Sunday, October 31, 2010

Chatt Hills Halloween Style by Rebecca Howard

People, dogs and of course children reminded us all that is was the last day of October and we should be dressed up eating candy. The prize givers were also in costume... but host Carl Bouckaert was not!

All our horses were very good and Dana, Susan and I kept the positions that we had going into the SJ ring.The courses again were the stamp of Mark Donovan, and were really good tracks. I have to say also that the footing in the arenas was really good. The first time I rode here was this May and the footing was still new, this week end it felt even better then at the AEC's.

It is strange to be driving home from the last event of the year for The Fork crowd. Quite a year it has been, and this was a nice one to end on. The negative is now dealing with the backed up traffic on I-85.... Agggggh think it is going to be a long drive home.

Chatt Hills by Rebecca Howard

It is a much less busy Chatt Hills then that of 2 months ago for the AECs. It was amazing how many horses this place absorbed for that weekend, although there is a good turnout this weekend, we have a great luxury of space… and parking! The farm looks like it recovered well from the trampling of people and horses in September, and with the help of recent rain the ground for today’s XC was quite good. You can still see the gallop path that was put up the hill for the US WEG horses to gallop on while here for their training camp.

For us at the Fork this weekend was supposed to be about Dana…. the Dana Cooke is my right hand girl and the one that kept everything ticking along at the Fork while I was on the road so much this summer and fall. Dana and Indy were to do her first 2* this week end. I am here to coach a few, ride one and was looking forward to being Dana’s groom for a change! Her past intermediates have gone very very well and we were really excited for her to get this notch in her belt. Unfortunately instead she got to learn the frustrating lesson with horses… her pony got hurt the week before… and we had to scratch her the day before leaving. The few days prior to departure we were still optimistic that we could get it sorted, but unfortunately no. Indy should not be benched for long at all, but the timing of course sucked.

I did not get to watch any of the 2* go this morning… was too busy riding my training horse a few long times (he is learning that even though it is cold out, you have to do dressage!) So to those of you that were in the warm up arena with me and had to quickly dart out of my way… I apologize. Archie was just trying to get warm…real cute I know. Susan Beebee and her fancy Wolf horse were… fancy… and are in 3rd in the Prelim, Dana is in 2nd on her novice horse and Archie and I are in 5th, all The Fork ponies were very good xc.

Hope to watch the 1 and 2 star horses tomorrow… imagine John Holling will have a sleepless night as he only has a 14 point lead in the one star!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fair Hill From a YR's Perspective by Arden Wildasin

Wednesday: The jog day with nerves going through the air.

The horse that I got qualified is Mandar who is competing in the CCI**. Today was the jog. I see other competitors riding their horse in the morning so they get used to the setting over here at beautiful Fair Hill. I head back to the barn where they have begun checking if you have a blue wrist band on. I am able to go straight through! In the barns, horses have started to getting their final bath and some have started to get braided. A lot of jokes are being passed around with lots of laughter at the end. I take Mandar aka “Gus” for a long stroll before heading over to the jog. We all seem fine.
We are at the jog and and nerves are defiantly in the air with some horses getting held and not passing, while others are being accepted on their first go. I’m on deck ready to go, Mandar looks and seems fine. I go to the longest jog strip. I jog up it and then back down. Everyone is silent - I get held. It was nerveracking for all of us. The vet said that he was sore, but we worked out of it on third jog before representing him. He passed with flying colors... On with dressage for tomorrow!

There was a hoedown Friday night. It got a little wild towards the end of the party with Nat Chambers dancing on the table and helping Jimmy Wofford who was auctioning off the teams for this weekend.

Thursday: First day of dressage:

Fair Hill without rain, I don’t think so. This morning it was cold and the sun was trying to break through the clouds, but when the fifth horse entered the ring of the two star the rain started, lightly at first then harder and harder. At first people thought it would not rain, but by 10am the rain gods were against us. It has been raining for the whole day. The only thing I hope for is that it will somewhat lighten up...that is all I ask. It did lighten up at the end of the day. Gus and I did not have our best dressage, but we gave it our best effort.

Friday: Second day of dressage

I was able to watch some dressage rides. There were some spectacular tests put down by the CCI 3*’s that were breathtaking to watch. I went around the cross-country course again, looking at new lines to ride and each time I finish I am amazed how beautiful the course is. You walk it and it is over three miles long. Today was windy but no rain!

Saturday: Cross-country

I woke up early one last time to walk to course with Phillip Dutton. I went back to the barn and it was quiet, people were working away on their horses while I was getting nervous about going out on course. So far everything was riding great, no big problems. Thanks to Jan who helped me warm up before going out on course. Phillip gave me some last reminders and Gus and I were ready. Out of the start box we went! I was out on the course for nine minutes. The longest course I have been around. I crossed the finish flags and I was so happy. Getting around with a double clear was amazing. The ten minute box went by fast. Colby, Gus, and I were back at the barn icing away in no time. We were able to take a break for Gus to chill out and for Colby and I to watch some of the 3 star riders go around. At night people were jogging horses to see what else needed to be done before putting them to sleep.

Sunday: Stadium

Sunday rolled around quickly, riders and grooms were at the barns by 5am doing the last minute icing. The jog was at 9am and I passed without needing to go the hold box! A lot of horses were being held, but passed at when the were represented. The stadium course was BIG, long and technical. I was in 14th place going into the stadium. Gus was jumping high. He did not want to touch anything! We finished the course and I was in Heaven, I could not believe that I made it to Fair Hill and even completed it on my dressage score! That was unreal. I ended up being 11th just outside of the ribbons, but I was the National Young Rider Champion.

Well Gus I know is now deserving a long break out in the field in warm Aiken, South Carolina!


Boekelo Wrap Up by Doug Payne

What a trip...
I don't think I sent in a proper SJ report. So in front of a packed house, estimates around 10k people on all sides of the stadium, we had the final phase of the 3 day, or Military as its know in Holland.

Running Order is generally quite a good show jumper. I was unsure of how well this particular round would go just due to the countless unknowns...the people, flags, banners, grandstands, bars/restaurants etc... The course was not overly technical. I was the second on course. So there wouldn't be much time to assess the typical problems which would have been clear after watching a few horses go, ie tricky combination, bogey fences or time. We figured the time would be tight, and this was the case. After walking there were a few areas of concern for me. A few of the jumps were situated in a way in which you were directly jumping into the stands. This was the case with the 2nd, the approach to 5, 8 and the final triple combination which if you drifted left you'd land within 15' of the outside wall separating the grandstands and the stadium. We made a plan to angle a few of these to take the people out of the question as much as possible, we also planned on an inside line to the triple allowing us to jump a bit left to right allowing the horse to see an out at the end. I can't tell you how happy I was that I've had the opportunity to jump so much over the past year. Anne's advice was ringing in my ear the entire time. And to my surprise I really was hardly nervous. The course looked small, I guess Courage's Grand Prix being the last course I walked puts things in perspective :). Not so say that's always the case, its all what your riding, and Skinny can jump with the best of them.

I hopped on for warmup, I've never been so excited a sunday before about a horse. Most horses would come out a little stiff and tired after 12mins of xc the day before. Not Running Order, I've always thought he'd make it big, this was confirmation. He jumped great in warmup. I went into the ring knowing the first horse had 1 or 2 rails and a few time. He jumped great throughout the course. We did have 1 down at a fence that ended up coming down all day. In hindsight I could have helped him off the ground a bit more. Such is life, we made the time without a problem. As I said before, upon finishing I knew there was a lot of room for improvement, but I was very proud of my pony!

Aside from the individual competition, we were one of 19 teams competing in the Grolsch Nations Cup competition. On the strong preformance of Sinead, Will and Tiana we finished 2nd. Which meant RO was back for the awards.

What a mad house. Between carriages of fresians and fjords, tons of authentically dressed people, notice the PC description ;), bands tractors etc...RO's eyes were popping out of his poor little head. We actually saw some woman a few ft away get run over by a tractor.

We won beautiful coolers, which I was excited about until I got a leg up...not sure how many of you have tried to ride with a cooler between you and the saddle, but without a doubt this ceremony was the closest I came to falling off during the weekend. My dad managed to assimilate into the masses of press as they entered to cover the awards ceremony, so pics should be coming soon. The victory gallop was exciting to say the least, but it was a great ending for the weekend.

Without question, I would rather have had a much different result. However, I know I speak for everyone that went along, it has been an immensely valuable experience. I certainly have never ridden in such an environment. Everything from the team experience, to the shear numbers of spectators to the stadium atmosphere for the horses, flying, packing the list goes on. I'm a frustrated, but much better rider and horseman for the experience.

As for Running Order, I really couldn't be more proud of him. The glitch we had on XC was not due to anything but inexperience, on his and my part. The only way of getting it is doing it. As much as I hate to admit that! The exciting thing was that he just continued to get better and more confident throughout the competition. He has come so far in such a short period of time. As an 8 year old he was one of the youngest in the competition, not only that but the fact that 2.5 years ago he hadn't been to a beginner novice! He is a much better horse coming out of the event than what I had going in.

I also want to thank all of the people who have made that all possible. First off, Patti, his owner. Without her support we're dead in the water. The Springsteen's have been exceptional throughout RO's short career. Then Mark Phillips, my Mom, Irma Hotz, Anne Kursinski, David O'Connor and I'm sure I'm forgetting many others. As for this trip we also can't forget Sara Ike and Mike Huber.

I also wanted to thank Larry and Amelia Ross for making the trip from Italy to watch over the weekend. They own Tali with me, and with a little luck he'll be competing at Boekelo in a few years!

This is an exciting journey, its going to have ups and downs, and I see it as long as your learning and getting better the future is looking bright. This trip cranked up the intensity of that light exponentially.

We have an off weekend coming up, we'll be heading off the Far Hills Races...then off to Va horse trials the following weekend for the rest of the horses at the barn. Running Order will be enjoying some much deserved time off in a field!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fair Hill Day 4 By Diana Burnett

Best day!

Woke up in a freezing cold trailer, as we ran out of propane in the night. Thank god for having a dog to keep me warm!
Had a final course walk at 7am to get some of the morning nerves out of the way and confirm my plan. The ground felt great. It is still pretty windy here, so Shaggy was still feeling quite fresh when I got on him! He warmed up beautifully giving the jumps lots of room and landing galloping away. He certainly felt ready! When we crossed the road to the start box he knew it was time and put his game face on. This horse moved up many ranks in my books today! He felt incredible out there the whole time and finished with gas in the tank. He handled all the questions like a seasoned pro! He recovered quickly in the box under the excellent supervision of Sandra, Christiana and Randy. They are amazing and much appreciated!

There were problems in different areas all over the course today. There was not one particular jump that cause a lot of problems.
All our thoughts are with Sharon and Jennifer right now who both had falls today, but are reported to be doing well.
Would also like to add that the US riders overseas did a great job xc today!

Shags is looking great tonight, thanks to sandras great care throughout the day and I'm sure is looking forward to snice rest tonight!

XC at Boekelo by Doug Payne

Running Order was pretty damn good, but unfortunately not perfect. He jumped the first 8 perfectly. 9 was the first water. The A element was on a left bend into it around a bunch of trees. In hindsight I should have squared the turn off a bit more, he didn't read it well. I ended up have 2 stops at it. I should have taken more time on my second attempt. The third was sticky, but finished up well. We continued on in the straight route and jumped elements b through e very well.

In most cases I'd be very upset, but just got better and better through the course. I can't tell you how excited I am about our future. He finished up still only 45 seconds late. Amazing being that I just let him cruise on after fence 9. The time was well within his grasp. As Mark said at the finish, "this is a very good horse for the future." I couldn't agree more. Just has some to learn.

I've heard time and time again that experience is what you need after you need it. I've got it for next year!
Will had a great run finishing under time....

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday's Blog Update by Doug Payne

Today started off with a little later wake up call, we were on by 8 for
a long walk. Running Order enjoyed his hack...the facility continues to
grow. It's really unbelievable, every time I walk to the course (5 times
now) there are more tents and activity, everywhere! I can't wait until
tomorrow...more specifically when xc is finished. I'm 4th out, so
luckily I don't have to wait around long. The ground is quite moist,
bordering on wet. We had sporadic rain today and it is again forecast
for tonight into tomorrow. Running Order is great in the rain, so I'm
hoping for as much as possible.

Tiana and Sinead went today, Tiana had a very good test putting her in
6th on a 46 and Sinead had a 55 putting her around 30th. In the Grolsch
Nations Cup we're sitting in third!

I'll send a quick note after tomorrow morning, I ride at'll be
quite early eastern.

Back again soon,


Fair Hill Day 3 - Friday by Diana Burnett

Started it off with a nice lay in! Not much to report on today, it was a pretty slow day for us! Picked up my dressage test. You know its not that good of a test when the judges final comment is 'patient rider'.

Spent the morning watching dressage. Some of the horses got a little frisky when the wind started to pick up and the dressage rings started blowing down.

We had a course walk with David. The ground feels better since the rain. We had a little jump in the afternoon. Shaggy was feeling quite good with all the wind, tried to buck me off in the stabling as I was tightening my girth! He felt supper to jump and I'm really looking forward to getting out on the course tomorrow. He is a fairly green horse, but I believe he's up to the job at hand.
Quiet night tonight, getting up for a morning course walk.

Good luck to everyone tomorrow, as well as our riders overseas!


Fair Hill Day 2 - Thursday by Diana Burnett

I think two dressage tests got finished before the rain started! This is a good thing, as the ground could really use it.
Shags and I went out for an early morning ride. Just a light flat in the jump saddle to move around and stretch out. He was very good and enjoyed some grazing on the way back to the stable. I went and watched a couple tests. Saw Clark Montgomery put in a lovely, inspiring test.

Had my warm up with Captin Canada. He was feeling pretty good. His test, however did not reflect that! His trot and canter work was quite good. We were successful at blowing all of our walk work, in which there was a lot, therefore putting on a much higher score than I thought we would be able to produce this weekend. Such humbling creatures horses can be!

Now onto the xc. The course looks great. The jumps are beautifully built and decorated. Kudos to Derik DiGrazia and his crew. The 2 star course looks very challenging. It asks many question right from fence 4. Although fence 3 might also pose a problem with the decorative cows placed on either side, they certainly scared my dog! There are 4 water complexes and many corners. It will definitely be a chalenge for my Shaggy, but I think we are up for it. As for right now I'm excited to get out there on Saturday! From what I've heard the 3 star course is a little soft, but that is just the word around the barn. Highlight of today is the lobster and steak we just finished in the town of North East!

~ Diana

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dressage Day 1 at Boekelo by Doug Payne

So dressage was today for Running Order. The day started early, we
were in the lobby at quarter to 7 for a first ride at 7 then back on by
8:30. RO was excellent, and not affected by the atmosphere at all. I
think this was due to last nights familiarization at 6 where he stood
staring at the two jumbo-trons for quite some time. He was very good in
the test. I did make a very stupid error, halting early at the first
halt, but really was very pleased with his test. The score, however, not
so much. My mom and Sandy Phillips both FEI judges were in shock with
how low it was scored.

I did have the pleasure of following Michael
Jung, the current world champion, which didn't help the situation. I do
have to keep all of this in perspective, he's only 8 and did his first
one star 18 months ago. We finished the first day of dressage in the
middle of the pack with a 61. Give him a year or two and it'll be a
different story. His progress has been astounding over the past few
years, especially what has been accomplished in the past week. Give him
time...he'll be there!

Tomorrow will be quite relaxing...just taking RO for a walk a time or
two. I'll walk the course again tomorrow for a 4th time. It did look a
bit smaller the 2nd and 3rd times today. It's certainly not going to be a dressage show...

Fair Hill by Casey McKissock


I'm sitting in my friend's truck watching her feed her jack russell a gas station hot dog, must be at another event! This isn't just any event, it's Fair Hill International and I'm very excited (and nervous, of course) to be here.

I'm riding Special Blend, my own 10 year old TB gelding. You'll recognize us if you're near that dreaded tunnel. He's the one on his hind legs and I'm the one holding him pretending nothing is happening and apologizing to the innocent bystanders.

Joking aside, we had a nice ride yesterday morning before the briefing. We don't do dressage until Friday morning so I will most likely jump or do some trotting today. We try not to drill him too much before the actual test. A fit, red headed, opinionated gelding can only put up with so much ringwork. We'll save it for Friday, hopefully!

Last night was the Calcutta. The food was delicious and the auction was very entertaining. My table may not have had the deepest pockets, but we definitely had the best cheering section. Thanks to the organizers and sponsors, I hope it made a lot of money for a great cause.

Good luck to all of my fellow friends and competitors, and thanks to all of the volunteers and organizers for putting on the event. See you all out there!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Boekelo Trot Up by Doug Payne

The jogs today went very well. We started the day off with a dressage lesson in the am with Mark. Running Order just keeps getting better and better. I don't know if we can pull it off tomorrow, but I'm certain in a few years this will not be an issue.
The team all went to the briefing where everyone is formally introduced etc. Then off to the jogs. There are a number of pics from it below. My dad took a bunch, we'll get better quality ones up tomorrow. Had to take a pic of my computer screen, no internet access in the room other than my blackberry.

We got very lucky that the nations (we jogged in order of country draw) were able to hang out in the main stadium. Jogs were uneventful, so its official...were in the game!

Dressage tomorrow at 9:06. The plan is to stretch etc at 7 then back on at 8:30, and win! Well that might be ambitious, but it should be good. Hoping to be under 50.

Off to bed...


Fair Hill International Day 1 By Diana Burnett

This weekend I am riding Shigatzi in the 2 star. He is a homebreed, 7 year old Canadian thoroughbred. We had to scratch Wild T'mater due to an abcsess that came up a week ago. Ahhh horses! Today started off with a morning ride and the 10am rider meeting where we got our good luck ponies. That accompanied by my lucky number 13 should bode well for a good weekend! The jog was at 1pm. The jog strip was very long and the ground jury held quite a few in the 2 star. Sandra had Shaggy looking beautiful!

After the jog we were able to familiarize our horses with the main arena. Shigatzi started to feel a bit fresh when we approached the xc jumps in the middle of the ring. After getting over that we had a lovely ride. Half of the 2 star does dressage tomorrow and the rest as well as the 3 star go on Friday.

Now we are off to the first Calcutta party here, where teams of riders are going to be auctioned off to help raise money for the event. Should be a fun night with Jimmy as the mc. I heard there's going to be losts of yummy food too! Looking forward to walking the course tomorrow and going to be dreaming of elegant, precise dressage movements!

Until tomorrow - Diana

Sinead's Boekelo Update

"There can only be one winner of Boekelo, but everyone else is going to have a bloody good time!" has been the quote repeated throughout the stables and common area's at Boekelo CCI ***. I feel like this is the right event with the right group of people/horses and most definitely the right time to be here in Holland. At Bad Boekelo (our hotel) the four of us (Will, Doug,Tiana and I) have very quickly become like family members due to the fact that we are all staying in a 2 bedroom apartment together. Unfortunately when living with two boys being like a "family" means politeness is out the window. Tiana and I have found ourselves speechless and a little grossed out on more than one occasion, but mostly there has been a lot of laughing!

We had our trot up and briefing today which both went well and then we took off to look at the course. I knew that I liked the idea of going on this trip for the experience of travel etc. but when I walked this track I realized that my horse nor I have competed with atmosphere like this. I am feeling like this experience will help in future competitions where hopefully we will be competing in an official team championship. The knowledge on how our horses and how individually we will handle this type of "high profile" event will be invaluable . I'm not kidding you when I'm saying that literal bars( for drinking alcohol) are built into the jumps! There are supposed to be around 40,000 spectators and the galloping lanes at times are only about 5 ft in width. The track is 10min 45 sec and is mostly flat terrain in and out of woods, stadiums, trade fairs, restaurants, lounge areas and occasionally an old fashioned field!

Dressage starts tomorrow and because of the unofficial team competition here we got to decide our order of go. Doug will be starting us off around 9 in the morning. Doug's horse is green and will benefit from less of a crowd also Doug handles being the the first of the the day pressure very well. Will and his mare will go next tomorrow around 1:45 Tiana will go Friday at 11:30 and I will finish off with Tate around 4:00pm. We will go in the same order on cross country day. We are all feeling excited and eager to compete. The horses all traveled well and now it is just a matter of preparing properly to get the best horse we can in the ring. All I want to do is ride 5 times a day and practice every move in the test and then jump 1000 jumps but instead I am trying to keep myself occupied by sitting back and watching the likes of Mary King, William Fox-Pitt, Bettina Hoy, Clayton Fredricks and on and on and on... There are 104 starters and every nation from Australia to Sweden representing so its enough to keep me from annoying Tate and keep my eyes peeled to see who is going to be walking past my stall next. The organizing committee is working on live feed from Boekelo so stay tuned I will email it to john before cross country day. To everyone at Fair Hill good luck! We will be working hard and enjoying this experience here for sure!

Blog Credit:

Update From Boekelo by Doug Payne

Nothing all that important or exciting happened today. We all had lessons with Mark Phillips, except for Will who continued his work with Sandy Phillips. We then took them all for walks...all good...
We did find out were the 7th nation to go and I'm going to be first in the order which means I'll be going about 7th to go on thursday. Jogs tomorrow and the xc course walk at 8:30!

Reports on it to come soon...


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hacking Out at Boekelo by Doug Payne

NJ would normally be the location, but today we're straight from Holland. This is the access road behind the trade fair and stadium for dressage and xc fences 3-5. We've had a peak at a few, but were not allowed to walk the xc until Wed.
The weather here has been beautiful. Certainly cold enough in the am (mid 40s) but then mid 60s without a cloud in sight in the afternoon.

Today was spent in search of SIM cards and chargers for everyone's phones.

The horses had leasurly walk this am through what looked exactly like the enchanted forest or maybe the Smirfs backyard. They then went out this afternoon for some long and low/ light work. In barn inspections were also completed. Packets will be ready tomorrow as will most of the competitors.

Until then...


Monday, October 11, 2010

We Are Here by Sinead Halpin

Sorry about not posting for the last day, but it has taken me a little bit to make sure that I have a the right charger for my computer, my american phone, my new dutch phone, to find internet access and to find who's car I left what phone, computer, charger and converters in!

So with that out of the way.. The horses and all of us are doing GREAT! Will, Doug, Sara, Chrissy and I arrived into Amsterdam yesterday morning and after losing my wallet (fortunately I had my passport and credit card) and headed over to the horse hotel to meet Tiana and wait for the horses to arrive. Five hours later the horses and Nat arrived. The horses looked great when they arrived. We unloaded them and walked them around while Tiana loaded her gear and then we put the ponies on the lorry and headed to Boekelo, which was another two hours down the road. We arrived to more than five people to help us unload, offer tea, coffee and cookies and after the horses got settled a few rounds of beer at the bar on the grounds!

We have all decided this is our new favorite event and it has not even started! We went for a hack this am and all the horses were a bit fresh, but we all are a bit fresh and excited!! The other competitors should arrive tomorrow and things should get crackin so ill let ya know the schedule when I know it!


Settling In at Boekelo by Doug Payne

Since the last update, we flew over the atlantic landing in Amsterdam. Customs etc went smoothly. We did however have a few delays before leaving the airport.

First of which involved Chrissy. After the baggage carousel stopped she was missing her bag. Or so she thought, so we had to walk around, find someone who could speak english and help us file a missing bag claim. After finding this person, he was very helpful. Seems the blue bag Chrissy was looking for during the last 40mins was actually green, and conveniently sitting waiting for her in the baggage claim.

So on we went to grab some coffee...Sinead was next, unfortunately with less stellar results. Seems she left her wallet on the plane, or it fell out somewhere in transit. So we stopped at the lost and found and reported her claim.

So off we go in the rental cars to the horse hotel, where we'd meet up with Tiana and Fin. We arrived at around 11am, and had to kill 4 hrs until our horses and Nat arrived. This time was occupied by about every childhood game you've ever played. Anything from rock paper scissors to Will hiding in the bushes.

Our horses finally arrived, we took them on a short walk then back on the truck for the 2 hr drive on to Boekelo. I was impressed how well all of the horses looked after the journey. We got lost once in the process, but arrived to what might be the best event I've ever seen. At least in hospitality. We had a bunch of help unloading everything, and by the time we took them all for a walk tea, coffee and cookies were handed out! Then more organizing and off to the bar on site. They are expecting 40,000 people this weekend, and with 3 acres of tents I'm sure there will be tons to do. Incidentally the tent stabling is basically a temporary structure with 108 stalls under 1 roof with 6m aisles.

After a few drinks with the organizers we headed off to dinner, and now bed.

Tomorrow we'll take them for a hack, serious work waiting until Tuesday.

Until then...


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

WEG Wrap Up by Stephanie Rhodes-Bosch

Hey Everybody,

I’m finally back in The Plains, VA getting settled into normal life after what has been a very exciting competition for Canada!

We are all just one big bundle of emotions. First of all, there is the sense of relief that the Team is now qualified for London with plenty of time to spare. Secondly, there is the huge amount of pride and excitement that we all have in our horses and their performances over three of the biggest days of our lives. Third, we really feel like we have something to look forward to, now! I feel like this is really the debut year for the new and revamped Canadian program. David has been with the Canadians since 2006, and his from the ground up restructuring of the way things work has brought us all to this point of a Silver medal at the World Championships. The exciting thing about it is that this isn’t it. There are many up and coming young horses and developing riders for future championships, and none of the pairs that participated in this games were maxed out with their results. There is wayyyyy more up our sleeves, we just have to keep it all coming together!!

I’d really like to say on behalf of the team a huge thank you to all of our sponsors and supporters. The CET was lucky enough to be outfitted with breeches by FITS, gloves by SSG, protective wear by Phoenix and Point Two, as well as helmets by GPA. The horses enjoyed Omega Alpha supplements, a Niagara Equissage system (which we had for a very generous 4 weeks) and Horseware Ireland sheets and blankets. We also have to give another huge thanks to Mrs. Mars for providing us with a great facility for training camp. Then of course there’s Randy, and Dr. Ober, Deb Furnas and Graeme Thom for all that they do, and also to the owners of our horses. I own Ollie with my mother, and I know that it is a huge expense to compete and maintain a horse at this level, so thanks for giving us the opportunity to do this.

As a rider who is new to the international game, I have to say how incredibly lucky I feel to have had the opportunity to be a part of this. Not only was it a huge personal success for myself and my competitive goals, but to contribute to something that meant so much to my team was an experience that I hope to repeat in the future.

Thanks a lot for reading!