Friday, October 17, 2008

Belmont II Breaks Into the Top Ten at Fair Hill

Boyd and Belmont II, owned by Kate Dichey, compete in the CCI*** at Fair Hill. Amber Heintzberger photo


Today I had Belmont II in the three-star. I gave him a light workout first thing in the morning and he felt pretty good so I was confident. He warmed up well before the test and Silva told me to go for it in the ring. He gets tense sometimes with atmosphere, but he went in and I felt like I got the best test that I've had with him so far.

He was just a little tense in the walk, but it was the best score we've had and it's exciting that it was in an FEI test and that he made the top ten with such good rides from the competition. I thought in both the two-star and the three-star the judges got a little more generous as the day went on, but luckily I rode in the afternoon!

Thinking about tomorrow, in the two-star the biggest thing is making sure I have enough fuel left in the tank with Remington.

In the three-star Kairo's a little green and I don't know him well so I will have to take my time at the jumps that ask accuracy questions. Belmont is big and strong so I'll have to take care with him at the end of the course, in case he gets stronger as we go along.

Remington is first on course at 8:30am so I'm looking forward to getting out early and getting a good ride while the others sit back in the barn getting nervous! Actually it's an advantage to watch a few go, but it's part of the sport that what you get is what you get.

Silva's students did well today, so I'll hand it over to her to talk about them....


Molly [Rosin] was awesome yesterday, she had a little scare in the shoulder-in left when the loudspeaker started crackling and Charly spooked, but she pulled herself together and rode a beautiful test.

Ryan [Wood]had beautiful trot work and the canter got a bit long, but the horse has naturally fantastic movement and obviously he did well in spite of the canter.

Cayla's ride was fantastic - the horse didn't look as big as he does sometimes, which makes Cayla look like a peanut up there. She really pulled him together well. She got a 66 from two judges and a 61 from one judge so the scores were off and I think she should have scored higher, which is disappointing.

Julia Steinberg and Mr. Big had a lovely test and scored their best score ever.

Steph Boyer got the flying changes, and I thought she should have scored better too. I guess I'm a little biased, because I see the horses every day so I saw how much they have improved, while the judges only see what's in front of them!

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