Today was the last day of the CDI Estes Park here in Colorado. The Intermediare I freestyle was again very competitive, with riders vying for the Festival of Champions later this fall trying to get their freestyle qualifying scores. In order to qualify for Festival, riders only have to ride one I-1 freestyle at a CDI and score 62% or better. Even though it doesn't count towards your overall average, it is a good opportunity to show your freestyle to the tough CDI judges and see what they think!
This test was Victor's first-ever freestyle in competition, and he handled the music and the atmosphere like a champ. The freestyle itself went quite well, I rode pretty spot on to the music and the music itself was very well-received. The trot work is to a piece from the Sherlock Holmes movies and the canter work is to a familiar piece from Pirates of the Carribean, and both pieces go together very well. The music is very substantial and a little dark, and it fits Victor's gaits perfectly. Cindy Seburn did the music, and she did an excellent job putting it together and editing it.
Unfortunately we weren't on top form technically today and had several expensive mistakes, starting with a botched left canter pirouette which earned us 4s and mistakes in both lines of 2 tempis. We also didn't show enough collected walk in our freestyle (the rules specify a 20m minimum), so we earned straight 3s on our collected walk. That also pulled down our choreography score. Also the harmony score went down because of the mistakes. In spite of all that we were still able to score 65.8 from that tough panel because there were a lot of good things in the test. With some work on the walk section, and cleaning up the other technical issues, I think this freestyle could score over 70%. We finished 5th, but only 1 percent separated 3rd from 5th.
It was a little bit of a disappointing end to an otherwise good show. The horses have definitely improved their basic way of going, and I'm getting better about showing them to the best of their ability from the get-go. Certainly I rode the PSG with much more impulsion and flair than I ever do. I also have a very good sense of what needs to be done in the warm-up and how much time it will likely take.
Tomorrow we make the long trek back home to Eagle, Idaho. It's been nice to be in a little bit cooler climate and only have two horses to deal with!