Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bromont Adventures by Nikki Lendl

Bromont… WOW! Whenever I thought about going to Bromont I never believed that I would be lucky enough to actually go and watch, let alone be able to groom for someone who is competing here.

About a week and a half ago I came to True Prospect Farm in West Grove, Pennsylvania to help Evie and Phillip Dutton and their amazing crew. When Evie asked me if I would like to come to Bromont to groom for Dr. Kevin Keane and help Emma out with the rest of the horses, I don’t think that I could have said yes any faster - I was so excited to go! I have always heard amazing things about Bromont from friends and my sister who have competed here and I have always wanted to go. Although this past week has been tough for everyone at True Prospect Farm we are all very excited to come to Bromont and be able to do what we all do best.

The trip up started out normal, but as with any trip there are a few unplanned adventures along the way. Right before we pulled out of the farm at 4:30am on Tuesday morning, I realized that I had forgotten my passport at the house. I expected to get a real dressing down from Phillip, but he kept his cool and asked Emma to take me to get my passport. We set off, but when I jumped out of the RV to run up the driveway I landed in a water filled ditch and face-planted into the ground! Trying to make it seem graceful was hard since my shirt got wet. We finally got on the road with a ten-hour drive ahead of us. Our caravan headed to Bromont consisted of Emma and myself in the RV. Phillip driving the big rig, Amy Ruth Borun driving another trailer of horses and Dr. Keane bringing up the rear with a rig filled with straw for bedding, hay, feed and tack.

At the Canadian border Emma and I got into a bit of trouble. The immigration officer was a little suspicious about me traveling to Canada without a parent. She asked me if I had a note from either one of my parents saying that I had permission to go “camping” in Bromont with Emma. No note meant that we had to go inside to verify that I was not being kidnapped. At that point I just though to myself, “Well great! My one shot to go and groom at Bromont and there it goes right out the window!” Of course, my mom was on the way up to Bromont too and phone service is pretty shaky in the mountains. When they couldn’t reach my parents the immigration officer decided that since I wasn’t kicking and screaming, Emma probably wasn’t kidnapping me so we were ok to go! The highlight of the day was seeing the big Bromont sign on the top of the hill and the amazing cross-country course right there in front of me.

Today was the first horse inspection. We have spent the whole day preparing our horses for the jog up and it really did it pay off. All of our horses passed the jog and none were held! I started to get a little emotional; as I was just so happy that everyone could go on and compete. I never realized how hard it is to get three horses ready to jog up back to back. Everyone makes it seem to graceful and easy. To be truthful it is pretty hard coordinating the hand offs and pick ups and making sure that each horse gets there final prep all at the same time. It definitely can be a bit crazy when presenting multiple horses. There is a very large field of competitors at Bromont and everyone is looking forward to the start of dressage tomorrow.

Nikki Lendl

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