The day dawned dreary and drizzly but with a hopeful forecast of drier weather soon. Tents and tables went up with volunteers in warm rain gear while scratch emails came through at a quicker rate than trailers arrived. By 9:00am though, it finally began to feel like we would actually have competitors in our second event of the Classic Trailer Winter Eventing & Dressage Series.
The drizzle had stopped by the time the first horse trotted down centerline and conditions were excellent given the calendar date and earlier rain. The footing held up fantastic due to Stone Ridge’s rock base under the topsoil and grass. It’s tough to get very muddy at this venue.
We had a full Novice division with not a single scratch at this level. Katie Sisk and Curious George earned a 26.8 in dressage to tie with Becca Hunt and her Snowflake Lane for first going into the jumping phases. Competitors watched intently to see how the footing would ride as the veteran competitor Vote Yes took to the cross-country course first. Reagan Wiles and Vote Yes cantered about confidently over the footing and came in clean and well within optimum with not a slip on course. Their round gave riders on younger horses the confidence to take to the course as well. All the competitors jumped around clean with the exception of Katie Sisk and her mount Curious George. Curious George had the misfortune of flinging his bell boot to the stars on the approach to an uphill coop, spooking himself as it flew past and marring an otherwise lovely round. Hunt rode conservatively though show jumping with her talented, young, highly animated four year old to accrue 5 time penalties dropping her to second. Reagan Wiles and Vote Yes jumped a double clear to earn the Novice division victory.
Beginner Novice was plagued with scratches, leaving just two competitors. Nicole Hetzel and Like A Boss led from the start with Melinda Parnell and Hails Bails sitting just 5.3 points behind. Hetzel and Parnell each earned double clear rounds cross country although Parnell did encounter some difficulties at the ditch, a nemesis for this local pair. The hesitation was ruled “not a stop” by the official jump judge as the horse did not step backward. Hetzel clinched the Beginner Novice win with a double clear show jumping round, finishing within the show jumping time for the first time this season.
Starter Novice once again proved troublesome. The division was comprised primarily of young riders transitioning from other disciplines on horses who are also new to the sport and more experienced riders on very green horses. Although the course was more inviting than the last event with many more wings and reduced run-out opportunities, it still offered a few trouble spots. Riders were given the option of jumping over a coop next to the water, or splashing through the water. They also had a choice of a pseudo ditch or a log. Stops were scattered about the course as riders worked to get their horses going forward and straight. The biggest trouble spot seemed to be the right hand turn from the log (going towards the warm up) back to a brush box which was set away from the warmup. Cassie Bethea and Light as a Feather earned the blue with her sister Cayla Bethea and Impressed by Surprise taking second. These young ladies got around the course with only one stop each.
We can not thank our volunteers enough. Stone Ridge and 417 Eventing have the most wonderful people who are giving their valuable Sundays to these events.
Thank you to:
Donna York- scorer
Carmen Wiles- hospitality
Lacey Messick- ring steward
Jen Lender- show secretary & show jumping
Heather Kircher- scribe
Nicole McCoy, Anna Ranson, Lawson Tunnell & Reagn Wiles:show jumping
Andy Tunnell, Shannon Ranson, Mike Wiles, Shannon Hetzel, Carmen Wiles: cross country
Heath Wiseman- parking
Claudia Misner- judge
Dawn Buster- dressage arena
Mark Andresen- cross country fences
Thank you to the Wheeler family of Classic Trailer, Inc in Springfield, Missouri for sponsoring this series! Please take a moment to thank them for their support and to visit them this winter for your trailer tune up.