As stated in the Title of this blog...Saturday - CROSS COUNTRY DAY!!! The best day ever invented! Especially cross country day at Otter Creek!
We started off the day walking the Novice course and making a final plan for students and Lucy, who would be first to go out of our group. I was ready to get this little red headed pony in the water & make in around inside the time! With an optimum time of 5:08 and needing to present to the water prior to running through our flags, I knew I would have to be right on with our pace just in case she took too long at the water. She stopped, half reared once, and then went right in and we were able to loop around and go through our flags without losing too much time. She was great at everything else, giving her self plenty of room between her and the fences! She finished with a double clear on XC to hold her first place lead!
Next up was the rest of the Novice Crew!
Maura Tierney & Dylan had a GREAT round - he didn't even glance at the ditch and they only added a few time faults onto their score which actually moved them up to 8th place! Unfortunately after Maura dismounted near the finish flags she discovered Dylan to be bleeding all over. At some point he stepped on himself and cut his artery open. He quickly had to be stitched up so he wouldn't lose too much more blood. Horses have a lot of blood so they can lose a lot of blood as well - it looked like a blood bath around Dylan before they were able to stop the bleeding! He will be alright but Maura had to Withdraw from the rest of competition and Dylan will be on stall rest until the stitches can come out. Bummer!
Morgan & Ricky had a great round until he decided to runout at fence 11, a table near the crowd and the driveway. He tends to always carry his haunches slightly to the left and this is what happened at the bridge fence. He was distracted coming up to it due to the crowd and then when he saw the fence he began drifting left and Morgan wasn't able to correct him in time. Picking up 20 penalties they circled around and jumped the bridge and the rest of the course well only adding the additional 1.6 time penalties. The stop moved them out of the lead and into 9th place. Morgan was bummed but handled it well & accepts her mistakes and is prepared to learn from them! She was already focusing on how to have a good round tomorrow in the sand, which usually proves to be hard for Ricky.
Savannah & Grady had a good round too. Although they were stopped and warned about their speed early on in the course, a very generous gesture by the President and the TD, in which she then corrected herself and proceeded at Novice speed only adding 7.6 time faults to their score putting them into 7th place.
Kailey & Nokomis put in a great round as well! This was their first Novice together and they put in a double clear round moving them into 2nd place!
Next was Lady Hannah B's turn! As her last run of the season I wanted to take it easy and focus on the jumps. She has gotten more confident and stronger, I think I will need to find a new bit for next season! She jumped everything great! Especially her combinations, we had the sunken road, a hanging log bending line to a table bending line to a corner, two water complexes, triple brush skinnies, the ski ramp, bounce banks and more! It was a blast! We galloped around and played with everything! We added 19.6 time faults to our score but I didn't mind - we were out there having fun! We maintained our 5th place. Thanks to everyone for showing your support, coming to to watch even if you weren't showing, my mom & step dad (& Toby, their dog) for cheering me on, as well as all of my students and their families!
Hannah is such a blast to ride on XC - every show she gets more confident! Thanks to Ralph Hill for helping with course walks and warmups!
Next up was Maria & Pete! Pressure was on as she needed her last qualifying score to go to the CCI1* in KY in October. Of course if anyone knows Maria & Pete, you know that Pete is not a fan of the water. We had a specific plan set up for him at the water to ensure no stops. The first water entrance wasn't flagged and he cantered right in and out over the Otter Creek 'Otter'. The second water was a bank drop in to an angled skinny. Maria ran him quick through the water then down the bank and over the skinny. Pete didn't even blink an eye at the water! It was very exciting! She finished the rest of her course and came in just adding 13.6 time faults to their dressage score to move them to 4th place! Congrats on your final qualifying score!!!
The BN riders rode next. Emily & Kailey both had amazing rounds on Ty & Cherish! Kailey went double clear and Emily only 2.8 time penalties to their score. Kailey finished in 2nd and Emily in 4th! Congrats!
After a very fun & successful day - we were all ready for some good food and table dancing at the OC competitors party! Maria took care of all of the ponies, walked, iced, wrapped, fed, cleaned tack etc. That girl is amazing - and a WONDERFUL groom!
Ponies tucked in waiting for dinner!
Made it up onto Xpress Foto's wall, not only with ONE picture, but with TWO! Go LLE & Lady Hannah B!
Thanks to all my friends, family, groom, photographers, clients, sponsors & of course Bryan - my wonderful boyfriend for coming to the show and supporting me! I couldn't do it without all of you!
After a fun dinner and dance party we were all ready for sleep!