Here I am, sitting in Paneera Bread waiting to see when our truck will be ready to drive us back to Canada. Last week the ‘check engine’ light came on and Selena hot footed it to the Ford dealership. They gave it back to her the same day but an hour into our 10 hour drive to The Fork in North Carolina the check engine light came on again. EEEK! Well, with this being Colombo’s last scheduled run before Rolex, we didn’t turn back. The previous issue had just been an upgrade to the computer programming, we were pretty confident that it was something equally simple as the truck was running smoothly. However, none of this makes for a calm, non stressful trip. By the time we had all the papers signed (you need papers to move horses in and out of Florida) by the vet and were on our way, it was mid day. The trip was uneventful with both horses, Colombo and Solo, traveling well, drinking and eating on the rig.
We got there late Tuesday, the jog up for the Thursday dressage horses was on the Wednesday afternoon. No braiding! A nice touch we felt. It was an informal, formal jog if you know what I mean.
All well, dressage for Colombo in the CIC*** and Solo in the Preliminary on the Thursday. Both horses were finished by one thirty, it was a relaxing day. Solo did a great job with only one mistake when he did a beautiful smooth flying change halfway through his counter canter. The judge commented on what an OBEDIENT FLOWING HORSE…can you believe it. Honestly, that horse…you never know from one week to the next what he is going to do inside that little head of his. He was 5th equal after the dressage and on Friday, at the end of two days of dressage for the CIC*** division, Colombo was in 7th. We were pretty happy.
On Thursday it had been warm, on Friday it had been 34 degrees! We were all a bit nervous of Saturday, cross country day for Colombo and stadium day for Solo, which was heralded to be hotter yet. As it was, it was a little cooler on Saturday due to cloud cover and a light breeze which maintained things at a bearable temperature all day. Solo went first at 10.30 and did a spectacularly beautiful double clear – ok, so I am biased, deal with it…..lol. Selena was (I think) a little more nervous than usual. Firstly, she has not had good luck at the Fork in the past. Once having a silly stop and once being eliminated for jumping the wrong fence. The course was FULL of corners, corners everywhere and three waters, all of them serious. Colombo was a superstar and exceeded our expectations coming home with a clear round and only 1.2 time penalties. Not too shabby. This put him up to 5th place overnight. Solo meanwhile had moved up to 3rd equal.
Sunday dawned hot and sunny, back up to 32 degrees. Solo flew round the cross country, 18 seconds under the time which worried us that he might have blown his third place by being too far from the optimum time. We needn’t have worried, he kept his place and finished third overall. We were thrilled and Selena says he is not going to go Intermediate. HOW EXCITING. Colombo did not fare so well, he took two rails in the stadium which both David O and Selena O said were from a lack of quality in the canter on her left turns. Something we CAN work on AND fix before Rolex. Colombo won the best conditioned horse award with a really remarkable recovery rate in the ten minute box which put him way ahead of all the other horses (the vet’s opinion, not my own biased one this time…). It’s the second time he has won that award at a three star, and he is aged 16, WHAT A HORSE!
As of now I still sit in Paneera Bread…this is one of the little setbacks that can change a whole schedule. ‘IF’ the truck does not get back to me quickly, our trip home will be delayed, etc. etc. We have made arrangements for both Colombo and Solo to be ridden by David O while Selena is on the road. It’s Solo’s reward for being a good boy and of course Colombo is always a good boy.