The world has only just stopped spinning and the jet lag is starting to wear off! It is great to be home - to see my dog, sleep in my bed, see my pal Woody (Upstage), and french vanilla creamer - in liquid form....
The results of the show jumping have been plastered all over the internet - some being truly great, some being very unfair and disappointing:
Big Mac is one the biggest hearted horses there is - There he stands 17.3 plus... his eye is kind, his temper can vary from sweet to hot very quickly with no warning - but he was all sweet and brave that day! He and Gina have had a fairly tale career - the kind we all hope we can have with that one special horse... First Three star, first four star, first team trip, first trip overseas, first team and individual medal at the Pan Ams to an Olympic medal.... what more can you ask from one horse? He Rocks!!!!
Then there was the drama with Phillip - that man oozes professionalism and team theory. And his groom Emma - she is so great with her horses, they all love her and she does whatever it takes to keep them happy and healthy - And his owner Bruce - a man who supports all disciplines, who is there through good times and bad, and loves and respects his horse, Phillip and Emma all the same. There was a rule change in February regarding the weight of hind show jump boots - the info never got to the riders, Emma tacked Simon up as she has done for the last three years - only to be told after his second round that the boots weighed 700 grams when that legal weight was 500 grams.... SO unfair - nothing we can do about it. Rules are rules - you can be sure we all will be looking closer at the rule book and reading the emails that come across regarding changes!
Mandiba - I am so excited for him and Karen and his owner Joan - he jumped so well, only having one rail early in the course and then jumping a foot over the rest of the tough track. He grew up so much again, and finished the event sound, brave and ready for the next... how cool is that? He is now COVERED in red clay enjoying some well deserved turnout here in Virginia - the rain is most welcome... Hi belly is getting bigger and so is his ego.
The days after the show jumping were filled with some sightseeing and shopping - the Jade Market being one of the best places to find a bargain. We weren't flying out until Saturday AM - they scheduled in some typhoon day - so we got a chance to breathe and cheer on the Dressage and Show Jumping.
We were on our way back to England for a layover before heading back to the US - Mac and Poggio were staying for a bit to fly back to the west coast, Simon is staying to fly back with Phillips Burghley horse, Woodburn, leaving just Mandiba and Comet to fly home together. They traveled great and arrived home a week ago -
I feel I need to say a little something about our unsung heros of the trip - Dr. Brendon Furlong, his wife Wendy (acupuncturist) and farrier Steve Teachman.... without them, I don't know, I don't want to think of the trip without them. they are all so critical in what they do! They are so good at their jobs, and they are so great to be around - LOVE THEM!
Karen and I got home in time to go to the Future Event Horse class at Difficult Run. Lauren Kieffer and Hannah Burnett have been looking after all the horses while we were gone and had the two three year olds ready to roll. One of the young horses is Bally's Cracker - daughter of Bally-Mar who I looked after for MANY years - she's 21 now and lives with Jokers Wild on the farm in Florida. The other young horse is a stunning gelding of Karen and Davids that they bred - Double Take. His older siblings are competing very well -
And don't you know - Bally's Cracker was first and Double Take was second out of 8 for the three year olds... and Bally's Cracker was reserve champion for the show? Very fun -
Looking back at the trip - there is so much we could have done to make it different. Would of, could of, should of.... we have two years to rock it to bring home some medals in our country! We need to pull together and stay together to be stronger. We need support from all who care, and in turn we need to support them back. It takes a village to make it all happen -
End of the trip - but not the end of the Blog - will try and keep it going. We are off to Loudon Horse Trials this weekend.