Ah, the epic conclusion.
After coming down from the high that was XC at the Kentucky Horse Park, it was time to focus on the end game. Showjumping in the stunning Rolex Stadium was honestly one of the major reasons I signed up for the AECs in the first place. And it didn’t disappoint.
Despite the fact that the ring was chock full of fences, only 11 of them were ours to jump. And they were beautifully decorated, as you can see above. But beautiful or not, fence two in particular was causing issues. Even as I was waiting my turn to enter the ring I was hearing stories of people having stops and even getting eliminated by horses not wanting to get near it, which could be understood by the bright blue water, horse-eating wheel at the left standard, and max-height and width of the thing. My own plan was to give Jack a tap with the bat to let him know stopping was not an option, and back up that assertion by keeping him between my hands and legs. The rest of the course, though big and spooky, I felt mostly OK about- Jack was either going to be with it or he wasn’t.
To say I’m proud of how this horse handled the atmosphere would be an understatement. Though (because of my bat) we got a really hollow jump at fence 2, he still went over it, and I was pleased as punch about that. The rail at 6B was frustrating, and still haunts me a bit, but take a second to appreciate how shallow the cups are and how unforgivingly placed (which is fair for a championship, but still):
He probably could have been a bit more careful about his back feet and we would have gone clean, but I’m doing my best to avoid the coulda-woulda-shoulda game. For a spooky horse who couldn’t handle ground poles two years ago, this was absolutely a milestone for us.
That rail dropped us to 7th, which I found out in true nail-biting fashion as they tried to determine if the rider in 6th got time (which would have bumped me up into the cash prizes). So we ended our AECs journey with the biggest most purplest ribbon there ever was. And you know what? Purple and yellow are complimentary colors, so I’m cool with it.
More on the lap of honor, details on how it was run, and more to come!
Holy cow that fence #2 is scary! Congrats on a fantastic show and way to go #teamadultbeverages!!
No picture of the ribbon!???
What? No picture of that ribbon!?
For another post 🙂
Great ride! Very nice round overall, and super positive ride to #2. Bravo. Way to get it done and look good doing it!
Thank you! Got ‘er done!
Fence 2 is some scary stuff. Wow. That course looks fair overall and you rode it beautifully. Congrats on a great AEC experience.
I agree- I think it was fairly put together and it definitely tested some horses, while others were totally fine. Measure of a good course, I think!
I had a friend go through the TD process 10+ years ago and I remember her telling me then that if a SJ course was set up correctly the poles should only be halfway into the cups and then at FENCE a bit ago the TD told them that some of their cups were illegal b/c they were to deep and we had to change out the cups for more shallow ones (they were older cups that I think have been replaced now) It’s crazy how much thought goes into setting up a SJ course!!!!!
BUT YOU KICKED ASS AT THE AEC’S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Such a nice stadium round over all though!!!! Even with the rail I thought you guys looked great!!!
Oh, so interesting! And good to know since I desperately want to show at FENCE next month!
Hopefully I will get to clink glasses with you to celebrate this weekend!
YES!!!!!! and OMG YES FENCE!!!! Yes-es all around!!!!!!!!
Woot!! That was a tough course, but you two looked so good, and really went in there and got that SJ course done! Congrats!!!
Thanks so much! Tried to have my (our) game face on, and not be intimidated about the location!
A great round overall! I love the look on Jack’s face at fence 2, like, oh crap ok, ok, I’m going!
Haha His only options were over, under, or through! He made the right choice of course 🙂 Smart pone
Over was definitely preferable to under or through! 😛
Woohoo! Looks like a great round. I think that combination coming towards the stands was a tough line for a lot of horses. Jack certainly looked confident through it though!
Other than that unlucky rail it was a beautiful round! And personally I think a purple ribbon is the very best color out there so I’m even more happy for you! 😛
congrats 😀 you guys look fantastic!!! what an experience!