I had a great time this past weekend riding Harbour the Truth, Wind in the Willows and Seahawk at the Ocala Horse Properties Winter 2 Horse Trials. It was, as usual, a great event put on by the hard working folks (Jon, Peter, etc) at Equiventures, and there were a ton of horses!! I never really do get used to the idea of 475 horses at one event, after growing up in BC where 100 horses was more the norm. I really like being at these shows and seeing some great riders on some really nice horses, and its especially rewarding when the horses I ride hold their own in a tough crowd! All three of the horses I rode this weekend are North American bred 5 year olds. Seahawk and Harbour the Truth were bred to race, and are now excelling at their new career. Wind in the Willows is an Irish Draught Sport Horse mare, bred and owned by Lesley Arnold of Huntly, VA. I am very lucky to have such high quality youngsters to play with, and I really like the idea of representing the breeders on our continent. Importing horses from overseas works for a lot of people, but it is definitely a fact that there are good horses being bred and produced right here in the USA and Canada for us to enjoy!
Willow went out and rocked her first recognized event, and first novice level competition, with style. Her steady and obedient test earned her a 33, and she put in two confident jump phases to finish 4th in her division. This mare is just a couple months of strength training away from being able to start thinking about going Training level! She is offered for sale, and is the horse for anyone looking for a serious prospect.
Harvey was his usual rock steady self, earning a 30 in the dressage for his cute and rhythmical way of going, and caught a lot of attention out cross country for his very entertaining style of cantering around like he is set to a metronome no matter what obstacle he is pointed at. Ditches, banks, water and coops… you can’t really worry or unsettle this guy about any of it. He may only be 5, but he is really confident about his job. I added a couple of time penalties to his otherwise clear showjumping round (apparently we were too relaxed) and he finished 6th in his division of novice. Harvey is also for sale, and would be suited to a kid or an amateur based on his totally relaxed attitude about life. He does have a very good jump, and is cute enough on the flat to be suited to a more ambitious rider, but I think he is so valuable as a packer type horse. I will be sad to see him go, but I’m sure he will go soon!!
Seahawk is currently being spoiled, petted and generally catered to for his performance on the weekend. He has officially completed his first training level horse trials, and he did so in a way that makes me SO excited about his future. I love riding this horse on a day to day basis, he tries really hard and even though he is young and not really finished filling out, he gives me the impression of a real athlete. We had a lesson on Friday afternoon with our dressage trainer Jacqueline Brooks, and she made some adjustments to his frame that made his already good movement go *pow*!!! I was able to channel that feeling into his test on Saturday morning, and we were rewarded with a score of 24, which put us in 2nd place. Show jumping was no problem whatsoever, he actually really enjoys the jump ring, I think the atmosphere of some spectators and lots of decorations lights him up a bit and he gets a little showy. I was most nervous about the cross country. “Baby Mo” has had some ups and downs along the way of learning about cross country, and although I was pretty sure we sorted it out last fall, I just really wanted it to go well on Sunday!! We had a great school last Wednesday at Jenn and Jon Hollings, but I was still a little nervous when we left the startbox. I shouldn’t have worried. He handled the coffin with the bending three out, the drop with the bending five, and the sunken road complex with the corner coming out like it was old hat. I’m really proud of him!! He ended up staying in 2nd place through the competition and has a pretty red Equiventures ribbon to celebrate his first Training level. He will go out again at Rocking horse three and then maybe the YEH 5 yo and the Training level at the Fork in April?? I have a week to decide about that so that I can get my entry in on the opening day!!
Here’s a bit of iPhone video from his cross country, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGI3DXQvyzM
I would like to officially welcome Scott and Lisa Robinson to Seahawk’s team. I announced a while ago that I had made shares available, and Scott and Lisa are the first to get on board. I am really excited to build a team of fun people to support this horse to his full potential, and if you think you or someone you know would be interested in getting involved, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Owning event horses is out of the budget for most people, and Syndication is a great way to open up the possibility of owning a high quality event horse with team potential to a larger number of people, because you share the expenses with the other team members. I really think this is the way the majority of upper level horses are going to be owned in the future and I can’t wait to be a part of that.
In other news, Ollie is continuing along with his program of jumping once a week and working hard on dressage domination. He is feeling fantastic, and I can’t wait until his first run back, hopefully sometime in June.
Trubie is entered at Rocking Horse Three, and is getting fitter every day 🙂 His spring season may have been delayed but he is going to come out rocking and rolling.
Phil will be going over to HITS later this week to do some level 2 and 3 jumper classes, and maybe meet his new owner. If you are looking for a horse with great movement who is very easy to ride over fences, let me know!
Scott and Lisa Robinson’s Anglo Arab Gelding, Nations Poet is also on board for the Rocking Horse 3 Horse Trials, and I’m really looking forward to giving Poet and Scott some good experience so they can have a fun Spring and Summer together!
Stay tuned!! Its a busy next few weeks