Monday, August 29, 2011

From the West Coast to Burghley and In Between by Natalia Gurmankin

Introductions ☺

Hello All!!! My name is Natalia Gurmankin and I am 22 years old. I have spent the last 3 and a ½ years based in Temecula California working for and riding with Hawley Bennett. I have 3 awesome horses, Tequesteris better known as Tex, Hail and Legate a.k.a Legs. It’s kind of hard to figure out where to start a blog, but I guess I will begin it with a recap of my summer so far because so far it’s been pretty awesome. And also let me start it by saying a huge THANK YOU to the man that makes this dream possible and that is my dad Jay. Without his support I would not be where I am today. Thanks Dad!

On July 14th Hawley and I loaded up the crew and drove 24 hours to the amazing Rebecca Farm! Rebecca Farm never fails to blow it out of the water, leaving no detail unfinished. The courses were beautiful, the footing was perfect and the staff is unbelievable. The event started off with a real bang for me because my boyfriend of 4 years proposed the day after we got there! Tommy is a course builder helps to build most of the courses on the West Coast. We are planning to get married November 17th 2012 ☺. From there great things kept happening, I was doing my first Advanced with Tex and he was a total rock star and made easy work of the cross country and Legs was 3rd in the Training 3 day! To top it off Gin and Juice and Hawley won the 3*** which was so exciting. Needless to say it was a great week for all those involved in Hawley Bennett Eventing and a great trip with great friends. Of course with things going so well, inevitably one bad thing had to happen, so our truck decided it needed new fuel injectors in Utah. However, it was a super convenient “breakdown” if there is such a thing seeing as we had a place to overnight the ponies and luckily I am originally from Utah so my mom came down and took Hawley and I to dinner, and my future in laws Tom and Carol lent us a car to get around town while the truck was getting fixed. We finally got home safe and sound the next day and all of us got some much-needed rest! All in all it was a kick ass trip!

2 weeks later it was off to Woodside, between Hawley and I we were riding 9 horses but with the help of Tessa Beckett, Sarah Braun and Hayley Sullivan things ran super smooth and the horses were all fantastic. Tex was 3rd in the Advanced and Hail was 2nd in the prelim. And Legs jumped so big in Show Jumping I lost my balance and slid off. OOPS!!!!! That will teach me to duck to the left ☺ Ginny ran the combined test and is looking better than ever as we prepare to venture across the pond again for Burghley!!!

This last week Buck came out for a clinic, which are always super fun. The horses all went fantastic and I have lots of homework for the fall as we prepare for the fall 3 days at Woodside and Galway where I hope to be doing my first 3 star on Tex. Hail is aiming for the 2 star and Legs the 1 star. Those are the goals but we’ll see how things go, everyone knows how hard it is to make plans in this world ;)

But for now, I have been busy packing all of Gin and Juices things ☺ Hawley, Ginny, and I fly out Thursday. We will arrive in Amsterdam, and take a Lorry over to Maizey Manor Farm where we will hang with the other Canadians and then off to Burghley we go ☺ Packing is always interesting seeing as you try to fit your entire tackroom into 3 little trunks….IMPOSSIBLE! But I think we have pretty much everything we need and I can’t wait to get over there!!! Go Hawley and Ginny!

Until Next Time!!


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