Wednesday, March 17, 2010
You can't have a weekend like we just had and have some silly, she-she title to your blog post. YAHOOOOO!!! seems appropriate.
We have returned from the Del mar CPEDI3* and I'm pleased to announce that we did quite well - we swept all three of our classes AND won the overall highpoint. Which means we won a Borne saddle! And earned our certificate of capability AND qualified for National Championships. Not a bad weekend.
We had the entire Team MP support system there: Ellen, Steve, Nancy, Julie, Katy, Mom & Dad as well as Scott and Devon. The two weeks prior to the show I was a mess. A complete and total wreck. Devon wouldn't let me spend too much time around MP as she didn't want me to "rub off" on her. Devon is a good assistant! Luckily we were able to spend a few days of training at Ellen's prior to Del Mar so I was polished leading up to the competition. And Steffen was able to squeeze us into his busy show schedule so we got a little tune up on Thursday after the jog.
There were 8 riders there for the Para division. There were three grade IV's (one with two horses), three grade III's, and a grade II. Two of the grade IV's were non US, one was Canadian, the other Australian. Holly Bergay was there too, but unfortunately had to scratch prior to the jog.
Our panel of judges included two of the judges for the WEG, one of them being the head judge, so the pressure to impress was really on. And I really didn't think I was going to do well. I had gotten a cold on the way to Del Mar and it was in full effect by the jog. I couldn't breath and I was afraid to take anything because of the athlete drug rules. And I couldn't sleep because I couldn't breath, so I was exhausted.
I was quite surprised by our win on Friday. I had received the wrong information about our ride time and we didn't double check the info ourselves so we almost had a tragic chain of events. As we were taking our time getting prepared for the Team Test on Friday, the TD popped by to check in on us. She was chatting away with us and then was bidding us farewell when she said, "see you in a half hour." I said,"What?! I'm supposed to ride at 8:45!" She said, "no, we have you at 8:15." Team MP went into overdrive. Devon braided at lightning speed, Scott groomed, I got dressed and Ellen through herself together (she was still at the hotel). I trotted to the warm up and had about 15 mins before my ride. Not much of a warm up. Ellen had to yell at me from across the ring because we didn't have time to put the head sets on.
As I trotted around the ring for my test, I got really worried. MP was feeling backed off and not warmed up. I put in a solid test, but I didn't think it was good enough. I barely had canter extensions and I didn't have trot extensions. I though I would get a low 60's. And the first report that came in was that I had received a 64.5%. We knew we had our qualifying score, but also knew that that score wouldn't cut it for international competition. Then it turned out we had again received bad info. I had received 645 points, not a 64.5%. So I actually received at 67%!!! That put us in first and was the highest para score for the day. It was a huge relief! And the two WEG judges gave us the highest scores. So we got a neck ribbon, a cooler and got to do a victory dance.
Then the pressure was off. Just like that. My confidence went back up, I was still sick, but I knew we were on the right track. And I knew I could ride the next test better.
The next day brought more exhaustion. I hadn't slept well and I was really sick. But at least we had the right ride time! I had a proper warm up and I felt like the test went well. Two of the judges agreed, the judge at C scored me 5 percentage points lower than the other two and placed me in third. Luckily the other two scores were high enough that I still got a 67% and still won the class. Neck ribbon/victory lap #2 & a basket of Mushroom Matrix! I could get used to this.
Day three brought a wiped out Susan, a wiped out MP and a tired groom. Devon had spent the whole weekend working her tail off, making MP look perfect and networking with all the other world class groom's: Ruben (Debbie McDonald), Fernando (Guenter Siedel), and Rafael (Steffen Peters). They were all showing her the ropes!
But day three was also the fun day - the freestyle! And boy was is a freestyle. I wasn't sure how it went but the crowd seemed pleased, and the judges had big smiles. And the scores reflected that! I received a 72%, and a 76% from the head WEG judge!!!! The weekend was over, it was successful and we could go home! But not yet, we had also won the overall highpoint which earned us the Borne saddle!
Team MP went to celebrate with a slew of photos followed up with Susan, Devon and Scott packing up the trailer and heading off into the sunset! I'll blog next week on whats to come, we ain't done yet!