Sunday, November 2, 2008

Victory in Virginia!

Complete results are available here

Minotaure du Passoir finished the year in glorious fashion, winning Open Preliminary B on 28.8. He had one rail down but we were still more than a full point ahead of second place. He had the rail at fence four, where he lost his focus over the oxer coming into the triple combination. All the show jumping took place in the coliseum, and it was quite a tricky course for a young horse, but after fence four I got his attention and he jumped really well. He's just had five events since he had colic surgery earlier this year and is in really good form. Out of those five he had three wins, a second and a third.

Benwald, (pictured right, Amber Heintzberger photo), had a clear round under pressure to finish in second place in the Open Intermediate B division (35.10), adding just one time fault to his dressage score. I've been working real hard on his show jumping with Phillip and he's never been better. I'm trying to stay over back on top in the air because he wants to get a little hollow; it's a little more forward than I'm used to riding in the landing, encouraging him to kick out in the back - he usually has rails down behind, and this has helped with that. I feel that riding him like that also keeps him more relaxed and a bit softer in the neck. It's quite a finish for the year; his plan now is to have a rest until we go to Aiken in January.

Also in intermediate I had a clean round on Tantibes under the watchful eye of the Technical Delegate, after a disastrous cross-country yesterday. I talked to his owner again and we agreed that he is a fantastic jumper but finds cross-country way too exciting. I think he has a promising future in show jumping.

Pepper, owned by Nina Gardner, was competing in only her second prelim and had one rail down to finish eighth (45.5). She's a Thoroughbred/French cross and is only five; she's still developing and in time I think she'll get better and more confirmed at prelim.

In the training division Vidalia, also owned by Nina Gardner, finished on her cross-country score of 30. She had a great cross-country; last year I struggled with her at the water - she stopped and I fell off a few times. She spent some time fox hunting with Nancy Miller and came back a lot braver. She has been faultless on cross-country since then.


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