After Stuart we took Woody, Colombo and Solo to Richland Park. Colombo did a great dressage, was the fastest of only two clear cross-country rounds in the Advanced division, but, uncharacteristically, had four rails in the show jumping, which dropped him from second to fifth. Selena did a lot of second guessing of herself and in the end decided she had allowed him to run too fast XC and left herself without enough horse for the show jumping. Foxwood High was a star and was third in the CIC** and A First Romance was just outside the ribbons in the two-star. Solo also had a rail, one of only two, I think, in his whole career. He is normally a very careful jumper. Foxwood High was a great clear round.

The babies ran at Oakhurst and did very well indeed. One of them won his division which was very rewarding to all concerned. He is a really cute little guy well-named ‘Delightful’. We would love to keep him and take him a little farther but…..we can’t keep them all.

Morag O'Hanlon with Carl Bouckaert

Morag O'Hanlon with Carl Bouckaert, owner of Chattahoochee Hills.

I then spent a week at the American Eventing Championships in Chatahoochi Hills, GA, working in the Omega Alpha booth, where I learned a lot about the OA products – GREAT STUFF. The property at Chatahoochi Hills is absolutely stunning. Last year, at the AECs, there were justifiable complaints about the hard going on cross and the incredible amount of red clay dust that coated everyone and everything. Last year, there were over 700 horses entered. This year, with just over 500 the size of the show was much more manageable. The red clay paths had ALL been coated with stone dust, thus negating the red clay that we inhaled and wore in 2010. Last but not least of the facility improvements is a second to none sprinkler system installed throughout the cross country to irrigate ALL the XC courses from beginner novice to three star. 

Carl Bouckaert’s show facility is second to none!  The photo is of the new barn, a work of art in progress.

Chattahoochee Hills Barn

Chattahoochee Hills Barn

I was only home for two days and Selena and I left for Plantation Field in PA to run Colombo and A First Romance (Solo) in the Advanced division. This was to be Solo’s first Advanced and I was nervous. Dressage and show jumping were both on the Friday. Colombo did a good dressage test and had one rail, which left him in third place going into the XC on Saturday. Solo did what was also a very good dressage test for him and with a clean stadium he was in 14th going into the start box. Sadly Selena didn’t see her spot going into the first water with Colombo. The footing was badly cut up from previous sliding stops and once Colombo slipped on the way in it was all over. He HATES slipping and was not having any of it – sadly he was eliminated,  UGH.  

The course had caused some problems and with Colombo having had stops, my confidence was not at it’s best when Solo went out on his first Advanced course. It was a tough course! I needn’t have worried. He had a hesitation at the same water as Colombo, but Selena was ready after her disappointment with Mr. C, and with a determined ride, he jumped in off a bit of a long spot. Other than that, he was picture perfect all the way around with the commentator cheering him on all the way. In the end, he was placed fourth with the second fasted XC of the day behind Phillip Dutton. Selena had gone out with the express decision NOT to go fast and had very definitely NOT been pushing him.  His long galloping stride bodes well for the future.

Next is Morvan Park. Colombo (A) and Woody (OI) are already entered. We were very excited last week when Woody was named alternate for the Pan Am Games team. He will do Morvan and stay in the USA to be on hand should any of the team members need to drop out for any reason. Failing that, we hope to perhaps run him at Fairhill this Fall in the two star. Not at all sure what to do with Solo, he really doesn’t look like he wants to finish his season yet. Maybe the Advanced at Morvan Park. He is on the three-star track now and will be aiming for a CIC*** and a CCI***. How exciting, it has been a long and exciting road as you look back through the six years of this blog.