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September 22, 2011

The Biggest Jump Of My Life—And Sans Saddle, To Boot

Jennie Brannigan and No Objection clear a 6'2" wall to win the PRO Bareback Puissance at the Plantation Field CIC. Photo by Lisa Thomas.

Well, it was an interesting weekend at the Plantation Field Horse Trials in our hometown of Unionville, Pa. I had a down but also had some good ups as well.

I took an unfortunate fall in the preliminary division on a young horse doing his first event at that level. The coffin caught us out when I was trying to ride him pretty aggressively to get the job done.

I had my first competition on a new ride and sales horse called No Objection, whom I rode in a preliminary division. He was quite good on the flat and scored a 30 and also show jumped clear on Mark Donovan’s well laid-out track on a tough piece of land on which to design. I ran No Objection conservatively to finish fourth. I was thrilled with the way he went this weekend, so now I plan to run intermediate at Morven Park and aim for the CCI** at Fair Hill this fall.

Nina Gardner’s Indie did his first intermediate, and I was thrilled with the outcome. He was tied for first in the dressage on a 25 and with one down in the show jumping he was sitting second going into the cross-country. And at 5:45 on Saturday, Indie rocked around his first intemediate like a champ. I was beyond thrilled with how well he jumped around—he was really confident and put in a brilliant round! He had some time, which was just fine by me, and ended up fourth in his first intermediate outing! Thrilled doesn't even begin to describe how happy I was with him... My little boy is really growing up!

After some really awesome parties thrown by the amazing Katie Walker, Sunday rolled around, bringing one of the highlights of Plantation weekend—the PRO bareback puissance. I must admit I was bummed to be missing the FEI rides I had running last year, but I was pretty excited about winning the puissance.

I was well mounted this year with No Objection on his toes and ready to jump... And jump he did... Over a wall that measured 6 foot and some change! I’ve never jumped that big, let alone bareback, and I’ve got say that it will stay in my mind as one the most amazing things I’ve done.

These horses we ride are amazing animals, and it just reiterated to me how lucky I am to do what I do every day... So whether we’re out competing or just enjoying a hack, it’s good to be an event rider!

Jennie

Brannigan Eventing