I headed down to The Fork CIC last Friday to cover it for The Chronicle. I’d never been before, so was a little concerned about the long drive, but it ended up being fairly uneventful. I knew I was in the south when the cashier at Chik-Fil-A told me to have “a blessed day”!
I shot a little bit of dressage that afternoon, and got to see the winning test, ridden by Phillip Dutton on Mighty Nice.
The event ran in accordance with the new FEI rules for CICs, with cross-country on the final day. I’m not sure how I feel about this, and I know several of the riders I talked to were not fans. I personally enjoy the show jumping finale and think it makes for a more nail-biting finish. Plus, it’s the way eventing is supposed to be. How far will the FEI keep moving us away from the original meaning of the sport?
Some of the riders said that they didn’t like not being able to practice show jumping their horses after cross-country. Where will they get to learn the feeling their horses give them except when it counts at a big CCI?
It also made for a disappointing finale on Sunday when all of the riders were back at the barn taking care of their horses after cross-country and not at the awards ceremony. Sponsors and owners are the backbone of the sport and you’ve got to cater to them. There was hardly anyone left in the VIP tent on cross-country where the “awards ceremony” was supposed to take place, and in the end, only a few top placed riders actually showed up.
OK, rant over. Other than that, I had a really great time. The weather was beautiful and cross-country day was safe, which is the most important thing. The farm was gorgeous, but the layout was tough and everything was soooo far away from everything else. The stabling and horse paths were an absolute mess due to heavy rain on Thursday, but the cross-country course dried out nicely for the weekend.
Here’s a link to all of my coverage. I was really happy with my photos and I’m sad I can’t show the world everything I got!
As for Oh So, he had a horrible skin reaction to a newish pair of turnout boots on Monday and I thought I had it under control, but his legs really blew up yesterday and I had to call the vet out to give him some Dex. He’s really sore and the skin is cracking on one leg, so no lesson for us on my day off. It kind of throws off everything for the next two weeks because I had planned on competing at the Morningside combined test this weekend.
If he’s not sound by Saturday, I’ll scratch and enter next weekend’s CT instead, but I really need a jump lesson and have now lost the place I used to take him to during the week occasionally, so I’m kind of freaking out.