Wednesday, August 25, 2010
ON THE ROAD TO RICHLAND HT by Doug Payne
Richland Park is still seems a figment which only exists in my GPS at the moment. We left NJ this morning just after 3:30am. The trip should take just under 11 hrs, getting us there mid afternoon with plenty of time to set up and get the in barn inspection complete in time for dinner, and of course the world revolves around the consumption of food! I would expect this story is not uncommon amount the hundreds descending on Richland, well with the exception to my dependency on food :)
I'm looking forward to a light weekend. We've got two horses on board. Running Order, owned by Patti Springsteen, is going in his first CIC***. Hopefully all goes well and we'll be qualified for the Fair Hill CCI*** this fall.
While we've got time I figure we'll give a brief history of the horses. Running Order is an 8 yr old Irish bred TB. He started as a steeplechase horse. Actually he was a cross-country racing to be more specific. Enda Bolger, a very well known jockey and now trainer started him. I was lucky enough to visit Enda last year after Fair Hill and got a first hand view of what it's all about. So XC racing is more or less hunting at racing pace, and all the stories you hear about Irish hunting are true. We jumped banks, ditches, gates, walls, hedges and wire. Often times a combination of two or more of the above. I instantly understood where Running Order learned to be so quick on his feet. Darwin at work...he's still here and he's exceptionally good. There isn't a horse I'd rather be on when walking in that start box.
After his lack luster racing career ended, he made the trip over to the US to Patti's beautiful farm. He made a brief stop in jumping land. That too wasn't his cup of tea. Just over 2 years ago he arrived at my place. He's certainly found his niche. He won the full format Va CCI*, he was 2nd last fall at the Fair Hill CCI** and won the USEF young horse championship. He was then named to the Developing Riders list. 2010 has been equally as good winning the OI at the Fork. He moved up to advanced at MCTA, again winning then 5th at the Stuart CIC** and most recently 4th at Millbrook advanced.
Where do we go from here? Well in an ideal world Fair Hill this fall, maybe Rolex in the spring. Then London 2012?!? Just keep your fingers crossed...that's a long way away.
Slick...well Slick's story is just beginning. He's a 9yr TB who again had a limited racing career. I bought him just a few months ago. Richland will be his 5th event ever. He is still confirming his jumping style but is showing great promise. He was 3rd at Waredaca just a few weeks back in training. The tentative plan is for him to be at prelim by the end of the year and see what happens.
So that covers the horses. Megan and her dog Baloo are along to help. Without them I'd be in deep trouble. Last and certainly not least is Bacon, my dog.
So why Richland? I've heard from all who have attended that is a truly world class facility. In addition to the facility, Tue field should be quite strong. Nearly all of the WEG horses from the US and Canada should be competing. It's also a PRO tour stop for the PRO/AM Team Competition. For all who don't know about PRO yet, we're an organization of riders which have come together to bring to sport of eventing to a new level. Not only in the quality of competition, but also increase participation of competitors, sponsors and fans alike.
Dressage is tomorrow for the CIC horses. Upon arrival I'll get some more detailed info on who's here and what all is happening. Until then...back to driving...