Friday, March 23, 2012

Horse of the Year 2012

Sorry I have been so slow to update this, Hoy being a week ago but proper work in retail is hard work, and all the interesting internet sites are blocked and I'm living between two homes so I'm sorry but I'll make up for it with a nice detailed story.

So Connie went down to Hoy a fee days before me and my friend looked after her and cantered her around a 1.10m class were she had a rail and also four faults because she stopped to poo. It must have been a biggie because she doesn't normally stop to do that and my friend was quite embarrassed. I turned up thursday night and the next day we started in the 1.25 class. She was amazing but I was a little chicken at times and whenever I got chicken I got her deep. It's a slightly different spot for my eye to see to these bigger fences and it will take miles to adjust. Still she only had a rail and all three days we jumped big trebles and she was amazing down them. Which is amazing because she does find it hard, but she has stayed committed and attacking and it's been easy.

That afternoon when I went to wrap her and take her back to the yard she had swollen back tendons, one that looked like a bow and another lumpy one and I freaked out. The vet was called out and he said it was superficial and over the tendon not a problem with the tendon. So she got iced and wrapped carefully and I jumped the rest of the show in back bandages. Yes I had the go ahead from the vet to ride providing she was sound and I lined up about 8 people and made them watch her trot and they all gave her the all clear.

The next day was the 1.25m horse of the year class and as you would expect it was pretty beefy and technical enough being a title class. Connie was again super, ther problems we had were when I let the canter get a bit flat and running and didn't keep the canter powerful enough. Still she jumped her guts out and all the pictures are from that class. The result of three rails doesn't reflect how awesome she was. Two were the back rails of oxers where I was too far away from the base for her to clear the back rail and the first one was actually just laziness on her part. I was still rapt with her because she showed moments of real scope and potential and she really tried. It's just me handicapping her but I will get there. All the pictures are from that class. I love the picture of her over the green and red oxer though she looks cute over the walls as well. Such a gorgeous pony. Look out next season.

That evening I had been roped into the huntchase riding for the Wairarapa hunt of course and I was in a borrowed mens jacket that was about 50 sizes too big and weighed about a million kgs. So I looked ridiculous and it was in the international ring in front of a packed stadium so I was nervous and in true hunt fashion dealt with my nerves with some hefty gins. You can tell from Connies face that she is just like 'sigh, she is drinking again'

The actual competition involved the two teams slaloming over identical but opposite courses. The picture below is everyone learning the course, though being hunters two people still managed to jump the wrong fences. Wairarapa finished 9th with a pretty strong ride. I though Connie was awesome but we got smoked by our slalom competitior. I may have turned sharply but C horse is just not fast across the ground, still it was a lot of fun for her and I after such intense classes earlier in the week and a shitload of fun. Do you recognise the roan in the front??

The last day was the amateur of the year class and the one I really wanted. The track looked small after the 1.25m classes being 1.10m-1.20m. Technical though, lots of dog legs and roll backs and a tricky treble to upright related curving line that caused a wee bit of trouble. Had a great smooth round until the last fence when my breain went holy shit I'm clear and I stopped riding. I thought she would chip in but she was just like I got this momma and took off early and cleared the fence. Thanks pony!!

In the jump off I tried my guts out and we laid down an awesome time, lots of sweet tight turns and I took a real risk in the gallop to the last upright and she touched it and about three strides after the fence I heard it drop and heard the crowd groan. Still you have to try your hardest and take some risks, because I would have been more disappointed to take it more carefully and then be too slow. I would have been about third on time and it would have been a top 10 finish but I really would have loved to have been in the top 6 and get a presentation in the international arena. Still there is always next year. I'm undecided if I will chase the amateur or pro-am series. I might have another swing at the amateurs and try to make the top six for the whole series. Still 5 months to think about that and Connie is up on the hill with Kate. They are very happy to see each other and Connie can enjoy a well deserved rest for at least 3 months.

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures! Sounds like an amazing outing!