I had a really good jump schools with both big boys and the young horses with Phillip then ran both Dyson and Luminati at Sporting Days. I also and did a dressage test with both Syd and JR. After my work with David, JR was much better, and Syd scored a 24. Both the young horses went Training, which was maybe a big ask for Dyson, but the Novice jumps are so easy for him I need to have something bigger to ride to. Plus, he’s quite brave. Dyson’s dressage test was nice, though I had a bit too much warm up. He was beautiful in show jumping with just the last jump down. Cross-country is easy for him and provided a good school. It was Luminati’s first time competing and he put in a pleasant test, and was really fun to ride show jumping and on cross-country though it took about three jumps cross-country to get him focused he was so spooky. He was great at ditches and water. Dyson ended 8th in THB and Luminati 4th in THA. I’ll do one more Training at Pine Top with Dyson and Luminati and maybe do Preliminary at Morven if I feel they’re fit enough.
The rest of the Surefire crew had a fantastic weekend at Sporting Days: Chase was 1st on Ever So Lucky and 3rd on Palm Crescent in the JYOP and second on Toddy in OTA, Kendyl won the P/T on Velvet and was 7th on McFly in OND, McKenzie Ragan was second in JYOP on Surefire’s Anwar, Aisling Carroll won JTR on Fluff and Cinthy Carson was 6th in BNA on Popstar.
With all the scare of EHV-1, we didn’t leave for Red Hills until Thursday morning. My Mom and I took down Kaylin Dines’s horse Why Not, and my two, Syd and JR. Caitlin had her Advanced horse Jolliyat and Erika Carson had her two one-star horses. Red Hills is a really well run event and a good test to see where you are with your horses. I was slotted first to go on JR, and again his dressage test was improved, maybe a bit conservative but fairly correct for a 47. Syd was beautiful to ride, but even though I had already ridden the test once, I forgot the halt and rein back and didn’t let the test flow too well after that. I hate it when you have a pilot error, there’s no excuse for that! I just got thinking too far ahead in the test. We still had a 50.5, but I know it should be better.
My goal for cross-country was just to have a good run on JR and get all the jumps done, make sure he was on his game and put into practice all the things I needed to. Thank God Phillip was in the warm up because JR almost stopped at the first roll top he was spooking so much. Phillip gave me a pep talk and told me to use a lot of spur, spur him harder!! He ended up being great on course. I was a bit quicker on Syd, though he landed on all fours into the last water but otherwise was really nice to ride. Both horses show jumped beautifully and I had two of only ten clean rounds in the 3-star division. JR ended 8th and Syd 11th.
Kaylin and Why Not were 14th in the one-star, which was a really competitive division. She had a bit of an unfortunate dressage but didn’t add anything else to her score. In the same division, Erika had nice test on Ricardo and some improvement on Finn in dressage, but unfortunately didn’t have the best timing with Ricardo and had a stop cross-country and two rails in show jumping. Finn was really good for her in show jumping and ran around clean and fast cross-country once Erika had woken up from Ricardo. Caitlin Calder had a nice test on Jolliyat, but had a stop and some time cross-country where she said she just went to sleep a bit. She had three down in show jumping and a bit of time. I think she was a bit too concerned about distances and didn’t ride the canter, which happens to all of us. We were lucky to have Kendyl Tracy fly down to help and the Carsons—Jay, Cinthy and Erika—were a great team after cross-country.
It’s amazing how time flies here in Aiken. We’ll head home after Southern Pines II and Surefire South will be north soon.