Yikes, I just read Heather's sad post about Presto. This year is the first time in about 10-15 years that I've missed being at Fair Hill. I was so bummed to be out of town on business travel, but now that I've read the posts about the fatalities and injuries, its a blessing I wasn't there. However, I am looking forward to reading the COTH coverage.
I hope those reading do not feel that it was all gloom and doom at Fair Hill. Au contrare! I thought the riding was truly inspirational and exciting to watch, and the combinations I saw were awesome. I scolded a couple of the boarders today for not going with me yesterday and they promised not to miss it next year. From where I was on the backside of the course I would about quarter of the horses looked too sloppy to adjust correctly, most were pretty fit, and only one or two rank or overfit. However, the combination 22abc was KIND to all as there were no crashes, just glance offs and bad jumps without disastrous landings from what I could see and hear. But the majority of the three star horses I saw looked as tho they belonged there and that late on the course, that is quite high praise for the course designers and cross country folks. My condolences to those with Presto, my heart goes out to you.
Looks like final results are in on Fair Hill web site. Phillip 1st, Kim 2nd, Stuart 3rd, Amy 4th. Yea, Amy Barrington -- 12th and Sara Mittlieder --13th. Sara is a young rider from Idaho who has made that little horse from 3 year old to 3 *** horse.
My heart is with you, Kaiti - and just realize that Presto has joined a pretty great bunch of friends over the Rainbow Bridge. Two of my real youngsters (5 & 8), and all those oldies, including Willem, to teach him the ropes!
Part way through stadium she started getting excited about thinking she was going to be clear, instead of concentrating on the course- and pulled 3 rails as a result. But 16th place is still nothing to sneeze aout, and a big improvement over "thirty something" last year.
AND she got the sportsmanship award!
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).
I'm so pleased for Sara -- there isn't a nicer person or harder worker, and I'm delighted that the hard work that went into this trip paid off so nicely for her and her family.
And of course I'm delighted for Stuart, who's just had a fantastic two weeks. I can't wait to see his partnership with Blackie continue to develop, and Star (the mare he rode at Radnor) is incredibly exciting.
My delight for these two and other friends is tempered by sadness for the loss of Presto, however. This is a hard sport to love. --Jess
Jenna and Obie had a great weekend, one of only 28 to go clear on the x/c in their first ***. She had a very nice show jumping on Sunday, forward and soft, but 3 rails when he just tapped them. They ended up 26th and it counts as a qualifier for Rolex, if they're ready to go in the Spring.
I made it a point to watch for Gillian and Sportscar, and they were fabulous! Nice dressage, amazing x/c, the mare jumped the heck out of the stadium course but had a couple of rails. I saw Gillian riding her around bareback in her sheet before the jog on Sunday morning. What a pair!
Amy and Platinum also had a nice dressage test and jumped around brilliantly.
Spot and Obie were two horses apart to go this past weekend. I met Kaiti as we were setting up in the vet box and she and I shared nerves as Obie and Jenna set off on the x/c course. Our crew was jubilent when Obie and Jenna came back in clear, and seconds later Spot fell at the ditch and wall. It was horrible, but we thought he was going to be OK--the word over the loudspeaker was that he was cast in the ditch and both horse and rider were OK. Later that night word ran through the barn Kaiti had made the difficult, but right, decision to euthanize him. My heart goes out to her, and Allison.