The alternate title for this post was going to be “Well That Didn’t Go As Planned.” For those of you who don’t stalk scores, Georgie did not complete her first Prelim.
I knew the weekend was off to a rough start when I went to the office to pick up our packet. Georgie’s number was 13. Sarah said she liked number 13, but I do not.
Dressage wasn’t until 4pm, which was a bit annoying as it was supposed to be hot and Georgie is beginning to get a winter coat. I spent Friday braiding lots of horses, bathing Georgie (3rd bath in 3 days..) and watching fellow competitors. Sarah hopped on # 13 and they had a lovely warm up.
I was really pleased with the test considering Sarah had only been riding her for a little over a month and they had never competed at an event together. There was one rider error and one bobble when she broke from the canter, but there were a lot of lovely movements, too. Her leg yield left was gorgeous. Her one loops in the canter were lovely and her canter transitions really showed the work Sarah has put in. Her score was a 35 something and she was in 9th. Overall, I was happy and I think Sarah was pretty pleased too. Georgie didn’t care one way or another but was happy with the treats she got.
Mid day Friday, before dressage, Sarah and I walked the course. I had walked the course by myself the night before, and when we got to jump #3 I told her that was the jump I was the most worried about. It wasn’t big, it wasn’t technical, but as Sarah said to me “Yeah, it’s looky as shit.” And, much like the jump Georgie was looky at at Inavale, it was light colored and kind of just sitting there, ready to be spooked at. The rest of the course looked awesome! You can actually see a write up about it on Eventing Nation here: Skyline Prelim Write Up on EN
There were some really great questions on course and some jumps I was SO excited to see Sarah navigate. Like an open oxer, (I think that’s what they are called) which I have decided is my new favorite jump to be scared of.
I had been nervous on dressage day (which is super weird) and on xc day my heart was in my throat. I kept myself busy by taking video of other rides and telling Georgie what a good girl she was. Sarah was riding another horse and coaching a bunch of students so I didn’t see her until about 20 minutes before she was supposed to get on. And, in typical Nadia fashion for cross country, I had Georgie ready to go 20 minutes early. I just can’t help myself! I walked Georgie around to loosen her up and then handed the reins to Sarah.
I walked Sarah and Georgie up to the startbox and said “So, you’ll whack her before 3, right?” “Yup,” she replied. I then realized the bike that was supposed to be left for me wasn’t at the start box, so I had to abruptly leave the two of them and literally run to the water where I wanted to video.
I got to the water and three seconds later heard the announcer say “There is a hold on course. Rider fall at jump 3.” I looked at my friend who said “It was a grey.”
“Shit” I thought. “Well, there was a grey right before Georgie too.” I had no concept of who was on course in the time it had taken me to run to the water.
In that moment I look up and the grey horse that was on course right before Georgie was approaching the water with its rider.
“FU**!” I started running (again) to jump 3. I found someone holding Georgie in the parking lot and ran up to them. I explained it was my horse, took the reins, looked her over, loosened her girth and headed to Sarah, who was still on the ground.
Georgie was completely fine. Not a scratch on her and she wasn’t even breathing hard despite one spectator telling me “Your horse is really fast, she whizzed past us.”
Thank you for that information. I’m glad she runs away quickly and not at a lope.
Ugh. Sarah stood up when I arrived. She was ok and EMTs released her. She hit her head hard, but thank goodness for helmets!
So, what happened? Well, it goes something like this: (Keep in mind this is second-hand from Sarah so may not be exactly accurate.) Sarah and Georgie were galloping along at about 520 mpm and as they approached stupid Jump 3, Georgie began to run out her left shoulder. Sarah stopped her, but was a bit out of balance because of it. Georgie jumped the jump a bit twisted, and Sarah tried to get back in balance, but Georgie wasn’t used to the unbalanced rider and basically took off on landing and Sarah couldn’t recover. Sarah on ground, Georgie galloping very fast.
So, totally a bummer. And totally not what I had anticipated. A run out? Maybe. But the thought of Sarah falling off hadn’t even crossed my mind. I’m hugely relieved everyone was ok and also, am happy about the following:
- Everyone is ok (it deserves to be said twice)
- The fall wasn’t because Georgie stopped. That would have made me really sad. In fact, Sarah said that even with her half off of her Georgie jumped beautifully over the jump, so she can clearly go prelim if she can jump with major rider interference, lol
- Sarah kept Georgie from learning to run out. Thanks Sarah!
- I know my horse. I knew jump 3 was going to be a bitch
- Georgie is completely unfazed about all of this. When she got home, after a 6.5 hour trailer ride, I walked her and put her in her paddock to take her standing wraps off. I carelessly left her gate open, as she had grain and hay to eat. As I went to put her one wrap away, she trotted out the gate and galloped around the property. In the dark. Prelim fit. It’s a problem sometimes.
Things I’m bummed about if I’m being honest:
- I was really really looking forward to this.
- There were some jumps on course I REALLY wanted to see Sarah ride Georgie over. Like huge ass tables. So I would know she could do them easily. And now I don’t have that.
- I wish, for Sarah, that she could have had a great run. She and Georgie are a great team. They’re both way better than a RF indicates.
I will say I am really really looking forward to going down there in the spring and schooling the course. There are a lot of things I want to take Georgie over. (Like big ass tables and an awesome bank complex). I’m also considering doing the event there in the spring. To redeem ourselves. And get over that damn jump 3.
We all know horses and riding is a gamble. Some days are better than others. I’ve had a ton of good days on Georgie, so I can’t really complain. Oh, and I’ll be in Ireland next week, riding Irish ponies with Sarah. So I kinda feel like that will make all of this seem really insignificant. Georgie will get some time off and
if when I return, we’ll get back to business. My nearly a Prelim horse is ready to redeem herself!