The Fall Finale week 11 at Palgrave will be the end of the summer season. In the 10 previous weeks we have had some great show jumping and even with the rain this season the shows were for the most uninterrupted and well managed.
This week we have the $25,000 Fall Finale Grand Prix. For the second week in a row, the grand prix will be held indoors. These two weeks are a great start for some exhibitors to begin the indoor fall circuit that includes the Royal West show in Calgary and the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto.
This will be a class that will be made up of local pros and amateurs. The course will be set at 1.40m or 4.6ft and there will be 11 numbered obstacles with 14 efforts. On the course we will find a triple combination, a double combination, closed Liverpool, short pole vertical, triple bar and a plank vertical. The TA will be set at 77 seconds and will not be changed. There are 22 entries and 21 will compete.
With this being an afternoon class and outside the sky is very bright the West side of the arena is in sunlight and most of the arena is in shadow. Will this have an effect on fence #4 as it is the only obstacle in complete sunshine? We will explore this question at the end of the walk.
Now we will begin the walk of the $25,000 Fall Finale Grand Prix.
#1 vertical 1.35m or 4.3ft and will be the only fence not faulted on the day. This is a great fact that shows the course had something for everyone.
#2 oxer 1.40/1.45m or 4.6/4.6ft comes from one end of the arena to the other on the right bend and here at the in-gate we had one refusal.
#3 vertical 1.40m or 4.6ft comes from #2 on the right rein and here we also had one refusal. There was no given distance.
#4 oxer 1.40/1.50m or 4.6/5ft comes from #3 on the left bend on no given distance and is in the direct sunlight. On the day this was the most faulted fence with four rails and one refusal.
#5a oxer 1.40/1.50m or 4.6/5ft comes on the left turn and this jump created one refusal and we saw two rails find the floor of the arena.
#5b vertical 1.42m or 4.7ft with a distance of 10.90m or 35.9ft and three poles met mother earth.
#6 plank vertical 1.40m or 4.6ft comes from #5b with a distance of 18m or 59ft and slide from the plank cups one time.
#7a vertical 1.40m or 4.6ft comes on no given distance from #6 with a full turn on the right rein and tumbled from the top cups one time.
#7b oxer 1.40/1.50m or 4.6/5ft comes from #7a with a distance of 7.90m or 25.9ft and created three failures to execute.
#7c vertical 1.40m or 4.6ft comes from #7b with a distance of 10.90m or 35.9ft and also had three failures.
#8 short pole vertical 1.40m or 4.6ft comes from #7c on the full turn on the right rein. This vertical had four rejections.
#9 triple bar 1.40/1.70m or 4.6/5.6ft comes from #8 with no given distance and on the left bend and created one refusal.
#10 closed Liverpool vertical 1.40m or 4.6ft comes from #9 on the full left turn and we saw one splash down.
#11 oxer 1.40/1.50m or 4.6/5ft comes from #10 with a soft right bend and with a distance of 22.50m or 73.9ft and was the last fence in the first round. At this point, two riders saw their day come to an end.
The final results or the first round saw five clear rounds, two rounds of one time fault, four rounds of four faults, one with five and two rounds with eight faults. The TA was set at 77 seconds and was perfect for this class.
This was a tough test for the course designer. The course was extremely simple in design and did not involve many technical aspects. The TA made the riders aware that they needed to ride with a little sustained pace or to make a couple of the option turns that were not difficult, but an important part of this course. The numbers speak for themselves. This grand prix had very good results and was a job well done by Chris Jones.
This class had a result that also showed something that does not happen that often. There were some riders that had a bad day and there were a couple of horses that also had a bad day. It is a long season and there is reason to believe that riders and horses can have a bad day. Also there is jump #4 that was the only fence that was in total sunshine and it stayed that way for the whole first round and the jump off. In speaking with Chris, he felt that it was not a factor, but I believe that it was a factor because it was the most faulted fence in the first round and viewed differently from the other obstacles.
Another interesting fact is that last Friday the indoor class had the faults come from the verticals two to one over the oxers. The class today was basically 50/50 vertical to oxer with 15 oxers and 14 verticals accounting for the faults along with four refusals which is a couple more than the average for the summer circuit. There were no VW’s, one elimination (refusals) and there were no falls.
In closing, I would like to point out that in the walk last Sunday I spoke about the open Liverpool being a seldom used jump and watching the live feed of the Nations Cup, low and behold there was the open Liverpool. Our next walk will be the World Cup from the Royal Winter Fair and then it is on to Florida for WEF 2018.
Until then I am Dave Ballard.