We took two Tag offspring to the Virginia Horse Trials a few weeks ago, and both were stepping up to new levels. Keeper, the 8 yr old, competed in her first recognized Training, and Class Clown, or Hokie, was enjoying his first recognized sleep-over BN. The love affair between the two was the most difficult part, and Keeper, only inches away from Hokie but unseen in her stall, wouldn't answer his mournful cries. Pretty soon his cries got a bit hoarse, but not feeble. Both had lovely warm-ups on Friday despite being separated.
On Saturday Keeper had a very nice dressage, though not as nice as the warm-up, but enough to put us up there. Stadium jumping was next in the arena, and I could hear lots of rails coming down. It was getting a bit ridiculous actually, so we were greatly relieved and encouraged to leave them all up. Hokie had a very lovely dressage ride next, and moved along nicely down the long side in the direction of the barn. He kept his head in the game though, and finished well, but jigged all the way back to his sweetheart. His stadium round was awesome, too, and clean, and it was his first time in the coliseum.
Sunday found Keeper in first, and Hokie in 3rd or so, but no time to consider that. Keeper's cross-country time was 8:30 am, and I worried a bit about the wet grass, but I added a few grass studs and put it out of my mind. It never was an issue, and she never put a foot wrong the whole time. I had put her in a simple hackamore this week, and she loved it. I truly had the ride of my life out there, and came home in plenty of time for the win. Yahoo! It was an interesting and plenty challenging course, and I feel pretty good about trying some other Training courses with her now--she is so capable and confident!
Hokie romped home for second place with awesome rhythm and purpose out there. Nearly every jump came up out of stride--it was a wonderful ride. So this weekend ranks right up there as one of the best of all time for me. The best part is that I delivered both of these younguns as babies, so I'm a proud mama!
Click here to see Keeper's show jumping round
Click here to see Keeper's cross-country round
Click here to see Hokie's show jumping round
Click here to see Hokie's cross-country round