Kendyl Tracy didn’t have the most ideal weekend in the Intermediate Rider as her horse, Ever So Lucky, was really wild in dressage. She did show jump great and was really good cross-country until two from home, when Kendyl pulled one too many times, the horse hit her knee on the jump and Kendyl popped off. I’m sure she was thinking, “damn-it,” though they’ll both be fine to compete another day. Meghan O’Donoghue and Pirate finished 7th in OI2 with a personal best dressage score, which was nice as Meghan’s been working really hard on that. It was great for she and her horse to get out and get rid of some cobwebs, especially since they didn’t get to finish at Sporting Days.
Its seems like the weeks go flying by when you’re here in Aiken, and as soon as Pine Top was done we were right back at it getting ready for Paradise, which started on Friday so we had a short week to prepare. Bebe was really good in a big, hard division, and got all 7s and 8s except for one 5 and one 6 in the dressage. Her dressage ring was a bit hard for her as it was a little downhill and so is she because she’s still not mature. But she jumped great and ended up 15th in a very competitive division on a 29.6. Wyatt was awesome, and won the dressage on a 25.9, even though it wasn’t as good as the weekend before. Phillip and I had worked earlier in the week on making sure I could kick Wyatt right out of the box and let the first couple jumps back him off. That’s hard to do when you haven’t done much competing in a while! But I stuck to the plan we had worked out for my whole course at Paradise and it paid off because it was really easy to ride him around this time. We get worried about our horses being strong when we start cross-country and sometimes forget to kick. Kicking helps! And of course Wyatt was great in the show jumping and jumped clean. I had accomplished step one of my comeback plan, and that was to first get back my confidence and be competitive at Preliminary. Even though I’m entered in Intermediate at Pine Top Advanced this weekend, I’m only going to do a combined test, then run two more Preliminaries before moving up. Wyatt is still green even though he did a 2-star last fall, so I’m taking my time.
The rest of the Surefire crew had mixed results at Paradise. Gennifer Giustina, who is visiting from Colorado with her horse, Aragon II, unfortunately lost her way going to the first fence in the Training and was eliminated. My new working student, Courtney Carson and her horse Sunny Rosarian, were going well in the PT until show jumping. The horse was a little spooky and maybe not in front of Courtney’s leg so she had rails and time, but she did manage to finish. Ashlyn Dorsey, also visiting from Colorado and competing in the PT on her horse Cosmic Girl, had a good event too, and is pointing her to Young Riders this summer. She’ll probably be in Aiken for the month, then go home after the Poplar CIC. Meghan rode my horse BT Ten Mile in ONA and they finished on their dressage score. They haven’t gotten a ribbon yet, but the horse is so kind and really fun for Meghan to ride, so hopefully someone will want him. In OPA, Helen Morris and Awesome KC had a tough start in dressage, but then ended cross-country and show jumping on a better note.
Monday I had a much-needed day off (after I spent the whole morning in the barn). Tom was down for Sunday and Monday and it was nice to spend some time with him. We had a Surefire Farm dinner Monday night with all of the people who are in town and had a great time. I’ll check back after my weekend at Pine Top. By the way, did I mention that the whole week here it was in the 70s?