Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cross-Country Day

What a day... one with some highs and lows. The horses all traveled well to Beas River and soon settled into their new stalls.... just another horse show to them I expect!! The grooms' accommodation consisted of bunks bed in small "containers," the mattresses were on the rather stiff side... so I think we all had little sleep.

The weather first thing this morning was damp and grey, of course we all felt this a good thing as this meant cooler weather for the horses to run in. Riders started arriving early to start their personal preparations. Phillip checked in on Simon and then headed out on course. Bruce, Simons' owner, came to give same his daily peppermint, which made the boy very happy! Most of us went to see Amy in the large TV tent set up by the cooling out areas... Obviously shocked to see her take the tumble..... It was a few minutes before anyone knew if both horse and rider were OK. Glad to say, apart from a cut to his front leg, Poggie will live to fight another day. I didn't get see Gina, but from all accounts she and Mac were amazing. By this stage it was clear that horses were coming home tired, but soon recuperated and big Mac was no different.

As I went to prepare Simon, the sun had started to come out which made me a little more nervous. Simon can be quite hard on himself with his jumping so I was hoping for a little cooler weather to help him through cross-country. As myself and Max were getting our ponies ready and waiting for news on Becky's round, we both agreed we wish ours had been first so we, as grooms, didn't have time to sit and wait for ours to head out. Trying to find something to do besides tack up 45 minutes ahead of time can be a challenge in this kind of setting!

With both Comet and Mandiba home safe but not clean, I started to get real nervous about Simon going out on course. However, I guess I didn't have to worry too much... He warmed up great and the weather got cloudy again to knock out a little of the heat. I have to say once on course, myself and Evie basically walked circles at the finish until we heard he had jumped the final combination. He cooled down great, although his heart rate stayed high due to his nervous energy and not enjoying so much ice water being thrown on him! Phillip was really pleased, he felt he ran the quickest he could without taking risks and being able to bring Simon home safely.

All the horses are tucked up in bed getting some well-deserved rest. With the jog not being until 4 pm tomorrow, we are happy not to be getting up at 4 am to braid, ice and wash them.

The alarms are set for 6.30am...bit of a difference to Rolex!! Anyway, with the show jumping running late tomorrow evening, I hope you all get to watch the finals on TV... Until the finish...

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