Nov. 1, 2009, 05:57 PM
Well this had to be one of the worst nightmares of a day for a HT I can even imagine! Woke up this AM and was 70+ degrees at 6:00, and the sun was peeking over the trees when we pulled out. However, on the way to Five County a black wall of clouds met us halfway and the wind blew, the rain poured down and the temp began dropping! In spite of horrid conditions we had quite a good turnout, I think only three riders didn't show up. A few also retired after dressage, just too much for them (and I do not blame them), but many tough cookies persevered and rode the entire event. In spite of the rain the footing in the dressage was fine, there were LOTS of puddles (OK lakes!) but not at all slippery. The cross country passed Nanci Lindroths inspection, she was quite surprised at how good the footing was after the DOWNPOUR right at the end of dressage. The rain did stop for Cross country thank goodness and really the courses rode great. A few minor slips here and there, but very few stops and the only elimination was a rider that missed a jump, a few folks did retire for various reasons, but there were NO mishaps at all. The rain came back for stadium but it was light, and again the footing was remarkbly good for a grass arena. Again a minor slip or two, but no one had any stops, one "technical" refusal when someone crossed their tracks, but the course seemed to ride well. We did scale the time down on CC from 325 to 300 in beg novice and we waived the time altogether in Maiden. A few time faults but not many. Overall a successful day and many thanks and kudos to Greg and Vicki Hartrich, Nanci Lindroth, our photographer Andera Bowman, M & M Tack shop for coming out and donating the $25 gift certificate and ALL the volunteers without which there would be NO horse trials!!! Everyone kept a very positive attitude and kept on working thru the issues the weather threw at us. We even managed to remain "on time" all day long. I just cannot say enough good things about the experience and above all thanks to the competitors who braved the elements and came to join us for the day! Be looking for our 2010 dates soon! We plan on a srping and fall HT, and hope to expand the Beginner novice course. Not sure when we will decide to do a Novice level, but I am certain it will happen!