Monday, August 11, 2008

Millbrook





What a fun weekend! Papa came back from his jetsetting tour with Mom just in time to come up with me and Dually to Gorgeous Millbrook, NY, for the eponymous event there. It sure sure was nice to have him back! The weather was lovely and the event, as usual, was beautifully organized, though it was a little bittersweet to think that this may have been out last event on the east coast for quite some time.
Our dressage test left a lot to be desired: Dually decided that didn't want to do any counter canters! In retrospect I didn't have enough 'jump' in any of his gaits and had him a little too tight and behind my aids, so when I asked him to do the counter canter it was the obvious choice for him to break! A 40.8 left us in 16th place (and 17 points adrift of the lead) out of 25 in the JYOP.
We had dinner that night at Les Baux, a favorite of Papa and mine from my very first event with Dually at Fitch's Corner in 2005 that we return to every time we are in the area. The meal (especially the mashed potatoes) was even better than I remembered and, along with being back with my Papa, more than made up for our less- than perfect dressage day.
XC on Saturday was SO FUN -- the course was very similar to the one we did in 2006, and rode just as nicely. There is so much open land at Millbrook that I could actually feel like I could GALLOP! without having to immediately pull Dually's face off, the while there were technical questions, they were all presented in a very honest and progressive manner so that we built and built confidence as we went around. I didn't push for time at all, having way too much fun enjoying the ride, and so was happily surprised to come in only 7 seconds over for 2.8 time penalties. Our two day score of 43.6 moved us up 6 spots to lie in 10th overnight.
The show jumping was set in the big sand arena across the road, which was a nice change from two years ago when they held it in the bowl near the coffin complex; however, the spectator tents and flapping sponsorship pennants made for quite a spooky atmosphere. Dually came in and was practically on his hind legs he was so spooky but I was really happy with how I rode him and he channeled his energy marvelously to the task, jumping out of his skin for one of only 3 double clear rounds in our division that moved us all the way up to 4th place! It was as close to finishing on my dressage score at a prelim event that I have ever come and was a fairy tale ending to such a lovely weekend. Thank you, Dually!!!

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