Cross-country day at Jersey Fresh three-day event this year exceeded my expectations. In all the divisions the courses were tough, technical and relentless. The first part of the day was spent watching my working pupil, Caitlin Silliman, race Catch A Star around the two-star course which she did brilliantly, moving up to third place. She rode with style and class and her mare looks like she has pulled up well for show jumping tomorrow.
Next to go I rode Dana Diemer's Cold Harbor, who jumped around the 2-star course with ease, again cruising in under the time. He elevated his position to tenth place going into the show jumping.
Erin Sylvester and No Boundaries were next up in the CCI3* and without doubt Erin proved to the onlookers that she is absolutely a rider for the future in this country, smoking around the course and blasting her way up to 3rd place in a quality field.
I had a sigh of relief that my two pupils had done the business as I hopped on Otis Barbotiere for the CCI3* course. He felt a little green at some of the technical fences but again impressed onlookers with a smart round. I chose to chill out in the speed department as we're still in the getting to know each other phase so we picked up eight time penalties which still kept us in fourth place.
In the afternoon session I had two CIC2* horses, Faye Woolf's Call Me Ollie and Maddi Fleit's Guypowder Valley. Ollie gave me a clear demonstration that he's a galloping machine and a seriously bold horse, jumping all the fences with a massive amount of enthusiasm. It probably wasn't my prettiest round but we learnt a lot about each other throughout John Williams' 6 and a half minute course.
Guypowder Valley redeemed himself after a disappointing dressage, rocketing around the CIC2* with one of only clear rounds inside the time. I feel this cross-country round proved his value as a great cross-country horse that should be snapped up by a lucky new owner.
All in all our team had a great day of cross-country and we're looking forward to the show jumping tomorrow. All the horses look like they pulled up well and are ready for the jog tomorrow morning.
Live scores are posted here.
Here is a fun video compilation from EventingNation.com that shows a selection of the cross-country action: