Sunday, April 3, 2011

Wrapping things up at the Festival of the Horse

  • Escorial was a super-star again Saturday down here at the Festival of the Horse, placing 6th (I got a ribbon!!) out of 30 (?) horses in the CDI Intermediare 1. I was able to bump my score up a few notches to finish 67.8 percent behind Steffen Peters (on his 2 horses), Jan Ebeling (on his 2 horses), and Guenter Seidel. Canadian judge Cara Witham had me at over 69%, in front of one of Jan's horses and just .3 behind his other horse. I was thrilled with my ride and placing! Even more fun was that the order of go went Guenter, Jan (on Sandrina), Steffen (on Pallas), then me. So I got to warm up with the three of them before my test. I told everyone they just warmed the judges up for me. :) I don't find it that intimidating to warm up with them, they are actually very good about watching out for other riders in the arena. But I must say, you definitely sit up a little straighter and make your horse trot a much bigger and slower.

  • The top 4 horses in the Intermediare scored over 70%, Steffen was a slacker and won the class with only a 77% on Weltino's Magic. I mean, seriously! He needs to try a little harder.

  • My two young horses weren't quite as solid yesterday, the Equidome (the large indoor) was very intimidating for Bolero. I think it is partially all the people walking around up above him and the loudspeaker. He spooked through his entire test and spun around at one point at some imaginary monster, I think I scored a 61. It was a bummer, but everyone on young horses seems to have trouble in there. Outside he was totally fine. Today was much better, he was still tense and spooky and threw in an unscripted flying lead change at one point, but felt more ridable and settled.

  • Charismatique had more trouble in the PSG, a few mistakes to finish 58%. I rode the Developing Test this morning, and in some ways he was much better. Unfortunately I blew both pirouettes and he was pretty fussy at times in the canter work to finish on a disappointing 56% in that class. Oh well, just have more work to do.

  • They also had a High Performance Rider meeting with Anne Gribbons and Eva Soloman (of the USEF) Saturday afternoon that I attended, all the heavy-hitters were there but otherwise the attendance was surprisingly low. Most of the issues they discussed were out of the realm of most High Performance Riders (they discussed the location of the Pan-Am Games, hotels in London, qualifying for Aachen, among other things), but they also talked about looking to increase the depth of the combinations and improving the communication network between the USEF coaches and new talent. Obviously, if new talent don't attend meetings like this, they never find out about possible opportunities to move forward in the sport. Anne also bemoaned the "atrocious" Juniors around the country (evidently the Young Riders are pretty good, but the quality of the Juniors is not). Evidently one FEI Junior rode one section of her canter work entirely on the wrong lead this weekend, much to the dismay of the CDI judging panel. Yikes!!

  • More later, I ride my first ever freestyle on Escorial this afternoon at 1:45pm, right after Steffen on Weltino's Magic. Hopefully he'll get the judges good and warmed up for me. :)

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