This weekend, we headed back to Tryon for the last weekend of the show. It actually me quite sad that this show is already over. The people here are awesome, the facilities are gorgeous, and we’ve had fun!
As much as I have enjoyed this show, this week started with some drama caused by the show management. The schedule this week was changed from that of last week so that there were no equitation classes on Sunday, just Friday and Saturday. The 15-17 equitation and the EJ Haun was on Friday, and the WIHS, Talent Search, Medal, and Maclay was on Saturday. Obviously, this didn’t make much sense. But, this was the schedule posted, so we planned to do the 15-17 eq and a Child/Adult Jumper class on Friday and the WIHS Hunter Phase only, the Medal, and the Maclay on Saturday.
Well, as we were heading up Thursday, around 3:00, we get a call from the show asking if it was okay with us to switch the Maclay and Medal to Friday. Well, the entire reason we picked this show to go to was because the Maclay was at the end of the weekend, so Ramsey could have plenty of time to get his head together. Now, it would not have been a problem if they had given us enough warning to come up a day early, but I thought it was pretty ridiculous to changed the schedule less than 24 hours in advance of when you want the class to run. They ended up leaving the Medal on Saturday, but did move the Maclay to Friday.
We arrived at the show grounds around 5:00 on Thursday, discussed the schedule with them, and then headed to our stall, which we found full of shavings and manure in the bedding and covering the walls. I, of course, walked back to the office to ask for a different stall. They had two others to offer us, both of which were in the same condition. So, I asked if they had anyone there to clean the stall. They didn’t.
So, for the next hour, I walked and grazed Ramsey while my father was forced to strip the stall and clean and disinfect the walls. Needless to say, Thursday was not a good day.
Luckily, Friday was much better. We woke up bright and early because the 15-17 equitation over fences was the first class of the day in Hunter 1, starting at 8:00. We headed to the ring at about 7:50, as the had to run the flat first (we didn’t do the flat), and started warming-up. Much to my surprise, Ramsey was fantastic. He was quiet and soft and looking to please. When the flat was done and the course was set, we headed in as the first pair for our round.
For his first class of the show, he was perfect. Obviously, there were places that needed some polishing, but I was blown and thrilled by his performance. We then had to run over to jumper land for our Child/Adult jumper class, as it was the first thing of the day in Jumper 2, which started at 8:30.
We headed into the ring as the third horse. The class was a power and speed which means, for those of you that don’t know, you continue into the jump-off immediately, without stopping, if you go clear in the first half of the course. They have timers after a certain jump marking the end of the “power phase.” This is where you start riding for speed, like in your jump-off.
We were just using this course for schooling for the WIHS Jumper Phase the next morning, so I wasn’t planning on actually going fast in the speed phase. I rode hard to the first fence, as Ramsey was silly and stopped a few times in the warm-up, and he jumped it great even though the distance was a bit deep. It amazes me how effortless 1.10 meters is for him given where he was mentally a few weeks ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if he can do the 1.20-1.30’s someday.
The course was going great, and Rams was jumping superbly. But, then I heard the barely-audible double-buzzer, meaning we did not complete the power phase without faults. I was shocked, as I knew that we didn’t have a rail. Well, it turns out we had 4 time faults. We completely the first 8 jumps in just over 53 seconds and we had time faults! It was idiotic for the time allowed to be that tight in the power phase, but, as I said, we were in there for schooling, so I wasn’t unhappy.
After the jumper class, we were able to untack, chill for a bit, and watch the 1.30 meter jumpers. But then, in spite of the board outside of Hunter 1, which we checked multiple times, saying the Maclay would run at 12:30, we heard announced over the loudspeaker that the Maclay would run in 15 minutes. It was 45 minutes early!
I, of course, freaked and set a new record time for tacking a horse. We, shockingly enough, managed to get to the ring in time to walk the course, warm-up, and be the first one in the ring when everyone else was waiting to “watch one go.”
Well, it was definitely our best course to date. Ramsey was a super star and jumped around like a seasoned eq horse. I was so proud I was almost crying when I exited the ring. The difference between week one and week two was astounding. A trainer was nice enough to come up to me as I walked out of the gate and compliment me on my riding and ability to bring Ramsey along so quickly. It absolutely made my week!
We headed into the flat after the rest of the horses went and had no major mishaps. I was pretty sure we were in the running for the top 4 (and some points) based on the other rounds I had seen. I was actually kind of surprised when we were called out in 6th out of 10. Even though I thought the placing was a bit unfair, I could not have been more proud of my horse or myself.
Pictures and video coming soon!