So today, let's recap my recent trip the New England Equitation Championships.
I decided to take Jamp to this final rather than Rio. The ring is not very large, and Rio tends to do better in a ring with more space. Jampy doesn't mind ring size at all, and if anything I think he's a little better with less room. I'm considered a middle aged adult at NEEC. My age group ranges from riders 23 years of age up to 45. The horse show runs Wed through Sun, with warm ups on Tuesday. Us old folks show only the first day, which is actually pretty great because we get to show the very next day after we practice. Horses are pretty smart, but for some of them, too many days between practicing in the ring and actually showing can be tough. They think they've never seen that arena before! Oh horses....
Her birthday was the day before, and I fully believe no birthday can officially end before cake has been eaten. We took advantage of the free time to put these bad boys in our bellies:
Wednesday morning came early. Not too early. But early none-the-less. I got to the fairgrounds around 5:30 to feed and get Jampy all braided. My course walk was at 7:15 and Amanda arrived with time to spare for that. The first class in the morning is an open equitation class for my age group. Which means it's judged, but it's not the actual Final. They split us into two groups of 30. I showed ninth in group B.
Jampy was PERFECT to every single jump. It was actually kind of surreal. Usually either I mess up something, or Jamp takes a peak at one of them, or SOMETHING normally goes wrong. But not this time. Well at least not until I landed off the last fence. Jampy landed and let out a little buck! Apparently he was pretty excited about our great round too... I scored a 78 though which isn't a bad score. Probably without the celebratory leaping we would have been in the low 80's. We finished up in 7th place, and got a purple ribbon! Yay!
And before I knew it, it was time to walk the Final course! I was 33rd in the order which meant I could walk the course, and watch a few before I had to get on. It seemed pretty straight forward, and I wasn't feeling too worried about anything.
Finally it was time for my Final. I walked into the ring and picked up a great canter. We found the first jump perfectly! Woohoo! Unfortunately, Jampy took a little peak at some flowers on the landing side and switched his lead. Not the end of the world, but that is considered a mistake. The next jump was a good one, but I let him stay out a little too far, making the distance to jump three a little long. After that though, it was smooth sailing! Everything came right up out of stride, and Jamp was perfect! Because of the two errors, we scored a 71. Not good enough to make it back for round 2. I was ok with that though. We didn't have any embarrassing mistakes, no major errors, and most importantly we were a pair out there! No arguments and no crossed signals. All in all, a great experience!
I can't wait to go back next year!