Having walked my course three times I felt confident that THIS time, I had no excuse for any kind of amateur moment. I knew that thing backwards and forwards, and though my feet hated me, I was sure I would remember my way around all 17 obstacles.
The course was nice in that it built in difficulty as it went along. Fences 1-4 were really straight forward, with the first question being a log pile on a slanted hill at fence 5. From there you went through the water and out over an inviting roll top, straight on to the world’s widest BN fence, and then a nice gallop up and down terrain to some combinations.
The second combination was what I was most unsure about- a log pile, followed by a U-turn left to a down bank and then slight bending line to a roll top. The only time I had ever done a bank with Jack was during the trial period, and that was only once down a baby (18″) bank. But I figured if I kicked on we would be fine.
One thing I noticed he struggled with at the last show was cantering down hills- Jack wants to come back to a trot immediately- so I decided this was an excellent thing we could practice to stay in rhythm through this course.
We had a bee-yutiful warm up and we felt really synced as I left the start box, and from there you can ride along with us:
My constant nattering will tune you in to where he shined, though it’s hard to tell from this vantage point where I felt him backing off or losing straightness as he made his way around the course. Fence 4 may have been “not cute” because we both got distracted by a person walking behind it, and a car driving behind it that you can’t see on video. The bank was a little bit of a scramble as well.
All in all I was beyond thrilled with how he built confidence through the course, and I admit I’m proud of myself for kicking on, even if I wish I was a little less talkative on course.
Our double clear round helped us stay in 3rd place- just .5 points out of contention for the bottle of wine that was 2nd place’s prize, and a healthy 10 points behind 1st- but considering Bobby Meyerhoff ran Rolex this year, I’m OK with that.
The show was a great way to end our short little season, and I have to say- I’m becoming a heck of a fan of the big banana boat!