Another Up-And-Down Stay In Aiken

Mar 14, 2012 - 5:51 AM

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve gotten back on my computer and updated my blog for everyone at the Chronicle.

The action in Aiken has obviously been in full gear here for a while, and it’s been a real rollercoaster for me to say the least. Some ups and downs have happened since I’ve been here with the TPF crew, as No Objection got hurt in the field and is having to have some time off. It really bummed me out, but what can you do? He still has a chance of getting to the Bromont CCI*** (Quebec) this spring, so we’ll see.

On the upside, the young horses have been going well, with Catchy Melody coming second in her first outing and finding a great new home. I’m sad to see her go but happy that she’ll be continuing eventing with a new family. Nina Gardner’s other horse, White Tie N Tails, has finished third, fifth and first at his last three novice events, so I’m sure he’ll find a new home soon given how well he’s been going.

Indie has tested me at the start of this season, but he really impressed me this past weekend at Red Hills (Fla.), where he came fourth in a big class in his first FEI event and first CIC**. I think I’ll be spending some quality time at the two-star level and hope to take him to Jersey Fresh (N.J.) or Bromont now that he’s all qualified. He’s come a long way since his first event at Pine Top (Ga.) this spring, where he sent me into the drink at the water jump.

Vamor, a new ride for me, went well early this spring at Pine Top I, where I did just the combined test. He scored a 26 on the flat and show jumped clean. My first full run was at Pine Top Advanced a few weeks later, where he came fourth in the open intermediate, ending on his dressage score.

Unfortunately my run in the advanced division at Red Hills didn’t go as planned, though. I couldn’t get over a large brushed corner at fence 4, so obviously I have some homework to do there. I’m confident in the horse and know our partnership will come together.

The other young horses have been going well in Aiken, with Beth Battel’s Footlights Ollie winning his first outing at the training level and then coming fifth at Paradise (S.C.). He moved up to preliminary at Sporting Days (S.C.), scoring a 24 on the flat with just one down in the show jumping. I ran him slow in the mud and came third. Not bad for his first go!

I’m looking forward to The Fork (N.C.) and to getting back home to Pennsylvania. I always seem to have a bit of a hard time in Aiken, and I love the vibe back home. Jackie has been thriving in Aiken though, and her partnership with Asterix has brought her two wins at the training level. She also came fourth at her first preliminary after winning the dressage and showing maturity by running the older horse slow in the mucky footing that day. It’s always hard to go slow when you’re winning, and I’m very proud of her.

Arianna has also showed (again) how great she is while her horse Drummers Call is sidelined for a bit. She’s worked very, very hard and is a huge contributor to the team at TPF.

It was a great weekend at Red Hills on the whole, and I am so happy for Phillip and Whisper, as well as for the Wildasins, who now own such a brilliant horse! He really stands out against all the rest. FINGERS CROSSED for that pony!

On the up note, Cambalda and Walkabout are on the rehab train and both are trotting it up. A big thanks to Bec Braitling, who is rehabbing “Will” out in California for me. Gina Miles’ new farm looks amazing, and I’m sure that Will is always very rowdy and excited to be there. I’m really looking forward to having Will, “Ben” (No Objection), and of course Ping, back for the summer.

Hopefully everyone is doing well out in eventing land! 

Thanks for reading. 


Brannigan Eventing


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