June 14, 2008--Not much American luck today in the grand prix, but we were pleased with the horses: Four-fault scores for James (Benedetto) on Gigi, Michael (Morrissey) on Crelido and Tracy (Magness)on Tarco does not reflect how super they jumped.
The course was a solid 1.50 meter course. The triple combination was 4ABC and was oxer/vertical/oxer. The last line was a bit tricky--a wide triple bar with high front rail, 4 medium strides to a skinny vertical and then 5 forward or 6 boxy strides to a big, wide square oxer to finish. Time allowed was not an issue.
James went first in the class of 60 and his mare, Gigi, grabbed herself after a huge effort at the triple bar three jumps from home. She skipped/trotted a few steps to recover and lost a bit of focus for the skinny jump 4 strides away. She made a fine effort, barely rolling the pole behind, and jumped a foot over the final oxer.
Michael expected Crelido to back off the water slightly and got a bit past his distance, causing him to use his stick off the ground to get across. He cleared the water fine but the steady distance after to the double combination came up too quickly and he lightly rolled the vertical coming in. He didn't touch any other jump on the course.
Tracy met the water fine but she said Tarco hung up a little in the air and she was caught off guard and didn't get across it. That was her only penalty.
Jeanne Hobbs and Night and Day had three rails but they enjoyed jumping in front of a favorable crowd as "Teddy" is well known in these parts, according to Jeanne. She bought him near here a few years ago.
Alexa Lowe showed her new horse, Credit Cruise. They have steadily developed a confident partnership during this tour, but today was not their day. They had the first 2 jumps down and then jumped the tough parts of the course beautifully. Alexa admittedly was jumped loose after the water and had to circle to reorganize, but finished the course with ease.
Jumpoff is about to start so I can't tell you who won--I have to close up shop now. Cheers!