The Event at Rebecca Farm was nothing short of sensational – it was one of the finest events I’ve seen on this planet! The venue is surrounded by glacial mountains – it was the first event I’ve been to with a mountain with snow in the background. All the rings had the best footing available with the new silicon/felt footing, and Mark Phillips’ cross-country was unbelievably built and presented at all levels.
I had three catch rides which went fantastic. I rode a young thoroughbred in novice which I got to know pretty quickly and won the open novice on Outlandish, owned by Cristin Babcock. Then I rode Mia Edsall's horse Banner in his first prelim start. He’s a Dutch warmblood who put in a good test and has a good jump – he destroyed the field, winning by nine points, finishing on 27.8.
The intermediate horse Manxome, (pictured at right, photo from the USEA blog), owned by Devon Robel, was a fiery hot thoroughbred who easily made the time cross-country. He was a little bit buzzed up in show jumping and had some rails down but still finished in second place.
My big ride of the weekend was Phantom Pursuit (picture at left from the USEA blog) and it was a real pleasure riding in the top horse trials class there on a great old horse. He hadn’t gone around an advanced course in five years and I was a bit nervous about how he’d handle it but he flew around the cross-country with ease. He was a little tough to ride over a huge Richard Jeffries show jumping course but luckily other horses struggled as well and he secured a fourth place finish not far off Titanium and Leyland, both WEG short-listed horses.
Eventingnation posted some video clips from cross-country day.
All in all it was well worth going; shipping the horse was remarkably easy on the horse – it was actually easier shipping them to Montana than driving to Kentucky or Richland. The event financed the shipping so much that it ended up not being too much more expensive than what you’d fork out for driving to a long-distance horse trial. Here's a fun video clip of the horses loading onto the plane and another video clip of the horses coming off the plane at the start of the trip. There is also an amazing video from the FEI flying over the three-star course. At the event there was a smile on every official’s face, well judged and perfectly organized with over 500 horses competing over the weekend.