Early Friday morning we all headed down to Iowa City to attend Catalpa Corner Charity Horse Trials owned by Susan Brigham and Jim McNutt. LLEventing had a large crew in tow, Liz was riding Juliette, owned by Katy Bloomquist Holub, at her first preliminary event. Keep in mind Juliette is the 13.3 hand grey wonder pony! Maria Filsinger & Pete doing their first preliminary as well, Abby Turnacliff & Ziggy Who moving up to the training level, Kelsie Holbrook & Tess moving up to the Novice level, Jen Johnson & Loose Cannon at their first show back since Jen's baby Sam, Morgan Samuelson & Ricky at their first show together competed at the beginner novice level, and Janelle Johnson & Royal Cootitan at their last beginner novice before they plan to move up to novice. As you can see we had quite the crew!
Liz Lund Eventing polo shirts came in, so we were all able to represent in style. We had a lot of comments on how great we looked and how much of a team we were.
As soon as we arrived the work began, unloading, filling water buckets, organizing trunks, cleaning tack, riding horses and teaching lessons. Friday afternoon involved everyone taking a dressage lesson and then doing course walks...to say the least I was a little tired after walking BN, N, T & P courses one after the other. We had some light rain on and off throughout Friday and it rained on into the night. We all headed off to eat dinner and get some sleep for a bright and early morning.
Arriving at the farm at 5:45am on Saturday I had to bathe and braid Juliette for her early dressage ride. She put in a great warm up on the grass and the studs I had chosen were of the appropriate size for the grass footing dampened from the previous night's rain and the morning's dew. As we began our final rounds around the outside of the dressage arena before we heard the bell, she became a little tense and tight, I did my best to keep her pushing into the bridle. We entered the ring and she put in a decent test, she flipped once in her counter canter which was immediately corrected, and rewarded for later, but over all had a steady test. The judge seemed to like the pony and complimented me for my soft giving hands even though the pony was tentative to accept the contact. We were generously rewarded a 37, to be 5th out of a competitive group of 20. I was pleased with Juliette's performance and we headed back to the stable to switch tack and put some larger studs in for some higher speeds and slicker footing.
We had a lovely warm up for the cross country. Everyone always is surprised when she enters the arena, you can almost see in their express "You are taking that pony at this level?!". She jumped well and was easy to adjust. We headed over to the start box and off we went. She had a great pace considering she has to take probably twice as many steps as the other horses in the division. She was great to everything, jumped strong into the water but I was able to hold to our bending line to the skinny. She handled everything like a champ and I am looking forward to stepping it up at a more challenging preliminary. She recovered nicely after the course adding only 7.6 time faults to her dressage score to secure her 5th place into show jumping.
The next morning she was anything but tired, she was bathed again (of course she loves her poop pillows) in the morning and then hand walked. As I tacked her up she was pawing at her stall ready to go! Again she had a lovely warm up, and jumped a double clear round in the show jumping which proved to be a tough course for a lot of horses and riders having rails come down and time on the clock. She finished 4th in her first preliminary, a very successful show!
I couldn't have asked my students to have performed any better. Almost all of them were moving up a level! Maria had a lovely XC round on Pete, he jumped into the water with out even questioning it, Maria rode it lovely preparing him for the drop in with a large trot circle. She had a double clean show jumping round and finished in 2nd place at her first preliminary! Abby Turnacliff & her horse Ziggy Who made the move up to training level and jumped clean around the cross country with only one rail down in show jumping to finish in 5th place. Jen Johnson and her horse Loose Cannon were back at it after delivering a beautiful baby boy and finished 4th in their novice division. Kelsie Holbrook & Tess made their move up to the Novice level to jump double clean finishing on their dressage score in 3rd place. Morgan Samuelson and her new mount Ricky, owned by Cindy Piper, competed at their first horse trials together at the Beginner Novice level and finished 2nd on their dressage score. Janelle Johnson and & Royal Cootitan (Ty) completed their final beginner novice, before preparing to move up to the Novice level, in style winning the division as well as the Madison Brigham Memorial Low Point Jr. award.
Congrats to everyone! Looking forward to our next adventure!
Stay tuned as Maria & Liz head off to South Farm HT in Ohio to compete Pete & Juliette at their second preliminary horse trials!