Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rolex Reflections

As I drove into the horse park I almost missed a feeling I haven't had yet.. the feeling of driving into the Rolex Kentucky Three Day with my horse to compete. I tried to figure out if I would have felt nervous or excited even proud driving in there with Tate. But I know the actual feeling I had was a bit sad, very frustrated but most of all hungry as hell to not come as a spectator next year but as a rider.
The track was actually a bit soft and certainly some big questions but it didnt have the "bogie" fences that when you walked it you thought this is gonna catch some people out. I thought it would be a true test for the first timers but the old dogs should jump around clear and do it confidently. There were def. a few troubles but over all the course rode well. Oli Townend had a horrific fall that really shouldn't have happened. He rotated over a tall hanging rail before two big drops. The frangible pins did not break. There were actually 4 occurrences where pins didn't break and they should have. This i am sure will be seriously looked into and corrected before the WEG's in the fall.
I also spoke to Katie Prudant( our High Performance Show Jumping instructor) about what she thought of the event. She was shocked at how many people had time. She said how can you expect to never run at speed in all your lead up events and then show up to the "big one" were all the pressure is and just say ok today im going to go fast enough. She said "medals are won and lost due to time penalties" .. This input I think is going to help our top riders a lot. I said before that Oded ( dressage trainer for HP list) and Katie came into our training sessions they were unimpressed and demanded more and better. Jumping around Rolex is not good enough, you have to do it fast and well if you want expect to win. Speaking of the win, WFP was fantastic as usual. Cool Mountain (Ol) looked all grown up since last time I saw him( when he was doing 2 stars).. Easy keeper as always The girls were hoping he would lose weight on the flight over bc he was almost a bit fat going to a 4 star.. he didnt lose 1 kilo on the trip :)!
Show jumping day was a tough one for some. I felt terrible for Kim who has worked to get every ounce of talent out of her grey horse and he just didnt perform. She looked great dressage and xc but lost it all when her boy stopped at the 4th and then bowled through the rest of the course dropping her from 2 to out of the top 20. Sad day when it is so obvious that the horse power is just not there to not only support our up and coming s but our top professionals as well. Great day for phillip and woodburn. All his hard work with that horse paid off with a clear round and I must say boyd looked on top form all weekend having great rides on all his horses. William had a rail in hand going in but didnt need it .. he had a hunter round.
So all in all an interesting weekend but Im not feeling any more comfortable about our Team for WEG's we just dont have a long enough list to choose from. Sometimes things fall apart before they get better so hopefully some of the new ideas being implemented into team training will pay off in a hurry.. but i just don't know if we will pull it off in time for WEG's. ...
Huge congrats to David O'C he really has pulled the Canadians together! 4 in the top 10.. He had a plan and stuck with it and it had taken over 4 years but he has really molded a top class group of horses and riders. He told me this spring he finally had a real group of riders that had there heads in the game, stuck with the program and had good jumping horses.. he was worried that none of them were real dressage horses but looks like he has done a bloody good job ! 4 in the top 10 and that is without Rebbecca and Karl who both have possible rides at the WEG's.. its all going to be very interesting :)
CIAO for NOW ! s

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