Postcard 9: 2008 Developing Rider Tour, Lipica

The USEF Developing Rider team gets to hear "The Star-Spangled Banner" when Jeanne Hobbs wins a class the day before the Nations' Cup.
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The USEF Developing Rider team gets to hear "The Star-Spangled Banner" when Jeanne Hobbs wins a class the day before the Nations' Cup.

June 26, 2008 -- We got to hear our national anthem for the first time this tour! Jeanne Hobbs won the big tour power and speed class tonight on Night and Day ("Teddy"). It has given our team so much positive energy going into the Nations' Cup tomorrow. We are all very proud of her.

All of our horses went well in preparation for the big day Friday. Amanda Knowles from Canada, who I mentioned is traveling with us, was second in the medium tour table A class, so we had lots to celebrate.

The Nations' Cup was scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Friday but the two rounds will now be split up due to the oppressive heat. The first round will start at 9 a.m. and the second round not until 5:30 p.m. We drew 4th in the order of 10 teams.

James Benedetto will lead off on Gigi. Alexa Lowe is second on Nadyleen. Tracy Magness is third on Tarco, and Michael Morrissey will anchor this week on Crelido.

The footing seemed to hold up well today. It is a beautiful arena. The riders enter through a tunnel from the schooling area into this natural bowl with stadium seating all around. It is quite impressive for the competitors with the flags from all competing nations flying high.

The schooling area is a bit of a hike from the barn and also from the holding area where only the next three competitors are allowed. I am glad I packed my running shoes when the riders are this close together--I don't think I need my early-morning jog anymore!

Well, it is late here, and we have a quick turnaround to begin again at the crack of dawn, so until tomorrow!