Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tough Conditions at Pine Top

Well folks I can tell you that I am well and truly soaking wet. For the last three days I have been competing Minoture du Passoir, Shatzi W, Remington XXV and Benwald in the mud at the Pine Top Horse Trials in Thompson, Georgia. All four horses put in great dressage tests and clear show jumping rounds on Friday and Saturday.

On Saturday night the storm of all storms hit Georgia. The organizers of the event wisely chose to cancel the cross-country phase of the preliminary and the intermediate due to the harsh conditions on Sunday morning. This was a little bit of a shame for Min and Shatzi as they were within striking distance of the leaders. The organizers did choose to run the advanced cross-country.

Remington was having his first advanced start of his life. The challenge was set with not only a big course but with pouring rain and muddy conditions. Remington was a champion flying around the course clear. He felt a little bit green, especially the bounce fence out of the first water. I also felt he really noticed the bigger size in fence, so I took my time setting him up. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw he held onto 2nd place in Advanced A-1 on 59.0 out of 19 horses, only eight of which completed the event. This was a big effort for such a green horse.

Benwald, (pictured above and right, photo by Kat Netzler/The Chronicle of The Horse), was also a legend today. The Irish Thoroughbred went cross-country later in the day when the track was well and truly chopped up. He was all heart, slipping and sliding around the course. There were three corners on the course that he jumped well. Apex fences and corners have been his weak link so I have been training hard over them. I was really impressed with his effort over these accuracy fences, and it's good too see the training is paying off. He recorded the fastest time of the day, finishing 2nd in the second Advanced A-3 class on 56.4, out of 18 horses.

So all in all, I am very pleased with the efforts of these top horses. For complete results, click here.

Kat Netzler of The Chronicle of the Horse kindly provided these photos of Benwald in action. Thanks for the photos Kat, and for standing out in the rain to get them!

Until next time...


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