Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hickory Top May 2014

Scotsgrove went to Hickory Top Schooling Event last Saturday with 7 horses and 11 riders. Sarah had hurt a hip and was scratched. In eventing, if you scratch after Closing day ( specified on program) you can substitute either a horse or a rider, or forfeit your entry. Her parents were kind enough to call me, the ride was offered to Carson who had signed up too late to do three phases but was entered to do a ride a test in dressage and a cross country school.  That took us from 12 to 11 riders, but left us with 6 eventers, and 5 Ride A Test.

Eventing is the triathlon of riding. The same horse and rider must complete all 3 tests, and the rider with the fewest penalty points over the three phases wins. This organizer also allows entries to do a ride a test in dressage and/ or a cross country or stadium schooling round. Those are not placed and don't ride for ribbons, but do get the written dressage test back to learn from and get some experience.  This is the best thought out introduction to eventing that I have ever found. We had 5 Ride a test riders:
Rachel on Folly scored 39.4. Both were tense and we had some issues with getting that first halt, but it improved after that and I am very proud of Rachel for stepping up and going!  It's a big step!
Kara on Bill Bailey scored 32.2.  As Kara can't see across the arena, I jogged with to give directions and didn't get to see the ride!
Ella on Folly  scored 31.6 with a little smoother test from the mare.  Also a first time out and  a well organized and effective ride.
Yasmin on Folly scored 28.8. by now Folly was well organized and settled, and this pair has been together the longest. A very nice first ride in public!
Maddie B. on Bill Bailey scored 33.4. I jogged with her too as she had not had time to learn her test from memory, so I did not see her go! Maddie was another of our first timers!
All of these ride a test riders rode Introductory test B Walk/ Trot, walked cross country and watched the stadium jumping, so they are much more prepared for a first time event!

Amoeba is the first level at Hickory Top ( unrecognized schooling events can name their divisions as they wish and describe them as they wish) and the organizer suspends the usual eventing rule of "Unauthorized Assistance" by which a rider is eliminated if spoken to while riding a test, so I can coach from the sidelines and they can have a sidewalker or outrider with them on cross country. They also rode Test B Walk/ Trot.  Jumps were 18" with one 2' exception on XC and they were not yet being timed over fences. There were 4 entries in the division and we had 2!
Benay stepped up from Ride A Test last time to Amoeba on China. She scored 31.6 on dressage, putting her in first place at that point!  She set out on cross country, walking between fences, doing a few steps of trot, and coming back to walk. With each jump, China got a little more powerful over the fence and through the landing. Benay was doing a superb job of giving over the fence, then sitting back and down to slow and stop the mare. I was very proud of her riding!  by the time we got round to reentering the front pasture, China was landing in a pretty strong canter and wanting to go back to the trailers. She refused at the stonewall jump, I kept walking, sure that Benay would get her over on the second approach. I was right about that, but then the mare looked at me and shied right, away from me. Benay spun left and basically stepped down off her, but her knees buckled as she hit so she went down. The fall eliminates in the jumping phases, so we were done.
Katheryn, having been offered Folly to event, asked for the new horse, London Fog. She'd gotten in no more than 2 lessons on him and he has never jumped before coming to Scotsgrove very recently!  They scored 33.3 in dressage, putting them in 2nd after that phase. Katie tacked up Folly and went as her outrider, and they were clean cross country, then using Katie again as a sidewalker in Stadium Jumping, went clean to finish on their dressage score and, being the only one of 4 Amoebas to finish all phases, won the division! Great job!
Pre-Tadpole rides the same tests as Amoebas, but Unauthorized Assistance is back in play and they have to do it by themselves, no coaching,, no outriders or sidewalkers.
Carson took the ride on Bill Bailey, scored 31.3 in dressage and was in first place after that phase.
Danika on Skittles scored 31.6 for 2nd. Jiminy and Mallory scored 47.5 as Jiminy was leery of the white chain around the arena and would not go deep into his corners, was tight and tense, so "hollow" in his frame. He is very green and was overwhelmed. But he didn't get eliminated and was in 5th after dressage.  Hill Country and Maddie W. came in at 34.0 for 3rd!
Cross country saw Bill refuse jump 1, having been presented at an angle. From there on, Carson sent him straight to the middle of the jumps and no further penalties were assessed. None of our others had penalties on course, so we stood Skit in first, Country 2nd, Bill third, and Mallory 4th after this phase.
Stadium took a toll as Bill and Jiminy were each eliminated for 3 refusals on course, so final placings were Danika and Skit in 1st and Maddie W. and Country in 2nd!  Very exciting!

We went on to the usual victory dinner at Olive Garden and I did get the big white trailer in and out of Harbison Blvd!  We were 22 at table and very ready for dinner! Having met at the barn about 5:30 and gotten on the road a little after 6 AM, we returned and took care of horses, cleaned the trailer and unloaded tack, then put horses out to pasture. A long tough day and I am sure all our riders had no trouble sleeping deeply Saturday night!  I am very proud of all my riders!  They rode well and were good horsewomen taking care of horses between phases and showing great sportsmanship and camaraderie. My thanks to Laurie and Katie for a long day of great effort helping coach, tack, sidewalk, and a thousand other tasks!  It is a great barn family!