O’Hanlon Eventing, trooped off to a show at Rocking Horse last weekend.  Rocking Horse Winter 1.  Selena took Colombo for the OI, she wanted to have her ‘eye in’ for the Advanced at Rocking Horse later in February.  Colombo rocked all weekend.  He did a good dressage test, had one time penalty with a clear jump round in stadium and was clear cross country with a few time penalties.  Her plan had been to give him an easy run and take a few time penalties – so, she had a lovely ride, sticking to her plan and placed fourth at the end of the day, just behind fellow Canadian team member, Kyle Carter. 

Crosby, our newest charge went Open Novice and he was a superstar.  Crosby had done a baby novice last year with a junior rider, this was his first novice and he loved it all.  So much so that Selena has entered him Training at his next event.  He did a wonderful dressage followed by a clear show jumping on the first day.  This put him in third place overnight and Selena was very excited.  Sadly the next day she joined the large group of competitors, who annually make the mistake of underrating the compulsory flags at a pair of clever little humps in the ground!  Easy, one thinks as one walks the course….and horse after horse does a silly spook or shy in the unbalancing ground and misses the gateway through the flags.  Sadly Crosby’s run for the ribbons ended right there with a silly stop.  After beating herself up for a day or two for not being sufficiently ‘on the ball’, Selena remembered how wonderful he had been all the way around the course and promptly upgraded him to Training for his next show!

Song of Songs went Open Training, her first full event at any level.  Selena knowing what a big scopey jump she has, felt it would not be enough of a challenge for the mare to do the Novice level.  Although Song of Songs has not evented, she has had a lot of schooling and training and was the Canadian Young Event Horse Champion last year.  The nearest things to actual eventing she has done, were the young horse classes and the schooling show at Rocking Horse earlier in January where she proved her ability to take on the Training level course.  Sadly the dressage judge in this instance was not a fan.  Selena felt she had done a good test but the judge was not totally impressed, that, and one rail in the stadium, left them in the middle of the pack.  The next day they did a great job of the cross country, coming to one fence not quite right but still managing to get the job done, the mare proved herself brave and confident, not getting excited or nervous, just calm and happy out there with her rider.  It’s so nice when it all comes together!

Solo went to the show twice over the weekend, not to show, only to be ridden on the flat and given another school in ‘show atmosphere’.  His behavior continues to be everything we hoped for….don’t talk to soon, it IS Solo we are discussing here, Mr. Personality himself!

Our big young horse, ‘Watson’s Boston’ did a day’s schooling there too.  Although he is six later this year, Boston had never been to a show before.  This was his first time seeing all the new exciting things around him.  We find it a huge benefit to take the horses for ‘outings’ without the added pressure and expense of actually entering the show.  Sometimes a school at a different location is as much as a young horse really needs.   If the youngsters are anxious types we will usually take them off property to different quiet locations before we take them to the crowded tense atmosphere of a competition.  Boston however is not the anxious type although he was very elevated and interested in all that was going on around him, he was not rude and excited, nor was he phased by waiting in the horse box with the other boys and girls for his turn to have Selena’s full attention.  Altogether a very successful introduction.  Soon it will be his turn to make his competition debut.

The week following this competition was CET Training camp with David.  Selena was there for all four days with Colombo and we will fill you in on it all soon.