Wet and windy Barbury...

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YUCK - what terrible weather today! It rained all night and most of the day. Thank goodness the ground here is so used to the rain that the footing stayed excellent throughout the day.
To catch up on yesterday - more dressage - and the novice (our preliminary) cross country was going on right next to the dressage warm-up. That paired with 25 mile an hour winds, flags and a trade fair surrounding the main ring, the bouncy castles for the kids fair and tons of spectators - such atmosphere! Amy's second horse, Leyland, was feeling the vibes a bit and was strong - Amy is such a great competitor and finished on a 55. Mandiba was next to go for the USA and he too was a bit star-struck. He tried very hard and finished on a 50.5. Big Mac and Gina rounded out the day for us on a great test and finished with a 46.2.
RAIN, Rain and more rain... Up early this morning - the show jumping started at 8 am and the course wasn't set until 6:30 pm last night. Really big track with square oxers and tough turns. It's by far the biggest course I have seen all year! And again in the main arena with all the distractions - Up Spirit and Poggio both jumped amazing clear rounds, Mandiba had 1 down and Mac and Leyland had 2 down - all very respectable.
Mark Phillips designed such an amazing track. The course is set in a "bowl" type hill so you can see almost the entire course from the hillside. Very forward galloping track with some technical questions thrown in as well - the time is notoriously impossible to make. Most riders assessed their standings after the first two phases as to decide whether or not to take a cut at the prize money and go fast or to set sites on future plans and have a good steady ride. The US riders went for the latter. All the horses were great. Poggio was his usual tidy and impressive self, and Leyland found a great rhythm early in the course and just kept getting better. Mac rocked around the fastest of us. Clark had an unfortunate glance off at an arrow head, but jumped great the rest of the way around. A very safe day today with only a handful of falls and some run outs and stops. It was really fun to get to see Mandiba jump almost all the jumps - I usually only get to see the first and the last as I am always at the start and finish!
We are back at Aston now with tons of dirty laundry and even more wet clothes getting set for a full day of Vet Evaluations from team vets Brendon Furlong, PJ McMachon and Catherine Kohn. We are all happy to be clean, dry, fed and ready for a good night's sleep!
More soon!!