March 30, 2009

Circuit Finals

Yesterday was the Wellington SJ & SH circuit finals. We turned up nice and early to get some practise rounds in on Beau and to handover Sam to his regular rider so she could get a chance to do a bit of practise before competing him. All the practise rounds went well, and then after doing entries it was time to get started. Neo did the doubles & trebles novelty event in Ring1 but just didn't cope. We got stuck at a treble with lots of filler and long strides with an oxer at the back - I ended up retiring him as I didn't want to undo all the good progress he's been making lately. It was a bit of a shame, but I guess that's horses! The rest of the bunch were in Ring2. First class was an 80cm AM5 which was built nice and low to get started. Beau did a great 2 rounds:
And Anna did a beautiful 2 rounds, but we took it fairly quietly in the jumpoff. We did a couple of angles but didn't turn on the speed at any point. She was jumping confidently and happily.
Beau's jumpoff gave him the win for the first class of the day, and Anna's tidy clear saw her pick up a low end placing. Awesome to have both of them pick up ribbons in the first event.
The 90cm AM5 was a bit more true to height. I was first to go on Beau, and hadn't learnt the (instant) jumpoff. After a quick word with the judges we were on our way. I asked a huge question of him heading straight from fence 1 into the double (a 90 degree angle from each other, effectively turning it into a treble with 2 fences on an angle and a corner before the 3rd). I was so pleased with him for going through it without veering off course at all. He clipped an oxer - but I'm chuffed with his rounds anyway.
Beau-beau and Anna heading into the jumpoff (I took a much longer option, circling another fence, to get Anna from Fence 1 to the double).
Anna did a beautiful jumpoff, though somehow picked up a timefault (in the jumpoff... how shameful for the silly rider on top!). Not to worry though, the tight and twisty course collected quite a number of faults and Anna's clear round in the first round was one of few.
Anna came 2nd, and Beau's round picked him up 3rd placing. Anna collected both ribbons while Beau was busy on kiddie-play duty :)
The last class of the day was the Take Your Own Line. I put Neo in this one for a bit of fun after a rocky morning. He was first out and burned around the course having a ball of a time. Anna did an absolutely super round with some stunning turns in mid-air (over the same technical course I'd picked for Neo too).
Then Beau came out and stayed on form (though bloody tired by now!). Sam's owner did the same course and picked up a ribbon too! Which was fantastic to see.. and put all 4 horses that had arrived in the odenhills truck into the final lineup.
Neo looking, well, like Neo. And Beau with his first placing and Anna's 2nd place ribbon.
A super day really - and a neckful of ribbons for the greenies. Even managed to get home at a respectable hour. Beau has finished his month of work, and went back to his owner (still looking for the perfect lease home for him however) and Sam has gone back with his family.. so felt a bit like I was coming home with an empty truck with just Neo & Anna back there.
More horses arriving soon though, so I will do an update of the team with some pics shortly!