Feb 17, 2009
Feb 13-15 was our first event of the year at Ram Tap in Fresno. It was Finian’s first Advanced event and my first since competing King Street (Danny) two years ago. As luck would have it, we woke Friday morning to a major storm that dumped half an inch of rain in 2 hours. For many of you that may not sound like a lot, but since the ground was already saturated from storms all week (and keep in mind this is California) puddles quickly became ponds and ponds turned to lakes. The water jumps were more than three feet deep in some places, and the entire warm up area was one giant bog – great for mud wrestling, not so great for riding! Despite the conditions, Finian put in a pretty good dressage test for a 33.3. While it leaves room for improvement, I was plenty satisfied with the test.
The event officials decided that the footing was not good enough to run cross country on Saturday, and so switched the schedule and ran show jumping instead. We jumped one of only two clear rounds in the ankle deep muck and slop which moved us into first place. By Sunday morning enough water had been pumped off of the cross country course and it had dried out enough that we could safely run. Finian blasted out of the box, guns a’blazing, and any plans I had to run slow and conservatively were forgone as it was clear I had little say in the matter. He absolutely ate up the course, clipping through the toughest combination like child’s play and skipping over the biggest jumps. We finished with just 2.8 time penalties which meant we held on to first place, winning by 9.6 points.
In the Training division, my young horse, Regan, was placed first after dressage with a 29.0 and jumped double clear across country, but moved down to 5th when he dropped two rails in show jumping.
We have two weeks to dry out and scrape all the mud off before our next event at Twin Rivers in Paso Robles.