Tuesday, January 31 2012
This last weekend we took 7 horses down to the Piney Pig FEI ride in Canal Point FL. The lucky 7 were: (Day one) Kutt & our clients horse P doing the FEI 75, Bailey doing his first 50 & Chanses doing his second 1* to help get his rider, Rachel Shackelford, her qualification. Day two Marvel would do his first 1*, Stirgess would do a 1* with a first time FEI young rider JJ Donley, Cleo doing her first 50 and Bailey and Chanses doing an LD.
We loaded up and drove down to the ride on Thursday morning. It was a very hot day. The drive took about 4:30 hours and was super simple. When we got to camp we scouted out a shady spot. P's owner, Barbara Hershberg was already there and had a spot in mind for us.
The camp at this ride is super awesome. There are shade trees, stalls and large turnout pens. There are also showers. We were lucky enough to find a pen that was about an acre! We put all of the geldings out in it as they always live together anyhow. Cleo on the other hand was put on our hi tie. No risking any mare gelding confrontations!
Camp was set up quickly as all we had to do was turn out our 5 geldings, hand P to Barbara and hi tie Cleo.
It was probably 80 degrees and pretty humid. Skip and his daughter Heather showed up in the afternoon. They had come to crew. After they got there we went out on a pre ride, well "we" minus myself. We had more riders than horses so I stayed back.
We went to the ride meeting that evening and were told that there were some alligators in the pond right next to the vet check. Heather Stevens actually got a few pictures of them! I didn't see them, darn.
On Friday morning we were up to get tacked up for a 7 am start. Jeremy on Kutt, Rachel on Chanses and myself on Bailey. It was really cute, when Bailey got out to where all of the horses were warming up he froze and stared at all of the horses as if he were totally amazed, then he just took a deep breath and started warming up like a pro!
The 75's and 50's started together. It was uneventful. The day went by pretty slowly for Rachel and I as it was Bailey's first time out. About 15 miles into the race Rachel and I were looking at the clouds. Rachel said that she would love it if it rained. No sooner than 5 minutes after she made this comment it got really dark and the sky opened up and torrential rain soaked us thoroughly!! Watch what you wish for.
At the next vet check we found out that Jeremy was running in second place on the 75.
Bailey and Chanses finished without a glitch and I think that Bailey learned a lot.
Jeremy ended up finishing in 2nd with a very wild story. He was riding along when Kutt tripped on some uneven ground (which there was a lot of!) Jeremy and Kutt parted ways and then Kutt looked back at Jeremy and took off. Jeremy looked at his GPS to see how many extra miles he would end up doing and took off running after Kutt. After a short while a Suburban drove up to Jeremy and said that he had tried to stop Kutt but couldn't. Jeremy got into the car and they drove to catch up to Kutt. Once they caught up, Kutt wanted to keep running. Jeremy was trying to grab the reins from the car but he couldn't, Kutt was starting to speed up and in a split second decision Jeremy decided to jump out the car window and grab the reins!! He succeeded but doesn't recommend ever doing this, he was pretty sore from it later! They went 10 bonus miles during the whole car chase adventure, so 2nd place seemed just fine.
P was third and Barbara and he got their 2*.
On day two Bailey and Chanses did the LD with Skip and his daughter Heather. They had a good time and finished easily.
Stirgess and JJ finished their 1*, it was JJ's first FEI ride and I think he will be around for a long while! They rode with Jeremy who was on Cleo. Both horses looked great. I rode Marvel on his first 1* and we finished in 5th place.
Rachel was able to borrow a horse from Darolyn Butler and get her 2* on day 2! She finished in 2nd place.
On Sat night after the second day of riding we all headed to the Donley's hotel where we enjoyed a dip in the hot tub, followed by showers and then to the Outback Steakhouse. What a great weekend.
Our next race is in a couple of weeks at the Camp Osborne Boy Scout Pow Wow, then Fun In The Sun. We will also be at the AERC convention.