Friday, September 10, 2010

Advanced Dressage Day By Sinead Halpin

Well this comes a bit late but I have just sat down.... Which seems silly because I am only riding one horse! But somehow that can take up a day. General impression of the day was the top horses all looked pretty good. Scoring (as I'm sure you know if you checked live scoring) was a bit all over the shop. Linda Zang seemed positive and scoring on the higher end and Loris Henry seemed to think we all were a bit sub-par. For those of you who don't know, at a championship competition you have two judges who sit at different places in the arena and both their scores combine to give you your final percentage. Normally these scores are within 2 or 3 points of each other but today we had differences of up to 11 percent! So a bit frustrating when one judge thinks your great and the other thinks not so much so. Anyway such is life! On to tomorrow!! The scores tomorrow again won't probably accurately show the best horse and rider pair, I am discussing just the advanced division, horses going for the WEGs and Boekelo will be doing the best thing they can to prepare there horses for "the next step". I have it on good authority that the Canadians will leave some jumps out that they feel are not necessary for their horses. This will eliminate them from this competition, but they are using the course as schooling for the WEGs. Americans are meant to run the whole course but will go slow in order to save their horses legs. For our top horses protecting them for future team competitions is a priority. That’s not to say that any horses welfare is not important, but the horses at the top have put their time in and are a bit older so if conditions are not as close to perfect as we can make them it’s important to decide if it’s worth saving them for another day. Coming back to my day I was thrilled with Tate. I really feel right now, honestly, he is a strong 3-star horse with the potential to be a great 4-star horse. Last week he proved by winning the Richland Park 2-star he was above that level, and today in a 4-star test he was the best he could be with the education he has and landed himself with a top third result. I was victim to one judge that thought he was great and one that did not (7 point difference), but when watching the video back I definitely saw plenty of room for improvement but a very lovely obedient horse. I was so damn happy to have him in that ring no matter what:)! As for tomorrow I'm a bit undecided in my plan… so stay tuned.


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