Monday, May 13, 2013

Another jammed packed weekend in the neighborhood

In addition to being Mother's Day weekend, it was a big day for eventing all over.  In the NW, eventing got underway with the NWEC horse trials.  Elsewhere - Galway (California), Mill Creek (Area IV), Winona (Area VIII), King Oaks (Area I), and Windridge (an event I hadn't heard of in NC) were all being contested. I am sure EN will have reporting on some of these.  One of the blogs I follow covered Winona Evans Eventing Winona Blog.  Closer to home, it was both Jersey Fresh and Plantation weekend in Area II.  Caitlin was riding Remi and Sally riding Taz in the CCI** at Jersey.  Caitlin also had Steady Eddie out for his ** debut and Sally was Riding Sue and Wes in the CIC***.  Many other top names in eventing also spent the weekend at Jersey.  "My" boys had fabulous weekends.  Remi finished first adding nothing to his impressive dressage score of 41.  Taz finished 4th in the same division.  Shout outs as well to Erin Sylvester, Sharon White, Jennie Brannigan, Courtney Cooper and all the other winners and competitors Jersey Fresh Results

Meanwhile, on this side of the river, Plantation held a recognized on Saturday and an unrecognized on Sunday.  I rode Keegan on Saturday.  He was very good and the weather held off.  We got our usual 38 in dressage.  Time to start working harder to shave some points off now that all the basics are in place.  He did run off in the cross-country.  Missy suggested more bit and while I don't like it as a first recourse, at this point I'm ready to try as all the installed brakes that work perfectly at all other times seem to fail on course.  Despite picking up time penalties with needing to circle between 11 and 12 - carefully avoiding taking out the photographer (and trotting through the woods where I didn't trust the footing), he jumped brilliantly and I had a super day.  Morgan McCue was 1st and 2nd in the JYOP and Ashley Bruder won the open training, closely followed by Amanda on Gloria Cascarino's Preston.  Susie Beale was second on her own Abengold in one division and on Lesley's Digby in another.  I saw Lesley briefly while I was walking the course, but Keegan and I were on the buzz in buzz out plan, so other than seeing some of the preliminary while I was walking, I didn't see anyone else's rides.  Plantation Results
Meanwhile Rachel took Solo and Laura took Parker to the jumpers at St. Christopher's horse show and Eden Dedrick was kind enought to give Keegan a ride to Plantation in conjunction with walking her course.

That left Eden ready for Sunday and a 4th place finish on her mare Fancy.  Missy showed the most handsomest Bouncer, finishing 2nd on their 25 dressage score. Alex Makowski's Grace became a training level eventer and I'm sure everyone enjoyed the cool, sunny weather, despite the occassionally stiff breeze.  I wasn't there as I was running the Delaware 1/2 marathon down in Wilmington.  The weather was perfect for that as well.  I ran the first 6 miles at my usual pace, then slowed down to take it easy for the final 7.1.  It was a nice course (with more hills than I expected) and a great day.  The finish line festivities were impressive for a smaller race like this.  After grabbing some food, I headed out to the barn and took Keegan for a long hack.  We practiced our speed control while galloping, but as always when not on course, he was quiet and rateable.  I had a lovely hour out and about with him, despite the fairly stiff wind.

The weekend also included a dinner to celebrate Jen's graduation from Penn (leaving her free to join me here, which is very exciting), a great 10th inning Phillies win over Arizona and plenty of playoff hockey and basketball.  Spring is good.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Another Keebler Report from the guest blogger in the South

For those of you who follow the adventures of the spotted menace (although, menace no more from all reports), Cyndi kindly sent this update of his latest adventure.  (I think she got too busy to write up part 2). My comments once again in pink

First, a huge thank you to you both. This horse is simply amazing.  He has been so terrific for Jordan to learn on - so nice to have a horse who knows more than the rider! and once again, so great to hear this

So,  for the show, I went on ahead as the girls had testing 1/2 days at school.    This was the first time they have traveled to a show without me being there to double check everything, and they "passed" with flying colors.  

Keebler came off the trailer like a champ,  and was happily ensconced in his stall as we waited for the farrier (he had lost a shoe at home on Friday am).  

He was a bit antsy for the farrier, but that was because the automatic fly sprayer in the farrier "stall"  kept hitting him on the butt every 20 minutes! That's his story and he's sticking to it 

The girls had about a half hour to just ride before dark, and I sent them out to one of the fields (about 10 acres) to play.   Jordan practiced going forward and bringing Keebler back, and he thought this was a terrifically fun game :)    especially the forward part, no doubt.  There were no courses posted (let me not get crazy again),  and the show jumping course was not even done being BUILT,   but that's another story
We awoke to POURING rain and a severe temp change (it was 90 when they rode on Friday, and we woke to 48degrees!).    The show was delayed a bit (let's not talk about the disorganization because I will go crazy).    Finally it slowed to a drizzle and a mist, and we were told to get to the start box!

Class #1 was the "hunter pace".   Show organizer couldn't tell us how long the course was ("oh, over 3 miles but under 5 miles") or what the pace should be (let's just say meters per minute was not in their vocab we appreciate eventing more every time we go to another type of horse event),   so we just decided to wing it.   We walked (ok,  Keebler LEAPED forward as Jordan mounted but then settled) to the start box (where I argued with the starter because no way in hell was I putting THREE horses in the start box at the same time), and left the start at a walk (Keebler and Bitsy were very concerned about this departure from protocol - silly people, we are supposed to gallop).

Once we found the trail ,   I had Jordan lead at a 250+ mpm trot .   The trail was beautiful - really only wide enough for one horse, under beautiful oak canopies-  and Keebler was a great trail blazer.   I originally had put Keebler in front, Bitsy in middle, and Emily and her pony in the back, but after about 20 "pony running into Bitsy's butt"  episodes,   I put the pony in the middle.   Bitsy was not as pleased, as she had been enjoying the strong trot behind Keebler,  but agreed to be "rated"  so that I could shout encouragement to Emily ahead of us (I love my horse).     We passed a few teams on our way, which worried us a bit, but at this point I didn't care where we placed because we were having such fun!

When we came to open fields, we did a bit of canter, and then back to trot for twisty trails.   Finally, we entered the XC field.   Keebler was of course a star, and Jordan enjoyed the fact that there were several different fences to choose from in addition to the "posted" course.  He was a little wriggly to a few fences, but I think that was the "there are 4 fences here which one?"   Can we jump the bigger one?

I so enjoyed being able to go out with "my girls",  and was so proud of Bitsy for giving Emily and the pony leads over fences. 

 The really funny thing was that the organizer thought the hunter pace was "too long to do twice" (originally I was going to go once with Emily and once with Jordan), and Bitsy and Keebler came back to regular breathing under 5 minutes.  The pony took about 10 minutes. because they have eventers as riders, so are in great shape

So, that is class #1 (which we won, although we didnt know at the time and I still don't know what the optimum time was or how close to it we were!) Yeah!!

Off to do a bit of packing,  stay tuned for round 2 :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

The rest of us

While Badminton and the Kentucky Derby were both happening, many of the rest of us were involved in less famous, but no less rewarding events through the weekend.  My original plans were a trail marathon on Saturday and an easy day Sunday.  That changed multiple times for multiple reasons and my weekend ended up being cross-country schooling on Saturday and volunteering at the starter event at Fair Hill on Sunday.  Both were great fun, if a long way from Rolex and Badminton (in so many ways).

Saturday, Keegan and I went cross country schooling with Eden and her mare Fancy.  Both horses were super good and very brave, jumping everything they were pointed at. The only low point came at the end when Keegan somehow twisted a shoe, tearing some foot and stepping on the clip.  He does seem sound today, so we're hoping all is still in line for Plantation next Saturday.   Meanwhile, the Blue Hill dressage contingent had headed to Morven.  Rachel, David and Mary were all showing there. Dressage continues to lack live scoring so I can only let you know that Topper won both his 4th level tests and 4th level high point (via David's facebook).  Later on Saturday, Jason Racey contested the mini-prix at the Radnor Pony Club Jumper show.  Many others I know were also there, but they too are lacking live scoring, so other than hearing from Jason that he finished 3rd (if I recall correctly), I have no other information.  Saturday finished up with Lesley and Bill's wedding reception in Malvern.  It was a great occasion and great to see Lesley and Bill as well as Jan and Jeremy Beale, Lesley's mom, Susie, Chris, Amanda and Gillian, and Gloria Cascarino.   A really lovely evening.

Sunday, I volunteered as the dressage steward for the Fair Hill Started event (Elementary through Novice levels).  I saw many riders I knew, although many others were spending the weekend at MCTA (more on that to follow here).  As always, lots of nice people, horses and riders learning the ropes, and after a chilly start, we got a nice day.  I saw some of the Cairn O'Mount gang, including Susie and Gillian, Alex Makowski riding 3 or 4, Erin Sylvester, once again coaching fresh from Rolex (we did comment on how much warmer it was last year), and lots of others. My Sunday wrapped up with a dinner at and a chance to catch up with Katrina Armstrong on her first two weeks as physician-in-chief at Massachusetts General Hospital

Meanwhile, at MCTA, Sally was winning the Advanced on Joule, Kate the Intermediate on Liberty, Kaiti and Truman gathered the red ribbon, and Caitlin Silliman had a bunch of rides from BN through Preliminary. Even further south was the Southern 8ths, heart of the Carolina Horse Trial and Long Format Event.  One of the Long Formats most dedicated volunteers blogged about it here: And going south again, the Area 3 championships and horse trials were happening at Poplar Place.  Looks like Andrea Leatherman is back in the tack, which is great to hear.  I know Lynn Cronin was riding at Penny Oaks and saw a couple of great pictures on facebook, but they too lack live scoring.  Maybe we can get a blog from Lynn.

And in Texas, they were holding a CIC*/** along with the horse trials.  They did have live scoring.  Rowdie Adams won the 2* and Heather Morris the 1*

So lots going on in eventing world as the northern season gears up and the southern season finishes up.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Firing up the northern show season

This blog started as the florida chronicles and then went beyond when I kept it up after the 2008 Florida season.  I tend to think of my riding schedule in two chunks, the Florida chunk and the Area II chunk.  Of course, I always think of the Area II chunk as kicking off in my beloved Area VIII with Rolex.  This, despite the fact that eventing starts up in the north prior to Rolex. While I didn't ride, I was able to join in the fun watching a lot of horses jump as the sj judge at Plantation and enjoying a day volunteering as the xc starter at Fair Hill (aside from almost freezing at both).

Last weekend, I headed to Rolex.  It was, as always, inspiring, educational and a huge amount of fun. As always, I don't feel that I can add to the extensive coverage already provided by EN and dozens of other outlets.  My Rolex was great.  I volunteered as a cross country steward again and got to watch my area partner Lee Ann in action taking her incredible photos.  I got to hang out with Caitlin Silliman and her family, supporters, sponsors and colleagues.  I went to my first PRO sponsored event, an excellent party at a gallery full of amazing horse art in downtown Lexington.  I did some shopping, most notably buying yet another dressage saddle, but for the first time feeling I really liked it as opposed to just something that would work.  I sent it home with the Windurra gang and am looking forward to riding in it for the first time today. I hung out in the KHP Foundation tent, where Kevin went above and beyond in extending hospitality. I was sad that Jennie and Ping didn't get to run and that Sue wasn't up to jumping with Sally  (but am looking forward to seeing what both of them do next).  I clapped extra hard for Lynn and her excellent finish on an OTTB, and (of course) hardest of all for Caitlin and Hoku as they completed their first 4 star.  I met people, and dogs, and horses all weekend.  I came home ready to ride and am looking forward to reports from the busy upcoming weekend, with the Blue Hill crowd divided between dressage at Morven and eventing at MCTA.  I'll be volunteering at the Fair Hill starter and will be interested to see how many Rolex riders make it there.