Nonetheless, he stepped up and was a star. He was good in dressage although was not willing to stretch as well as ususal. We got a score at the high end of his usual range (38-41), but felt there were some things that were better than they had been and some things that are easy to fix (geometry was always the one part of math I didn't like). As usual, stadium jumping was foot perfect and then we headed off to xc. The footing held up quite well and Jeff Kibbie and crew had added footing to places that they thought might be a problem. We headed out with the goal of making time. The course was a mid-range training - not as challenging as Fair Hill in August, but not soft either. There were 3 three part combinations. 5A was a coop to 5B bank down and 6 straight ahead a skinny rolltop. Keegan was careful on the drop down and I didn't close my leg enough so he had to heave himself over 6, which he did fine. 7 was a relatively easy trakhener, 8 was a practice corner, bending line to a brush. We walked it with a possible 6, but it was a really easy 5 in practice. Then to an oxer and around to the coffin. The ditch had a lot of water in it and while Keegan jumped it, there was some serious air involved, but we got it together for the out, then to 3 galloping fences and the a, b, c water. As always, Keegan trotted into the water. Galloping through water practice is on the list for the winter. I looked at my watch and with 3 fences to go, we had 40 seconds left. Yes! Until.....
I got completely lost between 16 and 17a/b. I failed to turn right, galloped past my landmarks, stopped, looked around, saw them behind me, trotted around and headed to the jump. No problem with the bank up to the log or the final fox fence, but the delay cost time penalties and what would have been a 3rd place finish ended up being a 6th place finish. Given that he does more than his fair share, Keegan is absolutely not accountable for the map reading and course walking, so he was perfect and I was much less so, but we had a great time and felt like it was a great way to wrap up the northern eventing season.
After getting Keegan put away, I headed home, packed and then drove to the airport to hop on a plane to Providence, RI. I made a bad hotel choice, but I think all the better choices were booked, so it may not really have been a choice. In the morning, I drove down to Newport, checked in, wandered around for a couple hours, then completed the United HealthCare half marathon. It was super scenic, although sufficiently cold and windy that I never shed my extra layer. It is well-deserving of its reputation as super scenic and we speculated about the prices of many of the houses we saw along the way. Once I finished, I pretty much headed straight back to the airport and was able to catch a slightly earlier flight than planned after watching some football in the airport.
By the time I got home, the Eagles had won and the late games were underway. I watched the Patriots - Saints game, which was excellent football despite the undesirable outcome. Probably good that I wasn't watching that one in the Providence Airport, where I'm sure most of the fans were not of the same opinion of the outcome.
In addition to getting some work done (and the to do list just doesn't seem to get shorter, no matter how many items I cross off), I bought a horse this weekend. His name is Tin Star and he is an OTTB with a great brain and a totally "Seema look" Astro jumping for the first time at his prior homeWe will keep his JC name as his USEA name, but needed a barn name and decided to go with Astro. For those of you who are too young to immediately understand the title, check out the Jetsons. Astro originated "ruh roh" long before Scooby Doo stole the line (same voice actor played both characters). Caitlin Silliman is going to help me with Astro and we're looking forward to seeing how he does. More to follow.