Wednesday, July 28, 2010
REBECCA FARM WRAP UP by HANNAH SUE BURNETT
What an incredible week in Montana at Rebecca Farms. Between the riding, competing, walking courses, taking care of horses, parties & dinners there was hardly any time for sleeping! I had a wonderful time and Rebecca Farms and everyone who makes it happen really made an impression on me.
Thursday went quite well for me, having Harbor Pilot win the dressage in the P3D division. His owner, Mrs. Mars, and the head of her farm in VA, Sue Clark, were able to fly out and watch "William" go.
Friday was a bit more interesting with St. Barths dressage in the afternoon. He is a very firey little red-head and the mountain air must have really gotten to him because despite all my efforts to calm him down (wear him out), he was still very wound up going into his test. His canter work was quite tense, but fortunately his trot work was pretty decent so we scored a 57.6 putting us into 19 place. I was disappointed sitting on a horse who could be a top contender on the first day, but that's eventing & horses for you! Lots of course walking followed my test and I was racking my brain trying to remember everything to pack for the 10 minute box for William in the full-format the next day.
Saturday started quite early for us with William going out on Phase A at 8:18. Steeplechase was great fun, I think for both myself and William, and he really opened up his stride and it improved his rhythm. He recovered well from A, B, and C in the box and started XC with a giant stride and great enthusiasm for his job. We jumped double clear and kept our lead.
Nike went out at 11:40am so I had enough time to run back to the camper and check out my pictures of the CIC*** course, have a gatorade and focus on my next horse. He was really on fire out there--eating up every combination and really covering the ground. I was worried about the 3 water jumps because he had recently been a bit sticky into water, but he was very bold and quick through all of them. I put the pedal down between the fences but took some extra time getting him back to the angles, corners, etc. because I wanted to make sure I didn't make a silly mistake and get a 20. We had 8.8 time penalties & I was thrilled with him.
Karen had an awesome day with her two, Mandiba being double clear and maintaining his lead, and Quintus picking up a few time and keeping her in the top 3. Overall, a great day for team OCET!!
Sunday went by very quickly: starting with a jog at 8 for both my horses and then William jumped at 9:30. He put in a very classy round (except for an exuberant leap after a lead change...) and jumped double clear, winning the division on his dressage score. I'm thrilled to ride such a well trained horse (thanks David :) and honored to have the privilege to ride for Mrs. Mars. She's wonderful and I'm so thankful to be apart of her program.
Nike (St Barths) jumped at 1:30 and was very obedient and quiet. He warmed up wonderfully, you wouldn't have guessed that he had run such a tough and fast course the day before! We had one rail down because I dropped my hand in the middle of the two-stride to try and shorten him instead of just using my upper-body and voice. Darn! He couldn't have been better and I have a big, bad habit to kick now that I'm home!! Dick Thompson was proud of his horse and once again I'm so honored to ride for him. He is Karen's first owner and has owned for Jimmy Wofford also and I can't explain how appreciative I am for his support and kindness.
Karen had 2 double clear rounds and was 2nd on Becky Broussard's Quintus in the 2* and won on Mandiba in the 3*!! I'm pretty sure she was the only rider to have 2 horses double clear on Sunday--way to go KOC!
We all went to dinner at "The Brick House" on the farm and then got ready for our big flight home! All the horses acted like pros getting on the plane (I guess they are pros now!) and we had a great flight back.
A huge thanks to Sarah and Drew Kelly, the Broussards, Rebecca Farms staff and volunteers, PRO, Samantha Lendl, OCET crew stuck at home in the heat, Karen, David, Max, Brewster Walker, Sue Clark & my friends and family for the help, support and the opportunity to go on and enjoy such an awesome trip!