That was the predominant phrase I heard while at the famed three-day event this past week. Every rider, when they were asked about the massive Mark Phillips designed course, had the same thing to say: It’s good! It’s big. It’s Burghley.
It was definitely big. I always say, with no disrespect at all intended, that the Land Rover Burghley CCI**** makes Rolex Kentucky look like Fisher Price My First Four Star.
Apparently the weathermen in the United Kingdom are much more reliable than in the States, because when they said the rain would stop at 3 p.m., and it was still downpouring at 2:50, we were skeptical. But, shine the sun did, and just in time for the largest number of horses to jog that I've personally witnessed.
A few drops here and there did not dampen the spirit of the crowd, though collective breathes were held while several horses were asked to be represented.
It was a gorgeous day at Bromont for Day 1 of dressage. The CCI* and *** were in the ring doing circles today, and there were many fabulous tests.
Michael Pollard and Schoensgreen Hanni put in a phenomenal test, good enough for a 48.2. His test was a bit emotional to see considering the mare was a survivor of their terrible trailer accident two weeks ago.
Sitting in first place is the stunning Downtown Harrison, ridden by Jon Holling. This horse is a lovely mover with phenomenal trot work. A few bobbles were not enough to knock them out of first with a 46.0.
I’m pretty sure Will Coleman never expected to be loading Cool Connection into a trailer and rushing him off to a surgery center in New Jersey only minutes after starting out on the Jersey Fresh CIC*** course this past weekend.
I watched the scores all day and frowned when I saw that Will Coleman and Cool Connection—owned by the rider, Tivoli Farm and Jim Wildasin—had a fall. I didn’t realize the seriousness of it at the time, but I soon got a phone call detailing the horrific—and entirely preventable—fall.
How fun to have such an amazing, dynamic list of Thoroughbreds in contention for the CANTER Ex-Racehorse Award at Rolex Kentucky this year! CANTER USA will be awarding the highest-placing race-bred Thoroughbred with a cooler, a beautiful Five Star Bridle and $200 in cash on Sunday.
Check out all of these race-bred Thoroughbreds, competing for one of the most prestigious and sought-after blue ribbons on the planet. Of course the $80,000 in cash and a Rolex watch doesn’t stink either! Here’s hoping a Thoroughbred ends up in the winner’s circle!
About nine months ago I was talking with a fellow CANTER volunteer about all of the exciting things happening in our all-encompassing world of Thoroughbreds, and I remember saying “Do you feel that? Do you feel the earth starting to rumble? It’s time, baby!”
There is something about the Southern Pines Horse Trials that makes my body tingle. The grass, the perfectly manicured rolling land, the budding trees, the massive and phenomenally decorated jumps, and show jumping on Marc Donovan's grass course. It's just bliss in horse format.
I finally had time to read through the recent The New York Times piece on the current state of racing in this country. I had a hard time getting through the entire thing. All of those horses—doing what they do because people ask them to—and dying in the process, sometimes seriously injuring or killing jockeys in a breakdown—it makes me sick to my stomach.