Sunday, May 22, 2011

Virginia Horse Trials

This weekend saw a great competition over three days at The Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, VA. Without a doubt, this is one of the coolest venues around for horse trials, with a massive indoor stadium for the show jumping. I competed there with five younger horses that all did well:

Charla, (pictured above), owned by Ron & Densey Juvonen, is getting back to her top form after placing 6th in the Open Intermediate. She is heading up to the Bromont CCI** in Quebec in a couple of weeks, and this run was perfect for her. This feisty little mare has all of the talent in the world and I feel she has a chance of going to the Pan American Games if all goes well.

Cagney Herself, owned by Bonnie Stedt, had her first Preliminary start and did not disappoint. She had the only clear show jumping round in the Preliminary Horse division, finishing her weekend in 4th place. Next up for Caggaz is a prelim in two weeks at Waradaca, then a well deserved spell of rest.

Crackerjack, owned by Colin Davidson and Lucy Boynton, also showed moments of brilliance in the Prelim. If I can keep Crackers relaxed, he is a big time horse. This little guy can move in the dressage, and he can seriously run and jump! We were unlucky to pick up my only rail this weekend; he finished 6th. Next stop for Crackers is the CCI* up in Bromont.

Summer Breeze W, owned by Anne Hennessey, has to be the most consistent horse I have ridden this year. She is still a little green and spooky, but she is showing signs of being a rock star for the future. She picked up 3rd place in the Training division at Virginia and next up for her is the Training division at Bromont, then a well deserved break at Anne's place in Vermont.

Partyboy, (pictured above), owned by Fernanda Kellogg & Nick Meyers, also had a successful weekend. The dressage judge was a bit harsh on Curtis, but a clear round in the show jumping saw him move up eight places. He finished 8th overall. I have decided to leave him at Training level for a few more starts as he still feels green, but he is an exciting young horse that has got a great look about him.

The other awesome part of the weekend was seeing my working student/assistant rider Lillian Heard smash a quality field in the Prelim on her mare Ariel. She had a dressage score of 18 and looks to be in good form for Bromont. I am a little bit nervous that she might have me covered in the CCI*, so I am thinking of telling her that the organizers have changed the dressage tests at Bromont, just to put her off her game.


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