Sunday, October 4, 2009

Stanford Invitational and Red Barn Festival

Ringo is a baller!!!!

Sorry, but that's the only way I can put it. He is so amazing!! Yesterday was the Red Barn's (where I board Ringo and home of the Stanford Equestrian Team) annual fundraiser, the Red Barn Festival. It included some community classes in the morning, including a Sit-a-Buck that my roommate won on the 15hh school pony Chocky and a pairs class that Justine and I survived with only a minimum of bucking and bolting on Stanley and Dreamer. The afternoon was devoted to the Stanford Invitational, which this year was designed as a 3 phase team competition, where each team member would compete in one leg and gather points towards a total at the end. The three phases were a 5 Bar, a 4'3" Hit-n-Hurry, and a 4'6" Accumulator. There were $7500 dollars in prizes and cash on the line to the winning team, so there was some incentive to do well!! KC, a fellow SET team member, and I weren't on a team but were given permission to join in the 5 Bar as individuals.

For clarification, the 5 Bar is a special type of show jumping competition that isn't seen that often. It consists of fives fences of progressive height separated by one stride each. The goal is to jump through the line without pulling a rail. The entire combination starts small, with the final fence only at about 3', but after each round the entire line is raised. The line is raised as many times as it takes for the field to be whittled down to one winner; it's ridiculously fun!!

Ringo and I made it up to 4'6" before getting knocked out - what a star!! He jumped fabulously and was a total gentleman the whole day, which was a really lovely change from his antics at Twin. He was definitely fiery, and got the crowd laughing a few times as he shot around the arena, spooking at all the other fences before getting to the first of the 5 bar, but he was never out of control and I had a total blast from start to finish. Good boy Ringo!!!

Good boy pats for the Ringo-super-Star

Coming into the line over the first in one of the first rounds -- RIngo was highly suspicious of those bricks from start to finish haha.

Clearing the 4'0" final fence with ease

Just before take off at the 4'6" - look how huge that thing is!!

Hands down, coolest horse on the planet.


and one more:

Ringo says "eek! so big! Must make more room!"

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Kiki at Stoneleigh Burnham

Kiki is a winner!! Last Sunday while I was having a meltdown in the show jumping at Twin, Kiki was being a mega-superstar and winning the Beginner Novice at Stoneleigh Burnham from start to finish! She handily won the dressage on a 28.6, as seen here:

So fancy!!!

She then put in a double clear show jumping round in the pouring rain, and clocked around the cross country like she's been doing it for years, coming home with just a few time faults for the win. What a good girl!! I'm so proud of her. It's amazing to look at her progress to just under a year ago when I rode her for the first time:

Her little baby frame

Still couldn't sit on her back at the canter!

The extent of her "jumping"

Jane Hamlin and the folks at Pirouette Farm in Norwich, VT, have done such an amazing job with her. I can't wait to get my hands on her!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Some Photos from the Woodside H/J Show

Here are some photos from the Woodside hunter jumper show over Labor Day weekend. The little black and white was such a star!! Ringo popped around the 1.10s and the 1.15s like they were a joke, though some pilot error on my part in both classes clearly shows that I've got some more homework to do =)

It was really awesome that my mom could come out; she is a good horsewoman but she travels a lot and doesn't get to watch me compete that often, so it was a big treat to have her come watch. It was the first time she'd really seen Ringo go since we tried him in July; he got the stamp of approval, to say the least!

Getting a bath the day before.

Getting tacked up at the horse park . . . Ringo looks dubious at best about the situation

Pretty Woodside


My mom couldn't get enough of this: in the warm up there was a young girl on a pony (or possibly very small horse) who was Ringo's mini twin! They were actually really creepily similar. We were wicked intimidated haha.

Coolest moment of the show: right after this warm up fence, Bec (who was coaching me that day) told me to come around to the vertical. Unfortunately, she was mounted at the time and so didn't have control of the fences. By the time I came around the turn, another coach had jacked up the 3'6" vertical to 4'3"! I didn't really have time to chicken out, so we popped over it like no big deal. This horse is incredible.

Locked and loaded for the 1.15s

Bec and I reviewing my performance. . . Good boy Ringo!!

Ringo was a super star practicing the 5 Bar yesterday. It was good to jump him again after Twin and remember that his brief lapse of sanity in the warm up there was the exception, not the norm! He is so ridiculously fun.
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