Who’s ready to party on Cross Country?! (that kind of rhymes, right?) I was able to give the XC course a good walk by myself well before I needed to be on May, so I took my time and took lots of pictures. Overall theme? Jumps were very small, but there were some good questions asked. Below is the full course:
I didn’t bother rewarming up between SJ and XC, since they pretty much rode one right after the other. Also, the first jump in Starter looked like this:
It was then a straight shot to jump 2, which was at least more interesting.
We had a tight uphill rollback to jump 3:
Then, we had a bit of a straightaway downhill to jump 4:
After jump 4, we cantered along the “galloping lane” which ran next to the warm-up for SJ and jumped 5 and 6 in the fenceline.
We had another steep downhill. to jump 7, where May took a GOOD look at the bright gravel behind it.
Jump 8 was a bit narrow and uphill, and led right up to jump 9, which was wider but a bit spooky going into the woods.
We then went back down hill and up again to jump 10. I trotted down this hill to make sure we kept our line and didn’t risk slipping.
We had some time before jump 11, which really wasn’t an issue.
Jump 12 was apparently set for another division when I walked the course, which made me sad because it looked fun set a bit higher.
Then… the water. One of the reasons why I wanted to do this event, and why I wanted to do it at Starter, is because this event has a pretty spooky water complex. It is mostly in the shade (by the time I rode), it has a lot of jumps surrounding it, and the entrance is very narrow and away from the barns.
Then, I found myself sitting in third place in the division, the competitive side of me came out, and the water had a go-around option. I had jumped my first clear SJ round with May EVER, and I wanted satin. This is a terrible way to feel, and I really should stop checking scores during competition. I asked NT what she thought. She told me that, if all was going well and May was feeling confident, to give it a try. I nodded. Sure. I can do that. Here is two views of it, so you can get an idea of how it looked both when I walked it, and when I rode it:
Jump 14 was a small bank going uphill, which was fun. Right after Jump 14 I checked my watch. Optimum time was 5:18 with speed penalties being below 3:20. I was sitting at just under 4 minutes, so no worries there. I had WAY too much fun just kicking on to the last 2 jumps, and the jump judge at the end definitely got a kick out of me whooping along.
We left the woods and went into an open field where the last two jumps were. Jumps 15 and 16 were fairly straight forward, with more stuff sitting in the bench of jump 15.
So how did it go? See below!
When all was said and done, the person in 2nd ended up with a few time penalties, and we moved up to finish 2nd out of 17! Super proud of wonder mare. She was… less than impressed with the whole thing and, as soon as she was cooled down, went back to napping by the trailer.
May was seriously suspicious of the white gravel anytime we came across it, and looking at the video, I am really not surprised. It’s got to be pretty hard for a horse to read. Not a big deal though, and she was super game over all the fences.
We ended up doing the water. She sucked ALL THE WAY back to the walk, but she didn’t stop, back up, or go sideways. She got lots of pats and loose reins in the water. Until I had to steer away from where I knew a drainage pipe was hidden.
We ended up finishing with a time around 4:25, although the video below clocks in at 4:20. Either way, well within both time limits.