I have come to the terms with the fact that, at the moment, I am completely incapable of sleeping in anymore. This really is quite unfortunate.
I am currently sitting on my friend Lillian Heard’s couch at 6:30 in the morning on the Monday following the Plantation Field horse trials, which was an exciting weekend for me.
First off I believe I should comment on my weekend at the American Eventing Championships, which went quite well. My little Indie came second in quite a large division of more than 50 top training horses from all over the country. Although he is green at the level, Indie was more than ready for the challenge; proving what a champ he will be for the future.
With all the hustle of Plantation Field, he’s had quite a light week, but I look forward to spending some more time on him here in the next few days. Nina Gardner’s Ularinka was lovely and an unfortunate rail moved her from third to 10th in a highly competitive division. I was still very pleased with her and look forward to seeing what the cards hold for her in the future.
I had seven horses running at Plantation, which did indeed keep me on my toes all week long. The preliminary horses ran well. Annie Jones’ Young Man came second after a lovely dressage and jumped quite well both days. I kept the emergency brake on a little bit on him and just tried to give him a good ride.
Beth Battel’s Thalia ran fourth in the open preliminary, and while we had some green moments, it was her first preliminary, and she handled it well. Nina Gardner’s Paprika, who is quite young, ran second in her preliminary division as well. I was impressed with how well she handled the challenge.
I had the task this weekend of getting Nina Gardner’s stunning gray mare Vidalia qualified for the two-star at Fair Hill for Phillip. I was a bit nervous, as you can imagine, about that! She was brilliant though and ended up putting in two clean jumping efforts to bounce her way into the top five at the end of Sunday. Walkabout also was in the two-star, and his dressage is slowly but surely improving. I did run him a bit slower trying to improve the rideability as always and an unfortunate rail kept him out of the ribbons.
Cambalda made his three-star debut and had a very nice dressage test for his level of experience. Sandy Phillips gave me a 68 percent, but it seems the other judge gave me a 60 percent, which was a bit unfortunate. He did run the cross-country amazingly well, and I let him carry pass without pushing him on the gallops. He had 5.6 time penalties. He pulled up great, jogged really well on Sunday and was feeling good when he jumped a double-clear round to end up winning the class by 16 points or so. I am thrilled with him and cannot wait to see what the future holds for this 8-year-old horse. I am so happy with him and know the Gardners are as well!
This week I have the Flora Lea horse trials on Sunday with some young ones, and I look forward to seeing all the renovations they have done with the place!