By the time the end of the season rolls around I am normally ready for a little break... for about a week then im board! Fortunatly there are some extra ciricular activities that as I become a little older I have started to make an effort to be a part of. Last year I rode a horse named Showdown for a Canadian gentleman called Don Good of Good Crop Services. Little did I know that Don was the main sponsor at and Indoor Eventing Competition in Toronto. He rang me a few weeks before the event in Novemeber of last year and invited me to compete with 10 others in this exhibition event. I thought about it for about 5 sec, those 5 sec really were just spent wondering wether an indoor competition with 6,000 people in an enclosed stadiam with a horse that had a reputation for being a bit "special" would be the end of me... Then Don told me there was 10k in prize money and they put us up in a very nice hotel in Toronto so i though what the hell you only live once and this is the equivialnt of a paid vacation!
We jumped around 7:30 pm so had all day to get nervous. The course is not even set up till 12 minutes before the first horse. You litterally have you and your horse ready to jump and then run in the arena for 5 minutes, try and walk the fastest lines with the course consisting of a corner, bank, skinny, keyhole, logs and several show jumps... the music is pumping the crowd is excited and it is all a pretty big rush! The nerves are like the first time you take a baby to an event its just fear of the unknown .. I had no idea what Nigel(Showdown) was going to do or if I would even be able to get him into the stadium.. how embarrasing I drive all the way up here and am riding the Title Sponsors horse and what if Nigel just lays down in the ring! Anyway I did stuff his ears and put the biggest fuzzys I could find( off the side of a shipping halter) on the sides of his bridle and had a glass of wine to calm my nerves and off we went. Nigel was actually very good once I got his eyes off the crowd and onto the first jump he was playing the game(thank god) I couldnt go very fast bc he got really strong and he is huge but he jumped 2 clear rounds i believe only 2 of us did that, and finished in 3rd overall.
Well its that time again and I am off to the Royal for a second time tomorrow. I am catch riding a horse of a fellow eventer that lives outside Toronto. Myself and Dana(a friend and the lady who ownes the farm I am at) will head out at 5 am and will head to the farm so I can have a test ride tomorrow evening before the show starts on Friday night. Doug Payne, Holly Payne and Chizzy Wilmerding are heading up aswell, and pretty much the whole Canadian WEG team will be there..I am pumped... This weekend although a little wild and who knows what will happen is a definetly a way to keep up the adrenaline in the off season! I will send pics from the road... CIAO CIAO!