Thanks Aiken- See you next year!
This year has to go down as one of the most successful years in Aiken. Of course we were more than ready to return home and, thankfully, Virginia welcomed us warmly and with no snow in sight (thank goodness!). Some of the horses ran their last show in Aiken at Pine Top 3 and then shipped home, while the big guys went on to Carolina International in Southern Pines and then we all went home after that.
The Final Pine Top of 2015!
It’s bittersweet running the last Pine Top of the season for us as we love the venue, but it also marks the joyous return home! Benita had a great weekend finishing 6th with Aoife in the Preliminary and Minnie also had a great run in the prelim. She also re-united with Fi after a 2 year hiatus and they popped around the Training level looking like they haven’t missed a day. Benita also ran her mare Miss Dynamic “Jessica” in her first event in the US and they finished 2nd in their Novice division on their dressage score of 25.3! Not a bad way to start off the season for her!
Check out a clip of Benita and Cooley All Out “Aoife” on cross country thanks to TheHorsePesterer!
I had Cedric in the Training and he very nearly won it after tieing for first on a 22.7 and show jumping clear. Unfortunately he’s being a little nervous about getting his feet wet and he paused just long enough before going into the terrifying water puddle to incur a refusal. However, he flew around the rest of the huge training course with ease and I couldn’t be upset with him as it was SUCH a BIG course!
Theo ended up winning his Novice division on his dressage score of 29.0, it was a perfect way to end Theo’s Aiken season! When he arrived he had never competed and when he left – he did so with a Blue ribbon!
Carolina just keeps getting better and better each year. It’s amazing what they are doing with the event and it is truly becoming the one to be at. The hospitality is amazing and they really make the owners feel special and appreciated as well as creating a great spectating opportunity for the general public. They live-streamed the CIC2* and 3* action and had TVs up in the the patron tents for viewing- it was AWESOME.
I took Sammy to run the CIC1* and I had my lowest FEI dressage score to date when she earned a 39.4 and sat in 4th place after Dressage in a massive division. She ran double clear cross country and ended up pulling one rail in stadium on the final day to finish in 6th place (out of 50!). She’s still getting fit and was a little tired on the final day which accounted for her rail but I was so thrilled with her!
Colin ran an Intermediate combined test and shocked me by seriously throwing down in the Dressage and scoring a 21.5 to sit in second right behind his Cooley “brother” Mr. Cooley Cross Boarder! All the dressage work we’ve been doing with Kim is really paying off and I’m so excited that his dressage is finally coming along! He pulled a rail in stadium as he was a bit sassy but it was good and sharpened us both up!
Cedric ran the Training and put in another top notch dressage score but he was still figuring the whole “water” thing out and the water jump at Carolina is pretty impressive. He had a look and then went through and it was a great experience. He’s figuring it out and he’s such a special guy!
Benita had Fi and Minnie in the preliminary division and both had great weekends. Fi was a fire-cracker on course and Benita handled her wonderfully, and Minnie’s and her partnership is really coming along. They looked great out there.
We packed up happily and headed home after a great event!
We couldn’t have done it without our awesome supporters, wonderful sponsors, family and of course Katie P, Katie T and Laura who keep everything running and the horses happy and shiny! And of course, Molly, who still does all our scheduling which is invaluable to us!