|But then Megan K chimed in with the same idea, pointing out that they were actually running xc on Sunday, not Saturday. Well now. The opportunity to watch Olympic horses go round only an hour from home on a gorgeous July morning is not the kind of opportunity you pass up twice.|
|So off I went - swinging by the grocery store for snacks of both salty and sweet variety (so much salty tho), and obvi nabbing Austen on the way too. Alas, forgot to grab beer. Ah well. Next time!!|
|Megan had a slightly longer haul down, and had opted to arrive for stadium the day prior. She'll undoubtedly have a post of her own (complete with FAR nicer photos than mine) sooner or later right here.|
|Mostly, tho, we were there to see some horses jump some jumps. And boy, we were NOT disappointed!|
|But yea tho. Really we just wanted to see some horses go!|
|And boy did they! This venue was really lovely too. Surprisingly close quarters - not nearly the same amount of ground covered by Rolex. And very easy for spectators to just stick to one area or another.|
|For instance, this water complex was really popular. Probably bc there were just so many excellent places to watch from, plus some shade.|
|The water made for good photo ops too obvi haha.|
|And we found ourselves returning multiple times throughout the day.|
|This giant hanging log tho... Holy crap. It was undoubtedly among the biggest on course.|
|With bonus massive drop on landing... And yet it rode super well every time we saw it!|
|Same story for the trakehner, bounded as it was by heavy woods and brush on either side, with a steep downhill approach in what looked like a very doable, straight forward 8 strides. Jump was imposing for sure, but seemed to ride quite well.|
|The combo immediately preceding the oxer was maybe one of my favorites. They hit a big ramp-like galloping fence before turning downhill, jumping a large cabin, then a forward one stride to this massive drop.|
|And of course, no 3* track seems complete without a hammock these days. This one demonstrated easily by Sinead Halpin and Tate.|
|Mostly, tho, outside of the combinations, it was just a lot of big old galloping fences. Like this great wine cart demonstrated by Marilyn Little and RF Demeter.|
|But of course, where riders' outfits were maybe plainer than the norm (so much navy and white!), the jumps were anything but. This beaver was maybe my favorite on course!|
|The one we just kept going back to tho was this giant oxer downhill to the trakehner, shown here by Boyd and Blackfoot Mystery. The views as a spectator were just breathtaking. It's like he's coming right for us!|
I am just so grateful that we even have the opportunity to impulsively hit up 3* competitions and watch Olympic riders and horses gallop around like nbd. Honestly I never really knew anything about Great Meadow - and certainly had no clue that it was so close by and fun!
But it's essentially comparable in distance to Fair Hill's 3* - and absolutely just as fun. One of these days I'll make it to Jersey Fresh and Plantation's big show too. For now, tho, next on the list is Fair Hill in October. Hopefully with Allison again like last year, and obviously Austen and Megan too bc we seriously had the BEST TIME this weekend!!!
What about you - have you ever gone to any international competitions? Do you have any nearby or is it like a journey to eventing (or whatever discipline) mecca?