October 23rd
Sunday, the final day of competition. We did a team jog with Dr. Ober early in the a.m. and Woody looked great!  Dr. Ober said “He’s a horse for the future.” Ooooh, gives me goose bumps. All the horses looked stunning for jog thanks to our amazing grooms, Debbie and Dr. Ober. We had our fancy matching black jackets on with white pants and a red scarf…GO CANADA!

All our horses jogged perfectly sound and made us proud.  At 11:30 a.m. we walked the stadium course with David. What a nice course.

Fence #1 was a vertical with a pink wall underneath track right to fence #2, a grey oxer next to the VIP tents. Fence #3 was a wall with a candy cane striped pole on top (bit of an optical illusion) six strides to fence 4 A, B an oxer two strides to a vertical (yellow, red and black stripes).

Track left to fence #5 a blue oxer eight or nine strides to fence #6 (an option) an airy vertical (blue and white) or a skinny blue on the left. We chose vertical on the right, I think everyone did?  Eight strides to fence #7, an orange and yellow vertical (airy) six or seven strides to fence #8, a black oxer (pretty much all the oxers were big and squared).

Roll back right to fence #9, an oxer with a liverpool underneath, seven or eight strides to fence #10 A, B, C,  oxer two srides vertical (with Hipica planks under it) one stride oxer all maroon and white. Track left ten strides to fence #11, an oxer with the Mexican flag in planks under it.

Well, Woody warmed-up great and I heard them cheer for Hawley and her clear round. I was inspired. James had gone earlier with just one rail down. David said Woody jumps better out of a slightly more collected stride and he was jumping great. When Hawley came out she said the seven rode better from #9 to the triple combo #10. I had walked the course many times and I guess it was stuck in my head as an eight-stride because that’s what I held for and it cost me a rail in the combo. I had left strides out in other places, so I was very disappointed to hear I had three time penalties. I don’t understand how??  With a big horse like Woody, I am going to have to work on very tight turns in the ring. Right now, I concentrate on getting his hips square to the base before take-off, as he gets better I will tighten the turns up. He jumped great I couldn’t have asked for more but I was very disappointed.  I watched Rebecca and then Jessica, whose clear round sealed the deal for team silver! WOO HOO!!! Go Jessica and Pavarotti!

I don’t know what I would have done without my teammates, who were nothing but supportive and very cheering with hugs and positive remarks. To get another silver medal was amazing, and Rebecca and Jessica loved it because they were at WEG, but competed as individuals so it was their first podium moment. Smiles all around 🙂

Then. watching the individual medal jump offs was heart stopping. I have to say the Americans rode beautifully all weekend. It was a pleasure to watch. When Jessica landed off that last fence I screamed so hard I could have been hired for a horror movie. Instantly my problems of the week disappeared like magic. We all cheered so hard for her, to hold first place all week was truly amazing. The pressure must have been unreal. I know it was hard for us watching. When she came out of the ring we ALL ran over and cheered and patted Pavarotti. Jess and Amanda were both crying none stop, so were a few of the other team members. It was great to have Don Good, Pavarotti’s owner, there to share in what was one of the most incredible moments in Canadian eventing history.

All of us got to go into the ring at the edge so we could film, take pics, and cheer our hearts out for Jess during medal ceremonies. Back at the barn, we all started packing while both Pavarotti and Jessica got drug tested (standard procedure). Needless to say, Pav got lots of carrots and pats from all of us. After Jessica did her press conference, the whole team went to Don’s hotel, the Camino Real, downtown where we had dinner together and drinks. It was a blast with everyone from Equine Canada there plus grooms, owners, riders and support staff. Most of us ended up in the pool with our clothes on….burrrrr was darn cold! We took our shuttle back to our hotel at 10 p.m., where we took pictures with our driver Pollo and went to bed.

Our shuttle picked us up at 11a.m. to go to the airport and I didn’t have Anne Marie’s power cord for my computer. That’s why I am only writing you now.  We said our goodbyes to Hawley and Natalia at the airport because they flew straight home. Randy, James, Teran, Jessica, Rebecca and I all flew back to Orlando together where Joel and Jake (Jess’s husband and baby boy) met us as a surprise for Jess. So, at 10 p.m., we piled into a shuttle back to Ocala arriving just after midnight. Anne Marie will wait here in Ocala for Woody to arrive from quarantine and then she will go home with Woody, Pavarotti, Jessica and Joel. I am going to fly home, get the trailer and drive to Jessica’s farm to pick up Foxwood High the gentle giant and his champion groom Anne Marie.

A huge thanks to Emma Rafuse for holding down the fort. To my mum for staying at home in order for me to “live the dream”.  And to all our boarders who go out of their way to be helpful and supportive in so many ways. I couldn’t do it without all of you and I appreciate it more than you will ever know.  Can’t wait to get home and PARTY it up with all of you. XOXO