Saturday, April 25, 2009

Clear Cross-Country at Rolex!

Stephanie and Macloud had a clear cross-country round at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI****, adding 37.2 time faults for a total current score of 94.4 and to stand 33rd going into tomorrow's final show jumping phase.

When I was walking the cross-country course I kept in mind that I was riding an older horse – even though he’s experienced, I had to look out for him. I walked all the options and had a plan A and a plan B. When I rode today, I actually took the option at the double corners because he was going well and I didn’t want to push my luck.

I warmed up the same as for a long format event and got off for ten minutes and cooled him out then, got on and jumped a jump and went to the start box. His confidence was there and he was on a loose rein in a snaffle, how many horses did that today? There were no bad jumps; everything came out of stride. My main goal for this event was to look out for him and I never pushed him for speed, I just let him pick his pace and go for it. It’s hard going after somebody as big as Bettina Hoy but I just kept my mind on my own riding.

We did go slow but it was my first Rolex and it was huge – every time you go into a different field or a different area there’s a huge crowd and you hear the announcer, even though I couldn't hear what he was saying, and you’re galloping down between the's not something you can recreate.

I've never ridden at an event like that before. Elliot's owner Katie Walker was in tears, they were all ecstatic as they were helping me cool him out in the vet box. It was wonderful to have everyone's support.

As for show jumping, I haven’t seen the course yet so for now I’m trying to enjoy my Saturday and I’ll take tomorrow as it comes.


Photos by Amber Heintzberger

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