I’m sitting in the airport in Boston right now, waiting for my 5:30 am flight to get back to the barn to ride, and I’m feeling very, very lucky. This weekend was amazing and not just because Phillip was incredible (Milo as well). I learned so much being at the event and was in awe of how big it was!
To start off the weekend, Christian Trainor picked me up from the airport without ever meeting me before, and she was incredibly nice. When I got to the event I was greeted by all the Americans and immediately began watching the dressage. I got to see Allison Springer, Buck Davidson, Amy Tryon and Jennifer Wooten put in great tests.
Allison’s Arthur reminded me of Cooper. He was spooky in the ring but good for Allison. Buck’s trot work was amazing. Amy is just an amazing horse person and incredible to watch. Jennifer, who is based in California, put in a lovely test as well, and The Good Witch looks awesome.
We walked the course that afternoon with Mark Phillips, and I’m including tons of pics from that. Those jumps are huge and so technical. It was eye-opening, that is for sure. Getting to watch on Saturday and then help out with big Phil and the rest of the Americans was an educational experience. There were some ups and downs as Becky Holder, who was first out, had a run-out at fence six which was Discovery Valley. This fence ended up causing tons of problems and ended up not being ridden on the exact straight route to get it done.
Karen O’Connor fell at these really tough corners on the Dairy Mound. I was out helping Milo and Phil get ready for his big go when that happened. Milo was amazing. To say that Phillip is a great cross-county rider is such an understatment. He made light work of where others stuggled. He skipped through Discovery Valley the way it was meant to be done and the water as well. It made me appreciate who I work for even more than I already do.
I watched Amy show some of the best horsemanship I’ve ever seen to get Leyland, who is only 9, around that cross-country. She smartly rode him through the Discovery Valley and the water, not putting a 20 on the board, and he jumped the rest looking like a seasoned pro! Buck and Amy conversed before he went out of the box, and Buck also did an unreal job of getting a green horse around clean! His horse looks like it’s not too keen on ditches, and Buck looks like he knows him so well.
I didn’t get to see Missy Ransehousen go, because I was cooling down Reggie (Buck’s horse), but Allison and Jennifer were the last to ride for the Americans. I am bummed for Allison as she had three stops and got eliminated. Her horse looked so spooky, and the final stop was at this waterfall ditch and wall that was seriously spooky. Jen rode the straight way at Discovery Valley and had a run-out but jumped the rest amazingly.
There were so many lessons learned on Saturday about being able to change plans and ride smart! Most of all I was amazed at Becky Holder. She had a bad go, but she helped cool down horses all day. Is that not unreal? She was helping out more than anyone. I’ve never met someone like that who has done so much and has no ego. That’s what being an eventer is, isn’t it? Even though she had a bad day, she was there for the rest of the riders.
On Sunday I watched all the horses jog up amazingly well and got to walk the show jumping. I had an early plane to catch to get back home to work on Monday, so I only got to see Missy and Jennifer jump. Jennifer had a beautiful round with just one down. She’s a great rider to watch. So now I’m here waiting to get back home and motivated even more to ride!!