We made the trek down to Red Hills with Colin, Sammy and Fi slated to run the Preliminary. We really enjoy Red Hills as it’s a well organized and beautiful venue that does a great job promoting itself and theirs always a great crowd and exciting atmosphere.
Both Colin and Sammy put in great dressage tests to score 29.4 and 29.8 respectively to sit in 6th and 7th in the large Open Preliminary class. Fi did a more exuberant test to sit somewhere near the bottom….as can happen with her.
The Cross Country was slightly less technical than last year but still posed a good test and, as usual at Red Hills, time was tough to get as its a bit of a twisty turny track. Colin was the first horse on course for the entire day and he started it off great with a clear round and some time penalties. He’s still working on getting his gallop and focusing on where he’s going but he’s getting there! As this was Sammy’s first run back at the preliminary level I didn’t push for time and let her have a leisurely canter around and she was spot on! She’s so happy to be back out competing again and it was wonderful to feel her happily canter around. I ended up pulling Fi up about 1/4 of the way round as we just weren’t on the same page and when that happens theres no point to carrying on so we stopped to save her for another day.
Showjumping was in their brand new ring and was quite large and shiny to look at! Rails fell but not for Colin or Sammy! Both jumped really great clean rounds and Colin finished in 6th place and Sammy in 12th in the large division.
We packed up and got out of their fast…only to have our truck break down about 45min later. Nilson Moreira da Silva and Laura VanderVliet came to our rescue and, though they couldn’t actually pick us up because of their ride times, found two awesome/amazing/wonderful volunteers at Red Hills who saved us with their truck and drove our horses back to the show grounds for an extra night. We can’t thank them enough! Also Katie P jumped in another truck and booked it down from Aiken so we could drive the ponies home Monday morning while Laura hung out for an extra day in Tallahassee till the truck got fixed (she went to the zoo….we were all jealous).
Though we had a successful weekend in Florida, everyone here at Plain Dealing Farm wants to extend their heartfelt condolences to the Carter’s and everyone involved with Conahy’s Courage. Kyle’s heartfelt tribute to his horse was beautiful and sincere and we know everyone who knew him will miss him dearly. This sport is a tough one and we hope that something can be done to reduce accidents and fatalities that have been cropping up. It’s a sport that we love deeply and we love our horses desperately and hope that we can find a good way to keep make it safer for our beloved ponies.
Thank you to our sponsors, supporters and family, our awesome grooms and of course our amazingly brave and special horses who love to chase after our dreams with us.