and last week hosted our first party there, a full blown Henry margarita party with around 30 guests. It was fun to be able to have lots of people in the house at once and we invited a mixture of horse friends, work friends, and city neighborhood friends. Henry made lots of margaritas and we also opened some very nice wine. Apparently, it is easier to get distracted with large numbers of people to stop and chat with, so there were moments of no margaritas (the horror is almost unspeakable) and burnt edged stromboli (which no one but Henry seemed to notice or care about) and friends taking food out of the oven before it burned (because that's what friends do at my parties). I'm looking forward to doing it again soon as well as having some smaller get togethers.

Henry Margarita:
1. Squeeze juice composed of 1 orange with every 5 limes
Blood oranges a plus.
2. Combine (some multiple of) 5 oz juice, 3 oz Cuervo
Familia Reserve Tequila and 3 oz Cointreau
3. Sweeten to taste with the blood orange of
4. Shake with ice and serve

I will be leaving the University of Pennsylvania at the end of August after 10 years here. It has been a super opportunity to work with amazing people, but I am excited to be part of a leadership team building something again and hope to get that opportunity as Director of Health Services Research for the Value Institute at Christiana Care Health System. As an added benefit, my new boss will be Tim Gardner, former Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Penn and co-owner of many top event horses. More to follow as the job develops. Meanwhile, we will be hiring, so if you or any in your circle have an interest in this type of work, please contact me. Meanwhile, I'm finishing up a conference grant with Penn colleagues that also includes others, among them a new CCHS colleague and trying to get lots of papers submitted.

Keegan came in last week (August 4th) with a big gouge in the inside top of his stifle (I failed to take a picture). Mary Griffin came out and gave him enough fluids to get him over the colic that he had fretted himself into, ascertained that the wound did not go through into the joint capsule and put in a few stitches. He recovered quite rapidly, got re x-rayed just to be sure there was no patellar fracture (yesterday) and now is cleared for increasing turn out time, starting in the round pen and walking under tack with the stitches to come out next week and regular work to commence (with appropriate ramp up) after that

Not to be outdone, Cole came in August 10th (the day before Fair Hill) with a great fat leg, which luckily was 90% resolved the following day, so he managed to miss the event, but did not otherwise get out of much work.

Since neither of my horses were running, I spent the day volunteering at Fair Hill. It ended up being a long day, as they ended up running only on Saturday. I was the steward in the dressage, where there were 3 or 4 illegal bits and some timing issues, given many multiple rides. I think Ryan Wood was riding 10. It was great to see Lisa Fergusson win the intermediate on Uni Sprite. I met some nice dogs and had a brief, but enjoyable visit with Snuffles. Ryan did win a preliminary division as well as 1st and 2nd in the novice, and Jennie Brannigan is back in the saddle with several, including a training division win. Boyd had a couple of training division wins and Steph Butts and Jules had a 3rd in their novice. With 3 rings going, I didn't get to see everyone, but enjoyed watching many nice horses and riders with a couple of very cute ponies and saw Missy briefly as she took in one last event before heading off to Gladstone en route to London.

Caitlin Silliman has become the proud new rider of Remington XXV, the lovely 4* veteran owned by the Juvonens. The Juvonens and Boyd were kind enough to work together to arrange for Caitlin to have the ride and I am pretty excited that I will get to play sponsor, helping Caitlin out with some of the expenses involved in keeping and competing him along with Hoku and her youngster. We had a lovely dinner at the Whip last night, talking horses and plotting, with hopes that horse good karma will stay at the forefront going on into the fall and through next spring. The best fun is that Caitlin says I'm required to help out in the 10 minute box

I also took the plunge and am working out the details of becoming a partial shareholder in the Running Order Syndicate. (information not up to date). I'm not sure why, as there have been a lot of syndicates out there, but something about this horse speaks to me and since I have never applied any logic whatsoever in my horse purchasing, I decided to go on with the gut feeling approach and move forward with this one.

Meanwhile, the US para team is off to camp at Gladstone, and James heads off to Ireland today

OTHERWISE, I am still on track for the JFK in November, and will be running half marathons August 26th, Sep 3 (in California), Sep 30 (in Harwich, MA) and full marathons October 13th in Baltimore and October 21st in Boulder (thus reinstating my weeniest maniac status And am also doing quite a lot of yoga.

It is enough to keep busy as summer wanes and I'm looking forward to all the new adventures with the new year (September for me being both Jewish and a lifelong academic).