Saturday, September 18, 2010

Plantation Field CIC Blog by Ashley Kehoe

Hi fellow Eventers!

My name's Ashley Kehoe, and I'm here at Plantation Field competing my horse, Mazetto, in the CIC***. It is great to be back in Pennsylania. I started riding with Radnor Hunt Pony Club not 20 minutes from the event, so this place brings back a lot of memories! I did my first Training level event here only 6 years ago, and now i'm getting a chance to ride the big course! Since 2004 there have been some great changes to the event. Plantation has always been beautiful, but now that the dressage rings are all set on top of the hill, the views are stunning.

The cross country course has a lot of great galloping, and the whole crew here has spent time aggravating the ground on all the hard downhill stretches. It rained a little last night, but the ground is still pretty hard. I'm looking forward to getting a crack at the 3* course, I think there are some good questions. I think the most influential fences on course will be 8a&b, 13ab &14, and the water jump. 8a&b is a winding skinny to a corner in the woods, it will require being very committed to your ride, and having a horse that doesn't mind a good surprise, as the fence is partly obscured by tree branches. 13ab &14 is a tricky combination of angled or turning tables. There is a big table, 7 strides to a hanging log, then either 3 or 4 strides through a gully (In the picture you can see a bit of the hill, but it is actually an old sunken road) then 2 strides to angle out over the last table. I think it will be ridden in a few different ways tomorrow. The jump into water is a long bounce, then 5 strides to a corner on the way out. I competed in the Intermediate here last year with Eric, and really liked how the open fields let you get in a good rhythm. I'm lucky my horse likes to do XC almost as much as I do.

For those of you who haven't heard of Mazetto, aka Eric, let me introduce you. He is a 15yo, 16.3h Cleveland Bay/NZ TB cross. Eric and I have been partners for a year and a half, but i'm still as obsessed with him as the day he walked off the trailer! He has the personality of a princess, a puppy dog, or a trouble maker...depending on the day. He likes to kick the stall wall, or trailer whenever he feels he is not getting enough attention! He knows he's talented, and would jump a house for me if I asked him. He LIVES for cross country, enjoys the show jumping, and tolerates the dressage...somedays. Other days, like today, he reminds me of a naughty kid rushing through his homework to get to recess!

At least the hard part is behind us, bring on the Cross Country!


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