I didn't compete this past weekend, but there was still plenty of eventing fun. Venues such as eventing nation covered Galway in great detail. Less detail, but still some coverage here and there of Virginia Horse Trials and Rocking Horse, where they hosted a Training 3 Day Event and a Novice 3 Day event, along with the horse trials. My friend Chris Bradley successfully completed the Novice 3 Day and discovered the joy of the TB on steeplechase. This cannot be overstated. I recommend that all of you who event and haven't had the opportunity, find one as the availability of Training and Novice 3 Days currently is quite high and who knows when they might go away. Blue Hill was also represented at Virginia, with Steph and Diligence finishing 4th in their open preliminary division and Jason Racey piloting the Dodger around the CCI*. But with all of that, I think that the big fun of the area 2 starter trials was overlooked. On Saturday, Plantation ran Elementary through training level. Several upper level riders were on hand, including Sally Cousins on 4 Novice horses (Wall-e won his division); Ryan Wood on 2 (finishing 3rd on the one he wasn't riding HC, the HC one would have had a ribbon as well) and others. Closer to home, Shanyn Fiske got back to eventing and Virginia Frame went training level for the first time in quite a while, and came home with a 2nd place, for which she thanks to St. Paddy (whom she says was a saint). Another horse used to going faster and jumping bigger fences is the wonderful grey beast Loki, most often ridden by Jeff Kibbie. You can read Loki's story here: http://jeffkibbie.com/Equi-Sport_Services/Horses.html. This history and the fact that he was advanced fit less than two months ago make it even more impressive that he stepped up his game as he easily stepped over the novice fences to win the Novice Rider division with Jeff's other half, Bonnie this weekend. She pretty much did not stop smiling all day as witnessed by several pictures and facebook posts. Rachel Gross also headed over from Blue Hill, with Missy's Harry and my Solo. Harry was a star (Harry is pretty much always a star - and he's for sale). They finished 4th on their dressage score in a very competitive Novice Horse division. This was Harry's return to eventing after spending the fall as a superstar in the hunter ring. Solo put in a lovely dressage test to score a 29.1. However, he decided that the windy cold weather and lots of horses galloping around out in the open was too exciting to be calm during the jumping. As always, jumping no issue - calmness, a little tougher, so Rachel took the training view and withdrew him. Lots of schooling shows in his future, until he decides it is boring enough.
I spent Saturday afternoon checking out the courses at Waredaca, but as always things were really well organized so there wasn't too much to do. Sunday, Waredaca got an occassionally sunny, less windy and only kind of cold day for their starter event. Once again lots of lovely horses. While Kate Chadderton was off winning an intermediate division at Virginia (and doing well on her other horses - http://victorysporthorses.blogspot.com/2012/11/finishing-year-strongly.html), her Sunset Hills partner Steph Rhodes-Bosche was riding youngsters at Waredaca and taking home a first, a second and a fifth. I stayed, as usual, with Katherine Rizzo. This weekend she was showing and earned ribbons on her own Rocking Valay and Maat van Uitert's Top Gear (for sale if anyone is looking for a cute and talented young TB to event with). There was much cheering for Waredaca horses and riders, Savannah Fulton won the N/T and while there were some falls (especially in SJ), none were serious. Gretchen spent Saturday afternoon shopping and making chili so the volunteers got hot lunch on Sunday. The volunteers were very on their game, despite the cold. The riders were all great sports and there were prizes for costumes and OTTBs, so go eventing at all levels.