Emmett, McGee, and Cobbles have been working hard to prep for their first outing of the season (and Mcgee and Emmett’s first ever sanctioned competition!). There have been lots of dressage schools, jump sessions, gallops/ track work for conditioning, and XC outings to get all these guys prepped properly, and we were rewarded with a great day!
Cobbles competed in the open novice division and put in a very obedient and workmanlike test that I was happy with, but unfortunately it didn't score as well as it should have. He did itch his nose a couple of times (as Abby knows, it is really hard to get him NOT to when he has an itch) and the judge made a couple of references to it on the test sheet; I think this particular judge must have been especially bothered by it. Ahh, the subjectivity of judging…. He jumped like a superstar though! He’s been working very hard in the showjumping to keep a good steady and soft rhythm and to not make a bid for that dreaded long weak distance that he loves. His show jump round was lovely, rhythmic, soft, and proper distances! Good boy!!! His best phase of the day was cross country. He stepped into a wonderfully relaxed and steady rhythm right out of the box and kept it around the whole track. There were lots of happy gallop fences as well as some pretty technical elements. He sailed around the half coffin, up and down different bank questions, and through two big water complexes with ease. It was very close to a footwork perfect go, and he rolled over the ground so easily that I went faster than I had intended and got time faults for going TOO fast!!! He was also a perfect gentleman in and around the trailer and a proper role model for the younger boys throughout the day. Good Boy Cobbles!!!
Cobbles finished in 7th! His pictures: http://4141sailing.exposuremanager.com/p/full_gallop_3_8_2014129_erin_risso_cobble_creek/_dsc2828_1_112_128
McGee's first ever sanctioned was a great success! He is behaving himself better and better on the trailer every time, and he was excellent in all three warm up rings! I was pretty happy with his dressage test, but he did show some disconnects in his attention which hindered him from getting a really great score. The atmosphere at this venue was much bigger and more electric than anything he has been to before, and I thought he did a very good job coping with it all. He show jumped really well which isn't surprising because that is where he has the most mileage and the most confidence. He was excellent cross country, and very brave. There were some big and tricky things for a BN course, and although he jumped REALLY big over one scary rolltop, he ate the whole course up and gained confidence throughout the track. There was an early bank followed by a half coffin and a very spooky water complex which he sailed right through. He was attacking everything and I AGAIN came in too fast,whoops!
McGee finished in 8th! (would have been 6th without the speed faults!) His pictures: http://4141sailing.exposuremanager.com/p/full_gallop_3_8_2014152_erin_risso_just_let_me_be_mcgee/_dsc3095_1_112_129
Emmett also had a super first sanctioned outing, which is even more impressive because he doesn't have much mileage in any type of competition. The atmosphere did get to him a little bit in the beginning and we danced from the trailer to the dressage warm up, but he put on his big boy pants and pulled himself together for a very lovely test; he was fourth after dressage! The show jump arena was very spooky, and I wondered if he would keep his game face on. He was excellent, very honest and brave, even over the giant train and railway crossing jump! I was very proud of his double clear in the spooky show jumping, and he acknowledged this by strutting out of the arena. He carried this boldness throughout cross country and was excellent through all the questions, but had an unfortunate green moment when we got to the big water complex. The water is shared with all divisions, up to Intermediate, and is very busy with jumps in/out/ and around it. There's even a giant pirate ship! This was all a bit too much for little Em to take in on his first approach and we had a little sideways dance as he as he studied the complex. After a breath he happily trotted into the water and picked the good rhythm right back up as if it had never been interrupted and carried us through the finish strong. He has a natural, easy, ground covering stride that is going to develop into a killer gallop. I love the relaxed gallopers!
Emmett finished in 8th! His pictures: http://4141sailing.exposuremanager.com/p/full_gallop_3_8_2014179_erin_risso_general_em/_dsc3283_1_112_130
All in all, a super successful outing for the youngsters and an excellent start for Cobble's season! One thing I learned, Novice and Beginner Novice is S L O W..... I need to wear a watch in the lower divisions so I can make sure to NOT get time faults for going to fast! Excellent job to the three boys, I can't express how happy I was with all of them!