A First Romance

A First Romance, in the three-star CIC at Red Hills. Photo by Diane Flowers

It’s still rattling along like an express train at O’Hanlon Eventing. I remember (nostalgic tone…) when there was ‘down time’ in the winter and your horse took a holiday and you sort of did the necessities only for about a month at least. The closest we come to that is November in which Selena has ridden at the Royal Winter Fair (big annual excitement in the barn). RWF kind of takes care of the first third of the month and about halfway through, the horses are back into light work at least, if they are going to Florida. That is probably our ‘lightest’ month of the year. By December, all the Florida horses are hard at it, to say nothing of Christmas eating and celebrating – all in all, December is seriously busy! January, we are doing the hauls to Florida and you know the rest.

So, no rest for the wicked. The weekend after Pine Top was Rocking Horse 3. The girls had a great day with one of our sales horses, already a seriously good show jumper. He did his inaugural event, starting out at Training and was second! Everyone did well with young Achilles going clear yet again, three prelim outings, three clear rounds. Our working student, Angie Hubert, took her mare Wisher to her third Prelim outing and was sixth. Three outings, two placings – way to go Angie.

A few days from that and it was time to leave for Red Hills, but nothing ever runs quite that smoothly. The night before they were leaving, Selena took a load of ‘horse washing’ to the laundrette and the truck ‘engine’ light came on….eek! She had felt something not quite right and had taken it into Ford Ocala three times in a week to ask them to investigate, but in every instance neither the mechanic nor the computer could find any problems. When the engine light finally came on, even the night before Red Hills, it was a bit of a relief. At least now the computer should be able to pick up on the problem. She got it fixed the following day and left around 4:00 a.m. the following day in order to be at Red Hills by 9:30 a.m. in time for the in barn…phew!

It was worth it. All the horses were fantastic at Red Hills. Colombo continued his 2012 blaze of glory by leading the Canadians in the three-star with a fourth place finish. Selena was still very miffed with her dressage performances. She is putting in some amazing stuff and not able to consistently pull it off in the ring. However, he was tenth after dressage and moved up to sixth with the second fastest cross-country of the day.  One unlucky rail in SJ, but he still moved up to fourth place overall.

Foxwood High led the Canadians in the two-star with an eighth place, but Selena was unhappy about that placing because he had three rails in stadium. He was the best ever cross-country and did a great dressage test, but was a little stronger than usual in the Show Jumping. Needless to say, Selena will be addressing this before The Fork.  She hopes to ride him at HITS this week.

A First Romance did his first three-star. He has only had two other outings this season so far and he is still too excited by the whole show season that his dressage is just not good enough. Great changes, but getting silly and breaking in the lengthenings etc. Nothing totally drastic, just not good enough to place in that kind of company at a three-star. He moved up to 16th after cross-country with a fairly fast clear and moved up again to fourteenth place to finish with one of only two clear stadium rounds. Karen O’Connor and the fabled ‘Mr. Mendicott’ were the other clear….nice company Solo!

This week is HITS, then another Rocking Horse, then The Fork….then HOME!!!!!!!!!!

Check out ‘Leif Z’ jumping at at Rocking Horse 3: