|L-R Tim Dutta, Boyd Martin, Jennie Brannigan and Allison Springer. Photo Jenni Autry|
This year I’ve got a very impressive group of up and coming horses; all six horses that I rode on the weekend were brilliant. In the two-star I rode Gloria Callen’s Welcome Shadow and Denise Lahey and Pierre Colin’s SBF Cortez. Both of these horses were super green but were great in all three phases.
|Welcome Shadow. Photo Lisa Thomas|
Mid-Atlantic Equestrian Services
Shadow got a little bit nervous in the dressage and unfortunately I got unseated at a duck towards the end of the cross-country, which required me to do a loop to jump the last element; I didn’t think I crossed my tracks but they gave me a stop, unfortunately. Shadow came out Sunday and show jumped terrific, finishing her event in grand style with a clear round. I think I’ll do another two-star with her next year and keep her at intermediate until then to give her more confidence.
|SBF Cortez. Photo Lisa Thomas|
Cortez was did an unbelievable dressage test and he scored 43, which put him in 3rd place out of around 110 starters. He was also super around cross-country, picking up just a couple time penalties, then had a couple fences down in show jumping to finish 8th which was a big accomplishment considering he wa s up against such stiff competition.
Toronto. Like Shadow, I’d like to keep him at intermediate until he
does another two-star next year. Who knows, one of these two might be
considered for the Pan-Am Games in Toronto.
I had my work cut out for me in the three-star with four horses having their first go at this level. I was thrilled to finish the event on all three of them, as I was nervous coming into the event that they were not up to the big challenge.
|Steady Eddie. Photo Lisa Thomas|
George and Gretchen Wintersteen’s Steady Eddie was going well on cross-country but unfortunately I came in too strong to the double corners and had a glance-off, which spoiled his placing, but he gave me the true feeling of a four-star horse.
Pancho Villa, owned by the Pancho Villa Syndicate, was brilliant; he did a super duper dressage test. I took one long option at the corners after the run-out with Eddie, but Pancho felt brilliant the whole way around. I didn’t push him for the time, as I just wanted to go clear, and he show jumped sensationally yesterday.
Lucy Boynton’s Crackerjack also put in a great performance. I did not push him for the time on cross-country since this was his first time at this level, and he was jumping great. He came out yesterday full of life and had the round of the day in the show jumping.
|Master Frisky at the Jog. Photo by Jenni Autry|
|Master Frisky photo Jenni Autry|
A massive thanks to my staff here at Windurra! Riding six horses in a CCI was something I’d never done before and it took a massive amount of hard work and organization. Everyone working for me did an excellent job working dawn to dusk every day for the five days of the event and the horses were in magnificent condition thanks to their hard work. It’s a great crew of young people I’ve got here at the moment, all hard working, eager and full of energy.
Thanks also to the owners of all these Fair Hill horses. It’s been a long journey with all these horses to get them to this event. Each horse has had its ups and downs and I’m thankful that the owners all believed in their horses and helped get them to this great event.