Richland Park was HUGE.  I went there three years ago when they had a tornado go through and take down all the tents.  It has grown in the past three years.  It has to be one of the biggest events in America if you are just counting entries.  There appeared to be literally hundreds and hundreds of trailers and horse boxes.  They had all divisions from Novice to Three Star.  The lower levels ran XC on the Sunday and the upper levels ran normal XC Saturday and SJ on Sunday.  Solo and Colombo were both fantastic.  Mr C was fantastic in all three phases and finished first.  His first time with a red ribbon at a three star.  If ever a good campaigner deserved a win it’s Colombo.  He is such a consistent and steady worker, never letting anyone down and always doing his job.  He was the only horse in the three star to finish on his dressage score. Solo was fantastic XC and SJ, the XC was by far the most challenging course he has ever run and he met the challenge head on.  Selena ran him a little steadier than usual because she felt there were so many questions on the course so he had a few time penalties.  However, he ate it up and will be able to try for the time next go.  He finished eleventh at the two star and we were both thrilled with his performance.  It would have been nice to finish the year with the two star at Fairhill but it is the week after the WEGs finish and two weeks before we have to move to the new barn.  It’s not really practical but would have been a fine end to a fine year. 

Stephanie Rhodes-Bosch, another member of the Canadian Team won one of the Advanced divisions.  Since this was a selection trial for both the USA and Canada, two wins at that level for the Canadian Team was a great boost going into the WEGs.  They played the Canadian Anthem for Selena and Colombo’s win in the FEI class. There were some cheeky jokes about “having to search for the recording at the bottom of the drawer”  …….I told them to keep it out, they were going to be needing it.

The babies are all coming along in leaps and bounds and some of them are already getting organised to go to their new homes.  It’s hard to believe it’s September already, by the time the WEGs are over and the move is done it’s going to be cold and wintry.  This summer has been fast and furious.  I leave today to fly down to Virginia, Selena picks me up at Dulles airport this evening and tomorrow we will team drive the rig to Georgia for the American Eventing Championships this coming weekend.  Although he will run, Colombo will not be running hard at AECs.  The thought is just to give him a relaxed outing.  I wish we were not having to run him at all on the Georgia red clay which is renowned for laming horses.  Apparently the course is well watered and cared for, but the weather is in the steady thirties down there and I just can’t get the idea of baked clay out my mind.  Worrying is part of my job description!

On the thirteenth (next Monday) we drive from Georgia to the training camp in Florida and I fly back from Ocala on the fourteenth.  Selena’s international groom Pamela Nunn joins her at training camp and goes with her to Kentucky….all being well…..fingers and toes crossed.

I will fly back down to Florida on the 23rd and drive with Selena to Kentucky on the 24th.  It’s a rigorous schedule but with Selena and Pamela both putting their entire focus into Mr Colombo from training camp onwards, he will be primed, primped, polished and ready to go.