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Grass Ridge in Sonoita, AZ

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  • Grass Ridge in Sonoita, AZ

    Grass Ridge Horse Trial (southern AZ) is looking for volunteers and is offering xc schooling vouchers for volunteering.

    I want to go, but it's no fun alone. Anyone want to go with me next weekend and "camp"? (mattress + sleeping bags in the gooseneck horse trailer dressing room) We'd be leaving from Chandler, AZ disgustingly early on Saturday, heading back Sunday afternoon.


    PM or email me if you're interested.
    Last edited by wsmoak; Oct. 19, 2009, 03:45 PM.
    ... and Patrick
  • Original Poster

    We got back yesterday afternoon and I was just going to take a nap before dinner... and never got back up. I was exhausted after spending all weekend outside in the heat and wind, and I didn't even ride! Dehydrated too I'm sure. No matter how much water I drink, it's never enough.

    This venue just keeps getting better. When I first went, they had dressage and SJ at the fairgrounds, and then you had to pack up everything on Sunday and move over to Grass Ridge Farm for XC (or just bring horses over and go back to get the rest of the stuff). Now everything is in one place so you can settle in once and enjoy it.

    They could have used a parking steward I think. People were parked every which way, but there was more than enough room once we found a way through to the top of the field.

    Everything seemed to run smoothly, they were staying on schedule with breaks between divisions. Not great for the spectators, but much better for riders and coaches with people in multiple divisions to know exactly when things were supposed to happen.

    Saturday we had a bit of weather. To call it a dust devil really doesn't do it justice, this was a mini tornado. My husband was napping in the trailer and he said it rocked our GN that was still hitched to the truck pretty severely. A bumper pull near us was knocked off the block the trailer jack was sitting on, and someone will be replacing the awning on their LQ trailer as it was flipped up over the trailer and broken. (The horse that was tied on the opposite side was not pleased and broke loose.) Bad as that was, at least it avoided both the barn area and the stadium ring! They already had sandbags on all the jumps, but this would have rearranged them anyway.

    Stadium looked really hard. It was set on a slope, and both the double and triple for Prelim were set _downhill_. Needless to say, the last fence of the triple came down a few times. There was one innocent looking vertical at the top that got a lot of people. It must have been a visual thing, either the tractor parked nearby, or just how it looked as you jumped towards the arena fence. Two sides of stadium were marked with black and white flags on a string and the wind would set them snapping, but that didn't seem to bother anyone.

    XC also seemed to run smoothly and both the cross country fences and the combined driving obstacles look great. The "wall of corn" (brush fence made of dried corn stalks) always gets a few who don't understand the question, I have video of one horse who tried his best to clear the whole thing instead of jumping through it.

    We managed to have a flat tire on the trailer on the way there, and it looks like a sharp rock did it. I'll be interested to see what the tire place finds in there!

    I know RAR came up for XC day, does anyone else have a report?
    ... and Patrick


    • #3
      Originally posted by wsmoak View Post
      The "wall of corn" (brush fence made of dried corn stalks) always gets a few who don't understand the question, I have video of one horse who tried his best to clear the whole thing instead of jumping through it.
      That was Frederic, right? Someone was saying that his job was to make a HOLE in the steeplechase fence so that the other horses would understand they should go through it, not over it, but they just sailed right over the whole thing.

      I liked the fact that they used the same fence for Prelim & Training, and just took hedge trimmers or a chainsaw out there between rounds and trimmed it down to Training height. Pretty clever
      Approved helmet: Every time; every ride.
      "When a sport gets to be predictable it ceases to be fun." - RAR's wise brother


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by Risk-Averse Rider View Post
        I liked the fact that they used the same fence for Prelim & Training, and just took hedge trimmers or a chainsaw out there between rounds and trimmed it down to Training height. Pretty clever
        Yep, it gives the Training riders a heart attack when walking the course, but after Prelim they show up with a chain saw and buzz it down to a reasonable height.

        A couple of Novice riders managed to skip a fence at the top of the hill in between a log and the ditch. My theory is that they were worried about the ditch and just plain forgot to make a big enough loop to catch the fence in between! At least one also jumped the wrong side of the ditch (jumped the BN ditch backwards instead of the N ditch).

        I should mention that there were a couple of Championship divisions running, (P and N?) so if stadium seemed harder than normal that was probably why.
        ... and Patrick


        • Original Poster

          A few pictures from Sunday: http://www.pbase.com/wendysmoak/200910-grassridge

          You can see the Wall of Corn (from the back side) before (Prelim) and after (Training) as well as a couple of the combined driving obstacles. I wish I had time to go back down and see the driving!

          And the video (21.9 MB) (which seems to work best if you right click and save locally... for me it won't play all the way through in Safari.) Or, eventually, on Vimeo.
          Last edited by wsmoak; Oct. 19, 2009, 06:17 PM. Reason: added Vimeo link
          ... and Patrick


          • #6
            Awesome video of Frederic charging up the hill ;-)
            Approved helmet: Every time; every ride.
            "When a sport gets to be predictable it ceases to be fun." - RAR's wise brother