Monday, May. 27, 2024

Ask 5: What’s On Your Mind Down Centerline?

We asked top CCI*** competitors about their final thoughts before heading down centerline at a big event.
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Bromont, Quebec—June 5   

Dressage is often known as the phase to “get through” in eventing, but sometimes, you just have to remember to breathe and remember the fun part is about to come.

CDI competitors gave us some thoughtful answers about their last thoughts before heading down centerline at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (Fla.) this winter, but this time we asked top eventers at the Jaguar Land Rover Bromont Three-Day Event to weigh in, and as you might imagine, their responses were a little more laid-back…

Photo by Lindsay Berreth.

Lauren Kieffer, sixth in the CCI*** on Landmark’s Monte Carlo (50.0)

“I remind myself if I have to turn left or right!” she said with a laugh. (Boyd Martin, who sits in seventh on Steady Eddie, was on the same page—”Last thing is think, ‘Do I halt at X or do I halt at I?’ ” he laughed).

Photo by Lindsay Berreth.

Matt Brown, fifth in the CCI*** on Super Socks BCF (49.9)

“To be perfectly honest, I try to keep myself from thinking anything because I do think some things, and it’s usually, ‘S***! He’s not where I want him to be! That wasn’t the turn that I wanted down the centerline!’ ” said Brown. “It’s just too easy to get in my head, that kind of thing. So if I can have a tune in my head, then I just tune things out, or think about what he feels like under my seat, just find one thing that I can sort of focus on that’s a little bit static, so I don’t get too sharply focused on these particular little things that if you get stuck on them, then you can’t fix the next step. So I find that if I can stay just sort of with a general focus, I’m not worried too much about what’s happening.”

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Photo by Taylor Joyce.

Selena O’Hanlon, leading the CCI*** on Foxwood High (46.7)

“I try not to get nervous, but I get really nervous for the dressage mostly because I grew up forgetting the test! But I tell myself, when it works, I remember to say, ‘You’ve got this.’ And just go in the ring and every time you get nervous, just say, ‘You’ve got this. You can do this at home, no problem!’ “

Photo by Lindsay Berreth.

Sharon White, fourth in the CCI*** on Wundermaske (48.8)

“Breathe, breathe, breathe!”

Photo by Lindsay Berreth.

Ryan Wood, 17th in the CCI*** on Fernhill Classic (57.3)

“Stay straight!” said the Kiwi, who also checks the time on a gold watch he wears for every big test, a gift from one of his owners, Mary Hazzard. “She’s an eventing legend from the 70s; it keeps me on time!” he said with a laugh.

For full results, click here.

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