Monday, November 8, 2010

Galway Weekend Wrap Up by Alexandra Slusher

What a day!! Starting off the morning with a double clean two star xc ride with Juicy Couture was a huge confidence boost. She was absolutely fantastic and it was our best xc to date. Following that was an amazing three star ride on Last Call. I was only two seconds slow and for Fergie and I that means we were really movin!! She really stepped up to the plate today! I couldn't be more thrilled with my day and to top it off my student won her very first preliminary.

After a long afternoon of cleaning up, icing and walking I am pleased to say that both Ellie and Fergie looked great when we trotted them this evening. It was a long hard day but the best xc I have ever ridden. The courses rode very tough but I am pleased to say I am in the lead in the two star and third in the three star. There was many other fabulous rides but Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda really stuck in my brain as a beautiful round. James Alliston also stuck out and having not one but two amazing clear xc rounds in the three star. I think the West Coast proved a point today that we can do it too!! I'm off to bed now because it will be a very early morning starting with the jogs as 8:30.

So I just got in the truck for the long nine hour drive home. As I reflect on yesterday I still can't believe what a success it truly was to be second in the first CCI three-star on the West Coast and first in the two-star. The day couldn't have been better for me. Starting with a smooth morning beginning at 5 AM preparing for he final horse inspection. After both horses were passed I had a chance to watch some sj and really start to get nervous.

Luckily PRO put on the hilarious golf cart races to break the tension right before I got on Juicy Couture. The races were fun and scary at the same time. Having blind folded drivers doing obstacle course wih a co-pilot giving directions got out of hand very quickly!! Every one got very competitive so there was serious sabotage going on. Casey McKissock got hit with the golf cart, but laughed it off and a few flower pots got smashed.

Quickly, after I jumped off the golf cart I jumped on my horse and began my warm up. Hawley and I kept it short and sweet knowing Ellie is a good jumper. Ellie tried her heart out for me and was shaping up to be a perfect round. Knowing I had two rails in hand I did exactly what I shouldn't have done and got too relaxed at the last fence and had the last rail down. I kicked myself in the butt for that!

After I received the blue ribbon I turned my focus to my three star mount. Fergie warmed up beautifully and went in for a double clean round! Jennie proceeded to also go in a have a beautiful double clean round. Jennie and I didn't stop smiling for he rest of the night. After an emotional press conference it was off to dinner at La Cocina for some margaritas and Mexican food!! After some drinking and the hot tub at Hawleys house I was off to bed for some much needed sleep. I can confidently say that was the most fun and best show I have ever had. Going home today with two sound horses for a much deserved break after a very successful close to the season is everything I could ask for.

Thank you to my husband for being my best supporter, my parents for supporting me and my dreams from the start, Hawley Bennett Awad for being the best coach and friend I could ask for and Maralee, Paul and Faves for for being there unequivocally for me and a special thank you to Bre Hall for being a great groom for me! I will check back in next spring!! Have a great winter!!


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