Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Plantation Field Horse Trials 2016: Redux

So wayyyy back when last fall, I went to the best event ever, the Plantation Field Horse Trials CIC**/*** event, meeting up with Allison and Megan along the away. Good times were had by many. But I delayed posting all my intense and extensive media bc I was so enraptured by brand-new Charlie to be distracted by such other things.

As it was, tho. Plantation is a fantastic event. For anyone in the area, I highly recommend going to anything they offer. The above pic is such a quintessentially 'Plantation' pic too, with the giant hill (a defining attribute of this venue) covered in spectators, with six-time Olympian P Dutty doing his thang in the foreground. (his thang, incidentally, being, to win).

Anyway tho. I promise not to regale you of alll the riders and horses. Except to point out instances where, like, DAMN. What would it be like to ride that gallop?

Personally, I can't imagine.... tho Lauren Kieffer didn't seem to mind with her 2* mount. 

It's a funny thing about this bank-one stride-vertical combo out of water on the 2* course tho.... We'll return to this particular obstacle repeatedly, tho sadly not in as many pictures as I'd like.

We saw a lot of it early on, like here with Dom Schramm's not-super-steerable 2* horse.... and it didn't look terrible. Tho later on we witnessed (kinda sorta) two back to back eliminations here from Philip and Boyd. Crazy. 

Actually it was kinda a wild day for falls. Here we see Buck killin it with his 2* horse. And we'll see him killin it later with his 3* horse..... but then we also see him come off (rather scarily) that same 3* mount. 

Obvi this event is months into the past by now tho, so we all know that all's well that ends well. And no pros were seriously injured on this day, tho some of the greats didn't get their completions. 

For instance. Here we see Philip riding into a three jump combination with his 2* horse (sorry I can't remember which horse). He rode through this thing so goddamn easy, we didn't even bother watching as he went farther down the hill to the water.

Then BAM, we heard the air vest. And saw his working students come BOUNDING down the hill haha. Horse and rider were fine, thank goodness. But we were surprised! 

Next comes Boyd Martin tho, and we half jokingly holler out to be a little more careful. But he too made the three jump combo look like a simple gymnastic, and paid no attention as he wended down the hill.

Then. BAM. Air vest. Again. Wtf guys, really?

Again, horse and rider were both fine..... but damn, apparently that 2* bank out of the water insisted on respect! 

Anyway tho... the 2* finished on those final two falls... oddly enough haha bc those had been the leaders... and we moved onto puissance (see below) then onto the 3* xc. Which naturally made full use of the landmark Plantation ruins. 

Boyd clearly wasn't slowed by his fall, and made easy work of the tricksy turns with Megan's secret lover Welcome Shadow. 

Also through the 3* water, which suddenly looked much easier than the 2*: being big log jump drop into water, arrow brush in the water, then out over arrow brush just beyond the water line. Bigger fences, sure.... but perhaps easier? Idk haha

I say 'Idk' obvi bc you're sure as shit not going to see me jump anything even like that vertical any time soon!!! 

When meanwhile, my hero Philip makes this giant trakehner look like pie. I REALLY wish I had a full pic of this jump. It was.... insane. I have a pic of Allison, Megan and me (plus Max) standing under the 2* jump... and even that's nuts. This 3* version is just so intense. But still apparently not too bad for this pair!

The coffin, however, proved slightly more influential. It's funny - for as big of a deal as a coffin complex is for those looking to move up the levels, it always seems to ride like a straight forward gymnastic exercise for these top level riders. Until Plantation, I had NEVER seen a penalty (first hand) at these jumps. 

Even this pair - who came barreling downhill to the giant table to make a bit of a mess out of it still pulled their shit together to make respectable work of the coffin. 

See?? Perfectly respectable through the in - and while it's not pictured here, you'll see it in the video: perfectly respectable through all the rest, too. 

Obviously this guy couldn't care less about the ditch either. Sure, he's giving it room. But look at his face - he's totally fixated on what's coming next!

Which, obviously, he nails too. 

Alas, this pair had no such luck at the coffin. Poor horse was convinced the ditch ate ponies (in his defense, it was pitch black and fairly spooky). Honestly I was super impressed with the jump judges and TDs on hand. EVERYBODY wanted this pair to get through the flags.

The horse was having none of it tho, and after some tries schooling each element individually (tho moving out of the way as other competitors came through), the horse made his decision clear and the rider retired. Such a shame too - they looked like a great pair and had apparently made the trip from California. Ahh, horses....

But drama can come in all shapes and sizes. Drama doesn't always mean refusing fences - sometimes drama just comes in the form of this goddamn intense crazy gallop!! Look at that thing go!!!!!

Ha and drama sometimes comes in the form of Buck too lol. He and his horse made it nicely through the coffin (which was conveniently located just opposite this three-jump water combo) but then came into the water WAY under powered over this jump. Like, crawling,

It's Buck, tho. And he's a pro. And damn if he didn't goose that good pony up and over the out brush jump like nbd. Good pony!! (and YES, visible on the video. But NO, not visible when the pair parted ways just two jumps later.... le sigh. But damn, we watched as that horse trotted around loose until captured, and holy shit was that trot fancy. wow)

Anyway, tho. It's obvi not my favorite thing to watch all the greats take a spill, tho clearly it happens. So we enjoyed watching Phillip close up the 3* round, I believe for the top placing. 

But because, who can resist?, let's look at some of the bareback puissance pictures from the show jumping break between the 2* and 3* cross country rounds!!

The wall never got giant, per se, but it was still right around the 5' mark when all was said and done. And, in fact, well above what some of these participant riders had ever done before. 

It was awesome to watch their rides up to it, and see Dom Schramm and Phillip Dutton encouraging the riders that must certainly have been their working students (actually it kinda looked like Phillip was 'jumping' the jumps with his riders too haha - so fun!). 

It was even more awesome to see riders who were clearly nervous, but overcame that to clear the big wall and get that giant rush of adrenaline and satisfaction! 

Definitely an awesome event to spectate - will undoubtedly do everything I can to go again next year!!! Hopefully I can convince Megan and Alli to go again too, bc I had such a good time hanging with them!! Plus perhaps others can be enticed to go too?

Also, fun fact, this outing turned out to be exactly the motivation I needed to go home and ride Charlie for the first time ever - also his first ride post-track. Funny how upper level cross country can be inspirational like that ;)

42 comments:

  1. This is a nice break from the winter! I'm so envious of the large events that are held in your area. So fun!

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    1. We are definitely lucky in this area!! I'm glad I saved all my pictures and videos from the event too haha, tho I still need to get around to recapping fair hill lol

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  2. I've never been to Plantation - totally need to get there next year!

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    1. It was fun!! The shopping wasn't crazy but there was some cool stuff there

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  3. It all looks and sounds amazing!!!
    This event should have you on their PR team

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    1. Ha we were certainly pretty enthusiastic about it!!!

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  4. Would love to go to this this year! Clearly being a spectator......unless Bella and Charlie are up for it.... ;)

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    1. Lol maybe Bella!!!! But yes let's go to all the things!!!!

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  5. i love all your photos and want to meet up with you guys if you go again to the big events at Plantation. I had never been there till I went to the schooling last year (Hint hint they school once a year there and it is right after their spring event in June i think so let's get a group to go school!). I am definately going back to school there but after doing the fall event i am not showing there again. Observing yes. But riding nope. That intro cc course was so intense and there were too many hard elements for me and my pony to do (HOWEVER CONSIDER SAID PONY DUMPED ME IN STADIUM i didnt have to go thru CC). But even my trainer said the courses were tough (she was riding a pony in the same division and had a stop on a pony that never stops!) and that was a starter!! Those ruins are spooky as heck on horseback too btw!! (Even schooling there Remus was like what are they and why are you making me go down there)? It is a GORGEOUS venue though and I am so lucky to be about 25-30 minutes from there (and 10 min from Fair Hill, and so on :) Yes i am spoiled. Thanks again for a bright spot in a gloomy day in Winter :) Love it!

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    1. ha yea i definitely got the impression that it was a tough course when i went to support brita and allison when they rode there... not totally convinced i want to compete there either haha! awesome tho that you're so close by and can easily school there!! we usually stick to venues closer by just bc of the time and expense lol (and maybe a little laziness!)

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  6. Holy cow that looks like a great time!

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    1. i really love going to these big events to watch!!!

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  7. Whew all of those big jumps make me catch my breath! And the bareback puissance... holy hell

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    1. right???? it was seriously incredible to watch haha - definitely bolstered my nerves and made me feel like at least just hopping up on my new ottb wasn't nearly such a big deal as what all those riders were doing!

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  8. What a fun event. You are so lucky to have it close by.

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  9. oooo i like that you waited until poopie winter to post this. you got so much good video I didn't realize!!!

    also is my love for welcome shadow a secret??? maybe i should be more obvious...........

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    1. ha yea i've been saving these pics for rainy snowy cold days ;) or.... weeks like this where i'm actually out of town and the horse is totally feral lol. i still have to post about fair hill too!!!!

      and yea i guess it isn't such a big secret about welcome shadow lol... except maybe boyd doesn't know yet. yup. he's actually probably the only one haha

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    2. and he can never go bc if she goes missing that is probably cause.

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    3. Haha very true!! Your theoretical cover is nearly blown already!!!

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  10. Wow, I can't even imagine how great it would be to see all these professionals do their thing in real life right in front of you!

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    1. it's definitely pretty mind blowing - i highly recommend getting out to spectate upper level riders, in any of the disciplines. we are super lucky in my area to have a fairly high density of world class riders who bring horses through all the levels (one of my trainers always says you can learn the most by watching the likes of phillip or boyd ride their novice level horses vs their upper level horses). but we also are lucky in the number of 1*, 2* and 3* events here too!!

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  11. I would call Welcome Shadow Megan's not-so-secret secret lover.

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    1. lol fair enough. apparently the cat's long gone out of that bag!! ;)

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  12. Plantation is such an excellent venue (minus the whole walking up that massive hill to get to everything). I really liked it there when I went to groom with Trainer.

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    1. yea that hill is intense.... actually tho for spectators, they had the parking such that you drove most of the way up the hill, so you only had to climb up it if you had descended far down into the cross country course, tho it seemed like most people stuck to hangin out up on the hill. really tho it was a lovely venue and i'm looking forward to going back!

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  13. You are so lucky to have that near enough to go and watch! It looks like so much fun (to watch...)

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    1. We def like getting out and about at events!

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  14. This was SUCH a fun day! Let's definitely do it again next year! :D I can get the hubby out earlier in the day too now that he understands what all the fuss is about :-P

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    1. YAS !! Must do again!! Esp now that your hubby knows it's actually fun and that we are not toooootally crazy (maybe just a little bit tho). Also he should bring his camera next time ;)

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  15. So envious of your proximity to such great outings!

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  16. Looks like such a cool event, great recap!
    I can't believe I have never watched an event *hangs head in shame* I must make it one of my missions for 2017

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    1. you definitely should - i only started going to events (and by 'events' i include the lower level local stuff too, they're just as fun!!) only in the past couple years. it's a great way to spend a day!

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  17. Fun pics and sounds like you were in lovely company. But wait--did you say you saw both Buck and Boyd come off their horses? Wow!

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  18. That grey's gallop is crazy talk! I wish we had more big events near us where I could go cheer on the big kids! So neat.

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  19. That's too bad about the California pair. I don't see much cross country activity in So Cal (but would love to see an event like this one day!). I might just be in the wrong area for it though. Lots of rodeos in my area and I guess bull riding and bronc busting is the thrilling equivalent of crazy jumps :)

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