Monday, March 14, 2011

Their head honcho had hit the dirt. Red Hills


   Her phone rang, the working student answered cheerfully, "Hey what's up, how is Red Hills going?" There was a long pause and then her face turned a bad shade of cheerless. "He had a fall" she repeated to us. Instantly, simultaneously we (riding daughter and I) both gasp!  There was a rush of air, then I couldn't breathe at all. Frozen, we stood there in a circle, eyes wide, brimming with tears. Their head honcho had hit the dirt. "Oh NO!" All the ambition for the day ran away and woeful worry came stomping in.
     This was lousy news.  The two afflicted young riders became depressed, stickened with anguish, paralyzed and disturbed. All of a sudden, they didn't want to do anything. At that moment, neither one could continue riding horses. Down deep, prayers and well wishes seized our thoughts. Please, please, please allow everyone to be okay, especially the horse. Please, please, please kept spinning in my head. Reports of their conditions were being txted by the groom/barn manager.
     Both rider and his horse were up on their feet, however, the two had to be wheeled away. Rider was en route to the hospital and the horse to his stall. The updates trickled in. Rider may have a broken wrist. "Oh NO!" once again. Horse won't put any pressure on one of his front legs, "Oh NO!" somemore. It was a sickening span of time.
     The left behind riders mucked and swept, filled water buckets, fed, and brushed ponys while waiting for updates. Little by little, news was coming in. It was confirmed that the big rider busted his wrist. Crap, that sucks! Then, the scoop on the horse: initial x-rays of the champion, loved by everyone showed nothing. YES! That was the BEST news we could hear. I started jumping around like a kid with a brand new bicycle. Daughter and her horsey peer cheered! The day brightened. "Does this mean WE get to ride HIS horses?" A sly smile tracked across her face.  My rider has become extremely fond of that horse.
     CONGRATULATIONS! To Allison Springer and her awesome Aurthur, winners of the CIC three star division. Phillip Dutton and Mighty Nice who won the CIC two star. Candace Tribe and Catalina winners of the one star. Jessica Phoenix took the Advance division with Exploring. Caroline Martin and Classic Touch came in first in the Open Intermediate~A, while Mara DePuy won with Chequers Macon in the Open Intermediate~B. Boyd Martin guided the late Colin Davidsons' mount Crackerjack to the top of the Open Preliminary~A division and Doug Payne kicked it with Camerlingo in Open Preliminary~B. Prelim Rider was awarded to Brent Leytem and Space Pictures.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Equestrian bombardment rocks Tallahassee It's Red Hills!

     Teasing peeks of just how heavy this eventing engagement really is can be confirmed by the permanent Red Hills Horse Trial signs fixed on the side of the freeway. Since 1998, this sloping terrain, rich with red earth, located on the northeast side of Florida has been host to one of the biggest eventing competitions held in the United States each year. Red Hills International Horse Trials is known by the riders as the "kick off" of the Adequan USEA Gold Cup series.  Thousands and thousands of spectators tread their way through the tall Tallahassee timbers, to witness this wholloping first-class eventing competition, which is held in Phipps Park.                               
     It is truly something to see!  Equestrian bombardment rocks this capital town and in return they throw down the padded red-carpet. Locals welcome wave, instead of giving back unsure drivers the middle finger. It's nice. City officials prove that they are "no dummies," they and eveyone knows that this three star accomplished horse contest bumps up their economy, bigger than Christmas.  Organizers do an excellent job of providing fun for the entire family. Besides viewing the top-notch riders with their brilliant horses, the kids can enjoy their own four-legged experience, pony rides!  Or, if they are not into horses, how about they expel built-up energy with some endless bouncing found in the many inflatables. There will be an avenue of shops and fantastic food: blooming onions, scones, kettle corn, fries and juicy hamburgers. Now,  if you are really lucky,  Bradley's Country Store will be smoking their mouth watering best tasting sausages. Trust me......wait in line, pimp, trade, lie, steal what ever it takes to get one of those hotdogs, they are worth it. Riders sign autographs. People drink beer. Loose dogs are impounded. Even Tallahassee's local television station: WCTV,  will be there with "coverage we can count on," how about that? Reporters and their camera people mixing it up, while riders and horses muck it up.  It's a bucket-list must!
     Good luck to all the horses and their riders!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Working Student Days

Here's a small glimpse of the horses being brought in from their paddocks at Five Ring Stables. Helmets are worn at all times during the day, you never know when the BIG RIDER is going to tell you to get on a horse.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Just a little scratch to help out the poor, hungry eventers


   "Eventers should win CASH PRIZES!!!" No one else will say it, so, I'm saying it!  Engraved dated showground mugs and colorful ribbons are commendable and all, but let's face it, the almighty coin is much more desirable. Adding money jackpots- would increase the amount on entries as well as make things more inviting. I'm not begging for over-the-top grand amounts of green, just some.  How about if the cash prize was something nominal like their entry fee paid for? Eventers would be ecstatic over something so simple. It doesn't have to be thousands and thousands of dollars, then riders might chance injury for that much loot. Just a little scratch to help out the poor scrappy hungry eventers. What made me stomp my feet and stick-up for eventers was my last trip to Ocala, Florida.  
     We went to HITS on Sunday, then, being an Eventers mom I came home and looked up what H.I.T.S was the abbreviation for?  I'm still not sure but it's not: Highly Improved Technology Station or a Hookers in Training Seminar. Let me try to guess: Hunters or Horses International, hmmmm what would T be? Talent, that must be what it is, because there surely was tons of it there. I give up, someone please educate me.
     The big Grand Prix jumpers were what we were there, humping it to see. "Come on Mom, we only have 25 minutes!" squealed my rider. Once again, she's trying to burn my thighs out. So, we picked up the pace. We were amazed to view the colossal crowds and the from here to there jumping action that was going on all around us. It was a circus with the only animals being horses. We loved it.  Then we noticed the cash prizes.   
     Excuse me, how much money do these show jumpers win? WOW!  How? How? How? Why, who pays for these cash prizes? Is it that everyone pitches in like a seedy poker game for the winner to grab up the green? Or do the show jumpers have it figured out, get their sponsors to pay the cash prizes? What ever it is, it would be nice if even a smidgen of that happened in the Eventing world. 

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I hold my breath and hang on tight, every time they gallop across the country. Mother of an EVENTER