Sunday, September 26, 2010

Scone Horse Trials Day 2

This is a huge step up from Wingham. Scone is one of the elite 3Star competitions and draws all the best eventers on the East coast.(Except those off at WEG at the moment.)The Belltrees polo field is hosting top grade polo on the fields below the crosscountry course, and the flat area adjoining the Gundy road is transformed into what in the Old Days would have looked like an army camp with "horse lines"; 500 horses in 3 double banks of yards.
Pan definitely felt the atmosphere on Day 1 and was SOOO excited; couldn't wait to get started.
Day 2 dawns and he's very sober; don't know that he slept much last night, but he's eating very well and when called on for his show-jumping round at about noon, the adrenalin kicks in and he looks fine. One rail down at the first of the 'double'; a green-horse error, as he was looking at the second jump before clearing the first.
Emma's second horse, Don J'Amee ("Jimmy") did exactly the same, so Emma has since rethought how she should adjust their stride, next time around.
So Pan finishes mid-field, 13/34, in the IntroA. Jim came 3rd in the IntroB, the dressage making the difference this time around.
There were 102 horses in three Introductory classes; lots of stories to share at the end of the day. A few riderless horses ran the course after dumping their riders at the various levels; no great damage done on the day!
Emma was left to rue the day when her 1Star horse, Pendragon, (aka "Pigeon"), went clear and should have won his class....but she missed a jump x-country...and was eliminated. In fact, the top three horses in the 1Star after the dressage and show-jumping, were all eliminated after their riders missed a jump in the x-country phase!! A very rare occurrence!
And then my neighbour, up the road, was running 2nd in the 3Star and missed out a jump on the show-jumping course in front of the crowd at the Sunday afternoon finale!! Was he kicking himself..after missing out on some really decent prize money being offered by Mount Arthur Coal!!!
There are so many variables in this sport, and the top riders, who ride a number of horses, add to the level of difficulty.
Emma rode 11 (out of 12 possible) competition rounds over the 2 days. Her young sister, Annabelle Armstrong, also had 4 horses, and scored a 2nd place in the 2STar.
Parents, Winks and Cam, were dressage judging and x-country jump judging, in support of the event.
I had the luxury of being a supporter, this time around.

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