Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Another great showing for Defying Gravity Eventing. Deacon is developing into an event horse, he is really understanding what is being asked of him for this sport! It's very exciting for me to bring along a horse with this much talent and potential. I really cannot wait until it really 'clicks' with him. At Tryon, Deacon was relatively unsettled... there was a whole lot going on in the warmup ; lots of little ponies to play with and lots of open space to run! The indoor was pretty spooky, though Deacon pulled together a fairly competitive dressage test. However, cross country was the exciting phase for Deacon this weekend. His first clean training! Deacon cruised around the course in perfect style, finishing with no jump or time. Quite the little champion i must say. He was a little sore Sunday morning, but lots of walking helped him work out the kinks, and he had a beautifully clean, though one second slow, stadium round... finishing in 6th! (tied for 5th... but he went a bit too fast xc!)
Willy competed in the IP (a combination of Intermediate Dressage and Show Jumping, with Preliminary Cross Country) at Tryon and really showed how much he loves his job. With only a 10 minute warm-up (GPS malfunction) we trotted into the ring in true style, producing many lovely movements. It was a brisk morning, and he was a little fresh, but that only led to more expressive movements. The judge rewarded him with a 40 in Intermediate Test A, putting him in the lead. Cross country was a breeze for Willy, though I just wanted a fun, stress-free outing after the hard Five Points course. Willy cantered around, first out of the box, in true Connemara form, taking all of the direct routes cleanly. Leading into the show jumping ring, Willy put in yet another perfect performance, finishing with yet another clear show jumping round... for yet another WIN! This was a great way to end the 'intermediate' season with him, for he has very much regained his confidence and is ready for the challenges of next year. We just have one final competitition... Virginia Horse Trials, before a well-deserved vacation.
Willy was quite the superstar this weekend. He competed in the OI division earning a career low of 37 in dressage. The cross country was quite big! Many of the jumps were very solid, with lots of galloping! Willy rose to the challenge and jumped around CLEAN, though he is still quite inexperienced at this level, so he acquired some time penalties which dropped him from 5th to 9th. Willy led off the intermediate show jumping in good form, with just one slight miscommunication into the final combination. He finished the event in 9th, yet again in a field full of the country's top level riders.
Deacon also put forth a solid showing, on a course which almost mirrored that of the Training Championships!!! Dressage was workmanlike as usual, placing him in the top 6. Show Jumping was in perfect form, until Deacon encountered his first one stride-one stride triple combination. Cross country was very difficult both in technical elements and size, and Deacon preformed quite nicely once again. I'm looking forward to really pushing him at the next event, because I now feel he is grasping the 'training level' questions quite well. Though in typical warmblood fashion, it is quite difficult to 'get his engine going.' There is always something to work on!
What a fabulous weekend! Willy and Deacon made their first showing in Aiken, South Carolina. A big thanks to Sally Cousins who was kinda enough to open her barn for my horses, giving them a luxurious place to stay for the weekend.
Saturday started with a very heavy fog, however it was not enough to hide the cross country fences from sharp little Willy. Fortunately he settled down just enough for the dressage, earning a 44 in a division filled with the nation's top riders! He went on to have a clean and fast show jumping, finishing the day in 8th place. Deacon stepped up to the plate today, and put in his most consistent test to date, earning a 36. After a double clean show jumping round, Deacon finished the day in a tie for 4th.
Both horses ran fabulously on Sunday. Willy jumped around his toughest intermediate course to date, answering all the questions and soaring over many of the maxed out fences, to finish in 9th place. Deacon also faced quite a challenging course complete with a Weldon's Wall, rolltop into water, and ditch combination, though an early "green horse" moment caused him to fall several placings...finishing in 9th.