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June 14, 2011

A First Four-Star, A Second Chance In Europe

Kelley Merette labeled everything, including Jennie and Ping.

Well things are getting underway here at Luhmuhlen, and I have to say that I’ve been a little hesitant to write any blogs due to the fact that everyone here is in some sort of blog war with each other.

I’m choosing to opt out on the whole situation. And I’d like to say that’s because I’m focusing on other things, but in reality, I just have no chance whatsoever against the likes of Nat and Kelley, since their blogs are far more entertaining than mine have ever been.

For me, this trip is quite interesting and has a few firsts to it. It is my first trip competing in Europe since taking Cooper to Bramham, where I was so disappointed with the outcome. It’s my first four-star as well, and also the first time my lovely and talented partner Ping will go out at the four-star level.

When Bramham happened, at the time I couldn't see past the run-out I had—at least not quickly enough to have my head straight on Sunday. Now looking back, seeing how one-track minded I was, I recognize the many benefits that came because of that trip.

A couple days ago, I ran from the Luhmuhlen showgrounds to where we were stabling a mile or so down the road to get some exercise and check out the fantastic new grounds. Upon entering the showgrounds I got sidetracked and found myself staring into the main arena at the horse show.

With empty grandstands and brand new footing, the place looks quite amazing. I sat there for 15 minutes listening to my iPod and thinking about what the past two years have been like.

To say that I feel a bit wiser for the mistakes I’ve made and things I’ve learned would be an understatement. I come into this trip with a far clearer mental image, and to be honest, I have my priorities a whole lot straighter.

I have a great group of people that I believe in and support me. I’ve decided to no longer be swayed by those who do not belong in this group. I believe in Ping and plan to go out and ride the best I can, realizing that there will be bumps on the road and remembering that I am incredibly lucky to be in the shoes I’m in.

I thought when Cooper was gone that it would be a long, long time before I got to come to an event as amazing as this one. When things like the fire at TPF happen, they make you stop in your tracks and think a moment about life. It’s shocking sometimes that it takes a moment like that to really put things into perspective—to take the time to notice the other people around you just a little bit more and to be more grateful to see your horses everyday.

In the rest of my blogs I’ll try to include more information about the event and what’s happening, but for now I’m just very thankful to be here and to be representing my barn and the United States. I plan to do the best job I absolutely can of that. 

Enjoy the silly pictures! There’s been some good times! 

Jennie

Brannigan Eventing

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