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Monday, April 27, 2009

Andy's First time out at FEI: 69.6%! & wins jewelery to boot!

He doesn't care that we only just met, he likes being #1
In a whirl wind effort to still make it to Chicago, with barely a day to spare, we were able to get Steve and Nancy's Bareilles' horse Andaluz 2 (aka Andy) qualified for National Championships last Sunday. Our first time out together and we were able to secure a 69.6%. I rode Andy for the first time two weeks ago (see prior post) and put in all of 4 rides on him before we picked him up from Ellen's and drove up to Yarra Yarra for the show. You can view the video of the show here.

Andy says: "Will this trot do?"
About two weeks ago Eva and I decided that it was best not to take Final half-way across the country so we found ourselves back at square one for Chicago. Thats when a text message appeared from our sponsors Steve and Nancy suggesting that Andy become the Team MP reserve horse for the WEG and the horse to take to National Championships. That put Scott and I in the car driving 5 hours to Ellen's the next weekend to see if I was even able to ride the 18hh former Grand Prix jumping horse. Needless to say, we were able to get along and bada bing bada boom we needed to get Andy ready for Chicago.
Andy likes being a show horse
The process of getting a horse ready for National Championships is not an easy one. There is a tone of paperwork involved. The horse needs certain vaccinations, a passport, all kinds of memberships and registrations, not to mention the horse must have qualifying scores and we need to have a freestyle. One month to get this all done - no problem! With the team we have Andy was sure to go to Chicago. Between Nancy & Steve, Ellen, her working student Katey and her husband David-the-wonder-vet and his trusty sidekick Debbie, all documents have been shipped, faxed, overnighted, mailed, emailed, verified, stamped, signed and sealed. Of course my adorable, lovable hubby Scott also kept things cool, calm and collected on the home front while I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. The only thing left to do was learn how to ride the horse, show the horse and put together a freestyle. With two weeks left - no problem.
This trot cleared the arena
Katy P (MP's mom) had graciously agreed to show Andy to get his score while we were in Las Vegas at the World Cup (YAY Steffen & Ravel!!!) watching Steffen make history, but a farrierey malfunction caused Andy to be on stall rest for a few days so he was unable to show. We immediately called Yarra Yarra and they were able to squeeze us in at the last minute. So off we were on Saturday to drive down to Ellen's with the trailer, ride through the test and leave the next morning for the horse show. Still no problem.
It wasn't until Ellen's trusty sidekick and all around horse gal Katey had Andy braided and looking perfect that reality started to sink in. I had only ridden this horse 4 times. Three of those times were two weeks ago. He had 5 days of rest because of his feet. He had been shown a handful of times in a dressage arena. He had never been shown in a test with the movements we needed to do. We had only ridden through the test twice - one of those times was a disaster. He was not my horse, I had no bond with him he had no responsibility for me. He is 18hh tall, weights at least 1300 lbs and is a Holsteiner that used to jump over 5ft tall courses. Holy crap.
I barely remember Katey loading him in the trailer and driving out of Ellen's. In fact I left without saying goodbye to either Nancy or Ellen so that gives you an idea of my mindset. I think Ellen had a similar flashback because about halfway up to Yarra Yarra she called to remind me I didn't have to do anything I didn't want to. She was worried.

Talking to Ellen on the phone - its all good , we got this NO PROBLEM
And them we got to the show. And Andy came off the trailer like he was our horse. He was quiet and calm and took everything in stride. He warmed up like a champ and went in the arena like he had done this a thousand times. He was a little worried about the judge and I road VERY conservatively, but it was a good test with only two mistakes. He was happy, I was thrilled. My parents were there for moral support and they thought it was a good ride. And the judge thought so too. 69.6% which earned us the FEI highpoint for the day complete with a $250 gift certificate to a jewelery store. Only a Bareilles horse would win jewelery!
So now we have just over a week before Andy gets on the truck to Chicago. We still need a freestyle (we have music!) but like I said, no problem.
Can we go home now?

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