Friday, November 3, 2017

friday fotos: 5yos @ fair hill

TGIF!!!! For your efforts in surviving the week, here are photographs cell phone video stills from the 5yo Young Event Horse East Coast Championships held at Fair Hill's October Festival a few weeks back.

They ran through a derby-like course with the first half set as stadium fences. The height grows progressively through the course of the season, finishing at about training/prelim heights. 

After the stadium, they continued directly onto the xc test.

Most of the jumps were of very inviting design - encouraging a good gallop and forward jump.

Tho naturally the course also included the hallmarks of all classic cross country tracks.

Plus riders were encouraged to demonstrate their young horse's gallop - both between the jumps and in a designated 'gallop lane' following the final fence.

The stadium portion itself was fairly straight forward - mostly single fences except for two lines: a 6 stride (the second of which came down almost every ride) and a 2 stride in and out, above.

I was quite impressed that these 5yo horses were so game to tackle the course - we saw very few oopsie moments, tho there were a couple misses at the bank (and one fall into the henceforth dubbed "exploding" trakehner that we missed). 

This particular rider pulled out an impressive save tho after scrambling at the bank and still managed to get out alive over this house two strides later.

There were, naturally, quite a few familiar faces among the riders, as this was predominantly a pro class.

Which made the green moments all the more.... fun to watch haha. Pro riders, but the horses are still just 5!

Mostly tho, it was a very cool class to watch.

Lots of gorgeous eye candy, obvi. But also, in case you can't tell from the pics (and video below), we were really able to get right up close and personal with the action.

Trainer Dan always used to encourage me to go to big recognized shows to specifically watch the big world class pros (the Phillips Boyds Bucks etc of the world) ride their BN / N horses around.

He said there was the most to learn from watching them ride these greener horses, as opposed to watching them on their very seasoned and well schooled horses where it's harder to see what's going on in the communication between horse and rider.

So in some ways, this class was the perfect opportunity for that. Esp as some riders apparently specialize in the young'ins and had multiple horses in both the 4yo and 5yo classes. 

Mostly tho, this was basically just an opportunity to ogle some gorgeous and classy horse flesh.

While also trying to learn ore about developing my own eye in terms of identifying and recognizing talent, style, ability and technique in an upper level event prospect.

I admittedly have a decidedly amateur eye - ain't gonna count as anybody's idea of an expert judge any time soon lol.

But, ya know. I have a curiosity. And I enjoy watching the ponies go. So even if I'm not an on-point judge of exactly what is crossing in front of my eyes, I can still be an enthusiastic spectator!!

Tho actually, after watching so many horses go through the course of the two day program, it did become easier to see what sets an event horse apart from a horse maybe better suited for a different discipline.

Mostly tho. I was just in it for the ponies haha. And for capturing loads of media (there's still the 4yo class, and all of the 2* and 3* cross country that I haven't even touched yet!) to share with y'all. 



So. Ya know. Hope you enjoy it too!! Happy Friday Foto Finish, everyone!

22 comments:

  1. SO much fun. I will def do the YEH again next year if not judging workshop then just to spectate cause it was great fun and it was amazing watching all the babies figure stuff out! :) And hanging with you Emma and Rachael made it even better YAY! Great photos!! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yea I would definitely spectate again - it was esp fun getting to watch with you and other friends !! I really want to do a derby now too!!!

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    2. Definitely already planning for next year! And planning all the other fun local things I can take off from work to spectate between now and then (can you tell I need a break from work?)...

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    3. definitely! there are so many fun things to do around here in terms of spectating too! nothing really very "big" i dont think for the rest of the season, but lots to look forward to for 2018 as well!

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    4. well, 2018. As much as I'd like to run away now, I'm pretty sure that wouldn't end well for me and my job... But I can plan for the spring! Now I just have to make it until vacation in December and then winter break at the end of December... I will survive. I hope.

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  2. I bet it was fun to watch the youngsters taking it in, and their reactions. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. definitely - if anything it was very hard to remember that these were just young horses. many of them looked pretty freakin polished for what they were doing!

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  3. You know there is just something SO COOL about watching these very very nice horses and very talented pros ride the same courses that we tackle at starter trials! Really brings the sport full circle.

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    1. right!?! i kinda felt the same exact way, standing around that water complex i've ridden through so many times over the years! in a weird way i kinda saw it all with fresh eyes tho haha

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  4. That such an incredible opportunity to develop an eye for horses in sport. I envy your proximity.

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    1. well when you eventually make it up here to watch fair hill one of these years you can come early and watch the YEH classes too!! ;)

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  5. I think these are such cool classes. I'd love to watch one in person at some point.

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    1. i really enjoyed it!!! the workshop with Marilyn Payne was pretty cool too, tho i just don't have much of a judge's eye so it was mostly just for my own education. would def go to watch the class again tho if you wanted to make the trip again too!!

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  6. Those are some gorgeous horses! I love watching. Even if you don't know exactly what's going on, I always learn something! Thanks for the photos! Good thing on a Friday lol. Wish I could go to one of these!

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    1. yea definitely. in terms of what was going on, that part was pretty easy bc it was basically your standard derby cross with stadium and xc fences. judging the horses on their potential to be upper level event horses tho.... that ain't exactly my specialty haha. now i really want to do a derby tho lol

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  7. Can you believe that despite that amazing save, that my friend got a comment about him not being quick thinking... it's like, what?! He pulled himself up a bank and within 3 strides took a training sized cabin- how is that not quick thinking?

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    1. wow, really? i thought he was very clever in that sequence - but even more than that, he seemed very comfortable and confident in his own body and abilities and was able to make it out safely and downright easily despite that biffed approach. like he didn't even need to fling himself or climb over or anything, i was impressed!

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    2. omg really Britt? They must have been smoking in that judges area then. I thought he was very clever and showed much skill in saving his ass and his riders and never missing the beat just cruising on. I LOVED HIM and would have taken him home with me!!

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    3. Yes! They also said he didn't cover enough ground in his gallop... I mean, were they even watching the same horse????

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  8. Those youngins are jumping like champs!

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  9. I'm with Dan - I really appreciate getting to see how pros handle their greenies! Really neat to see that demonstrated in your photos. Thank you for sharing. =)

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  10. Look at all those babies jump HUGE. That must have been awesome to watch

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