Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Last Post for Road to WEG

Although the road to WEG is over, I thought it would be good to put in one last post. Obviously, there couldn't be 5 more disappointed people than the US 3 Day Event Team. Having been behind the scenes during and leading up to the event, I can say without exception that these 5 people tried their hearts out to win a medal and unfortunately it did not happen. That is sport and anyone involved with horses knows that anything can happen.

Now it is time to regroup and set our very determined sites on London.

Thanks for reading and supporting Phillip's Road To WEG!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

cross country day

What a day! Everyone knew the course was big and challenging and that certainly was the case. The good riders and horses made it look easy though. The first rider on the course, Great Britain's Opposition Buzz stormed around clear and under the time - it was amazing to watch. The U.S. Team's first horse out Boyd's Neville Bardos jumped great for another clear and under the time. Nev is not easy and can get a bit strong, so Boyd's main job was to keep him focused on the jumps and his lines and striding, which he did beautifully. So, one clear and under time for the team! Buck was next to go with Regie. Regie was a bit sticky at the first water and again at the coffin, but Buck was riding him strongly and letting him know he meant business. Regie had another lucky moment at the big corner wall. Then he jumped the double corners perfectly and things were looking better until the sunken road. Regie said NO to the in and in that second had 20 penalties. It is heart renching, but Buck rode sensibly to get him home clear without any more jumping faults.

The pressure was then on for Karen and Mandiba. At Mandiba's last cross country run at the AEC's, he had a stop at the second fence. Not sure if Karen was thinking about that, but Mandiba looked a picture going around and Karen rode like I have not seen her ride for awhile. She was so determined and focused and gave Mandiba a perfect ride - they came in with no jumping penalties and only 2 seconds over optimimum time. The Team was now back in the hunt!

Becky and Courageous Comet were next on course as our individual rider and they went great for another clear jumping but with a few time faults. Unfortunately, I did not see this round as I was helping Phillip get ready for his ride.

After waiting and watching all day, it was now time for Phillip to go. As we walked down to the start, the timer said there was a hold on course. The hold dragged on and so Phillip got off Woodburn. As you can imagine, this is a tough position to be in - Woodburn was all warmed up and ready to go and then to have to wait, really can rattle the nerves and break your rythm. Finally, after about 20 minutes, he was off! I know this sounds crazy, but I did not watch his round. I get so nervous that I sort of pace around and listen to the announcer. I had my friend Joanie Morris watch the moniter and give me a thumbs up at each fence so I didn't miss anything. Clear and fast! Phillip and Woodburn were home and I think I was jumping out of my skin I was so excited. Everyone said that Woodburn never looked better and that Phillip rode masterfully!

So at the end the day the team standings have the Brits in first, the US in 2nd and the Canadians in 3rd and the New Zealand Team in 4th. It was a day of excitement and some disappointments. As we go into showjumping today we are less than a rail behind the Brits.

Stay tuned,


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Dressage Day 2

Good news first - Karen did a nice and steady test to add to our team score with a 44. Becky and Comet had a beautiful test and scored a 39.8. There were some amazing scores and tests throughout the day with Michael Jung in the lead on a 33!

Phillip was very disappointed with his test. It started off well with some lovely extensions in the trot work and good lateral work. Woodburn's canter can be a bit difficult to hold steady and together and unfortunately after getting 9-9-8 for his medium canter down the long side, Woodburn got tense and switched leads in the corner. Once this mistake was made it was hard to get him back to where he was and the damage was done. His score of 48 could easily have been in the low 40s. However, that is behind us now. As Jan Byyny said "the fat lady has not sung yet".

So, we head in to cross country day. I do hope (and pray) that I will have good news to report from all our riders.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Dressage Day 1

The Americans are off to a good start. Our first team rider out is Boyd Martin and Neville Bardos. Neville can be a bit tricky, but Boyd kept it all together for a personal best score of 49. Buck rode BallyNoe Castle RM (aka Reggie) later in the day and scored well with a 47. Reggie did some beautiful trot work but just got a bit tense in the walk and rein back. The judges seem to be looking for a relaxed test that is fault free. I did not see the current leader, Simone Dietermann, a German rider who is riding as an individual, test but she is on a score of 36. The other good scores of the day came from Ingrid Klimke who is in 2nd on a score of 41 and William Fox Pitt on a score of 42. At the moment the team scores have the Germans in the lead, the Aussies in 2nd and the Brits third with the US in 4th.

Phillip rides Woodburn at the end of the day. He has been doing some lovely work and we are keeping are fingers and toes crossed that he keeps it all together and produces his best in the test.

We have all been enjoying watching the other disciplines as well. The Dressage Freestyle is tonight and apparantly is the only event that has been sold out. Reining is also a big favorite here drawing big crowds. The weather continues to be nice with temps in the 70s today.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

First Jog

This blog has been about Phillip's road to the WEG - now he is officially there! I will be writing on behalf of Phillip (mainly because he can't type) and more seriously because he has a lot to do!

The US team jogged this morning. Sadly, Kim Severson had to withdraw her horse. You can't underestimate how tough it is and our hearts go out to Kim and her team. All the other horses jogged well and now it is official - with Kim out it changes the team a bit and Karen will step into the team slot with Mandiba. We walked the course yesterday for the first time and it is BIG! You definitely know you are at a championship when you walk around the track. The head of the lake is quite daunting with a lot to do there. If you can get on to a website to see the pictures it is worthwhile.

Phillip will do his dressage test on Friday, which seems a long way off, but it will go by quickly. Will keep you updated each day on the team's progress.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Opening Ceremony

It is the day after the opening ceremonies for the World Equestrian Games. Our team was very patriotically attired in bluejeans, blazers, cowboy boots and hats! It was an amazing spectacle and really gets your blood going that you are at the biggest competition of your life! The Kentucky Horse Park looks amazing and the competitions are well underway with reining and the endurance horses in the midst of competition.

Our horses traveled well from Georgia and have all settled into their new home at the Kentucky Horse Park. It is good to get into a bit cooler temperatures for the horses. I have TruLuck here as well stabled off the show grounds, so had to ride him this morning before heading out to the horse park. Non competing horses are'nt allowed on the grounds so he is staying at Cathy Weishoffs barn down the road. Tomorrow we work the horses and then on Tuesday we have our briefing and are able to see the course for the first time. Wednesday we have the first trot up at 9:00. Once that starts, I know things will move very quickly, so I will try to keep you posted on how things are going. I hope everyone is crossing all appendages!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Training Camp

I returned from my brief visit home on Monday morning. It was really nice to see my parents, see the kids and to attend the final day of the Plantation Field International Horse Trials. This event is our home event and Evie and I have been involved in the organization for the past three years. It is very exciting to see how the event has grown and all the effort put into it by Denis and Bambi Glaccum, Katie Walker, Amy Borun, Colby Saddington, Evie and all the volunteers. I was so pleased for Jennie Brannigan who won the CIC*** class with Nina Gardner's Cambalda. This is a super combination and Jennie has worked really hard bringing this young horse along. Since I was unable to ride, Jennie rode a few of my usual mounts, Vidalia, Paprika and Young Man, producing good scores in all phases.

Back to reality and training. Oded Shimoni and Katie Prudent arrived to work with all of us for the past few days. I am very pleased with our progress - there is a lot of detail to work on such as going through the test with fresh eyes to see where we can get an extra point or two. The horses are jumping well so that is positive.

We had a team dinner last night at our host's Carl Boukeart's home. It was a fun occasion with blindfolded canoe races before hand. I am happy to say that my teammate Karen and I prevailed. With Karen paddling and me shouting "left, now right, paddle harder!" it was a blast.

We leave tomorrow for Kentucky - so I will have more to post then.