Kalispell, MT 
Jul 24, 2010

For the sake of my exhaustion and the early morning I have ahead of me, this will be brief.  McCool was excellent today with a very honest, relaxed, and speedy round. He jumped one of few double clears to hold his lead and even gain a little room between second place.  Finian had a pretty good round for the most part but unfortunately threw a shoe very early in the course and had to run the whole thing barefoot…ouch!  He jumped clear all the way to the sunken road, where I let him drift a little on the way out.  As far as I could tell, he jumped square at the flag, leaving the judgment of whether he had jumped clear or had a run out very difficult to make.  I yelled to the jump judge to see how they had judged it and they answered “what?!”.  I circled back to ask again because if I had a run out and kept going on the course I would have been eliminated, and conversely, if I had jumped it clear but jumped it again, I would also have been eliminated so I really needed to know what they had judged.  This time they answered “I don’t know”.  I circled back again and tried again to get an answer out of them.  I can’t remember how many times I had to circle before they said “no”, at which point I jumped the alternate and got on my way.  Finian jumped the last difficult combination well and finished up fine.  I believe I would have had minimal, if any, time penalties without all the confusion and I still don’t know if it really was or wasn’t a run out.  In any case I am kicking myself for not riding the whole combination better and I am very frustrated with the 38 total penalties between time and jumping.  I was sent to protest the time penalties and the officials apologized profusely for the situation but told me there was nothing they could do about it.  I have spent most of the evening icing poor Finian’s foot which surprisingly is not all that sore yet.  Got to love good feet and good footing!  He’s lying in a disappointing position with all the penalties, but it sure would be nice to redeem ourselves with a good show jumping round tomorrow.  McCool on the other hand will hopefully give it all he’s got because a lots riding on a good round for him.

Off to bed now, finally, and up again way too soon tomorrow.