Monday, May 17, 2010

I must be dreaming

The success DID continue! Yesterday, Keenan and I took the championship for Pre-Adult Equitation! I was actually really worried that we wouldn't do too well because he and I were both so tired, but we held it together for one more day and did great! And that was in spite of me leaving out a fence at the end of our first round. I guess I was just rushing to learn my course and didn't realize after the outside line there was one more fence - I just left it out entirely. When I came out of the back gate and Sarah told me what I'd done, my heart just sank. I thought to myself - "there it goes." But because I got a first in my other round and won the eq on the flat class, I wound up ok. And that wasn't even the best part! My friend Laura, who also rides and works for Triple Rise, had won a first, second and third in equitation on Beau and we ended up with tying scores for the championship! Sarah was so delighted when we rode out of the ring, she threw her hands in the air and said, "my life is so good right now!" Laura and I stayed in our show clothes, threw some red Triple Rise fly sheets over our horses and had the show photographer take some pictures of us together. Other TREC champs and reserve champs were: Kate Laue's New Favorite (with Sarah aboard), Adrienne Potwora and her Captain Jack, Holly Brooks on Mollie's Lucky Me and Kristine on her own Elusive Q.

It was such a whirlwind of a week and I could not be happier with how it turned out - well, alright, I wish I hadn't left out that fence, and my OHJA Mini Medal round definitely left something to be desired but STILL! I am so excited for the rest of the season! The rest of my shows will take place at my absolute favorite show location, Hunter Creek Farm in Wilsonville which is beautiful, outdoors, close to my family and full of great memories. Come on, Early Summer Classic!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

exhausted but elated

This is about all I have to say about today...

I'll write more later, but I had to post about the Mother's Day Classic so far - Keenan and I won the championship award for our Pre-Adult Hunter division! He has been absolutely stupendous all week; even winning the reserve champion award in the Large Working Hunters with my trainer Sarah on board. Today, he felt amazing and we were so in tune with each other! Equitation tomorrow, let's hope the success continues!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

at last!

Well done Todd Pletcher, Calvin Borel and Super Saver!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Run for the Roses

Well, so much for blogging my way through Kentucky. We got so busy (and so exhausted by the end of the night), I just didn't have time to keep the blog updated. That, and Mom got tired of me hijacking her laptop for hours every evening.
I guess I can fill in a little more about the trip are the highlights from the rest of the week:
  • Thursday (dressage day at Rolex) - got some great photos of Courageous Comet and Becky Holder in the warm-up ring, fed Cigar a peppermint and gave him a pat on the neck.
  • Friday (closing day at Keeneland) - ate lunch in the super-nice dining room overlooking the paddock and walking ring, watched the races trackside, got autographs from Cory Nakatani, Julien Leparoux, Calving Borel, Garret Gomez and Donna Barton Brothers.
  • Saturday (cross-country day at Rolex) - walked the entire course, from one end of the park to the other, saw some amazing athletes do some incredible things, tripped in a gopher hole near the starting box and thus gave other spectators something to laugh at.
  • Sunday (show jumping day at Rolex) - joined in with 60,000 other fans to watch William Fox-Pitt win his first Rolex, my favorites Courageous Comet and Becky Holder came in third, just escaped the downpour and took a scenic drive to Paris (Claiborne Farm) and back through the local roads.

The big news today is the Derby. Churchill Downs is a mud-hole today and that, along with the scratching of heavy favorite Eskendereya last week, has really thrown the race open. Given that I saw a few of the Derby contenders work out during our time at Churchill, I would LOVE to see one of them win. If Lookin At Lucky, Ice Box, Paddy O'Prado or Dublin can bring home the roses I will be a happy girl. HOWEVER my loyalty lies with a trainer, even more than a horse. Mr. Todd Pletcher is arguably the best trainer in the business but in 9 Derbies and 24 entries, he has never found his way to the winner's circle. Eskendereya looked like the horse that would get him there, but with his withdrawl, Pletcher entered his filly Devil May Care. She is the one I'd like to see bring it home. And I think the "Derby Gods" are on her side. If you want a sign (by the way, the following information was brought to my attention by the Blood-Horse daily online magazine):

  • Todd Pletcher used to work for a certain D. Wayne Lukas who also had some trouble winning the Run for the Roses. MR. Lukas' first Derby win came with a filly named Winning Colors.
  • Pletcher's first win in a Triple Crown race came in the 2007 Belmont when the tremendous Rags to Riches edged eventual Horse of the Year Curlin.
  • Pletcher actually wanted to run Devil May Care in the Derby all along, but he said she wouldn't go unless jockey John Velasquez could pilot her. Johnny V originally had the mount on Eskendereya. If you ask me, it was meant to be.

To sum up, it's Derby Day. The mud may throw a kink in any Triple Crown plans but that's okay. It would be nice. It's been over 30 years since Affirmed won the Triple Crown and since then, so many horses have gotten close. But I have to say that three well-run races by spectacular horses is just as well. 2007 was incredible - Street Sense's Derby, Curlin's Preakness and Rags to Riches' Belmont were absolutely outstanding. That being said, I have my own favorites when it comes to the Triple Crown.

Kentucky Derby: 2006, Barbaro and Edgar Prado

Preakness Stakes: a tie between 2009, Rachel Alexandra and Calvin Borel and 2005 Afleet Alex and Jeremy Rose

Belmont Stakes: (obviously) 2007, Rags to Riches and (who else) John Velasquez.

I hope everyone gets away safely today and that we see the group who deserves it the most finally wearing the roses on the first Saturday in May.