Where to start -
Dressage - session 1 -
Early Saturday morning - first dressage test at 6:30... AM that is. Amy was first to go for the team - 5th to go overall. Poggio is a funny horse. Not a big mover, but he tries so very hard. He is SO intense on his job that he can get himself wound up - so Amy decided to jump him at 5am. Sounds strange, but clearly it worked as he put in his best test ever... Its his last event, last dressage test ever - a bit emotional. Off to a great start...
Next to go was BIG MAC - Mac usually puts in a great test, but last year at the Pan Ams, he warmed up too long at got really tight. This time was very different. Gina had it all planned perfectly and they rocked into the big ring and danced... He broke into the 30's - Gina's husband, Morgan, looked at me as she finished and said "That was good, right?" Yes Morgan... that was GREAT! US was sitting in second, sweet.
Dressage - session 2 - night time dressage:
Who do we all love to watch do dressage? Becky and Comet.... The more the atmosphere the better and with all the lights and all the fans, it was a perfect setting - he's such a showoff! Light, camera, action.... Comet did not disappoint - Becky lived it up, enjoying every moment - busted in the top three on a 35.6 - personal best again! Oh ya... Husband/ owner Tom took all the credit - he's been working on the horses flying changes for a while... good try Tom! We still love you though.
Late night - early morning - again.
Dressage session 3 -
Mandiba was up... my baby horse - he has been working so hard and growing up so much... I keep repeating myself, but I am so proud of my horse. Early AM - Phillip and Karen were at the barns by 5:30 for pre-rides... There are moments in your life when you stop and look around and its a moment you will never forget - a picture you take in your mind - I walked out to the warm up ring to Karen and Doodle (that is what we call Mandiba) trotting around the arena alone - the sky was a big red color - streaks across the sky as the sun was rising. The foreground was the tall buildings and the green hills... so amazing, will never forget. A moment later - the red was gone.
Warm up went well - into the ring... Big fire in the corner! - no that's the torch. Whats that big thing in between the two judges stand? - That would be the TV camera. Take a breath - get 'er done... Karen was fabulous - Doodle was fabulous... trot work was a bit sticky, but the canter work was amazing. 41.2 - Doodle's best score to date at this level - what more could you ask for? He's the best -
Phillip Dutton is great. He has such an amazing combination on professionalism and humor - perfect combination for a teammate on a trip like this one. He had an amazing test at Kentucky - he's was schooling so well - Simon looked at the torch and looked at the cameras and didn't really settle the Way Phillip hoped - but Phillip is amazing and Simon even on an off day was still great scoring on a 40. something - can't quite remember. The US was in second behind Australia - but not by much...
Coach Mark Phillips was high fiving - the riders, horses, grooms, vets, farrier, etc had all done their best so far and it showed - we have a great team - all people have their job that as important as the others... without one doing it right, it would all fall apart -
cross country recap tomorrow... For now - we have made it safely back to Aston Farm - the horses have enjoyed a great day out in the paddocks - much deserved...
Where to start -