Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Flying High at the Southlands Classic

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We did it - Miss Fancy and I successfully competed in the Southlands Summer Classic Hunter Jumper Show this past weekend and I am quite pleased with the results. It's been a whirlwind, starting with show preparation last Thursday (lots of cleaning, wiping, braiding, picking etc.), and heading straight into competition on Friday morning and again Saturday. It was very hot and sunny on both days, and I was cooking underneath that pin-stripe jacket and black helmet. I was exhausted, both physically and emotionally after Friday, and I had to drag my butt out of bed on Saturday to do it all over again. Was it worth it? Absolutely.
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It's something I've worked hard for, and it was a goal to get through a major show and compete at the jumper level for the first time (Jumpers being the competition based on the speed and accuracy through a course of fences - fastest and cleanest rider wins). When it was my turn to tackle the 10 jumps, I was so nervous and sick to my stomach. What if I went off course? What if I missed a fence?
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I took a deep breath and lumbered in a lofty canter towards the first fence - Miss Fancy picked up on my anxiety and she was not as speedy as usual over the first 3 jumps. As I cleared the first few fences, I gained more confidence and soon I was flying through the rest of the course. When it was all over, the announcer said I had made it into the jump-off! As there's no time in between your first round and the jump off, I stared down hard at the jumps and went for it. I went hard at the last series of jumps and to my own surprise, I had a huge grin on my face. I couldn't believe I had done it! Not only that, but I was in 2nd place!
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I didn't end up winning that class, but it doesn't matter. What's important to me is that I went through with it and did better than I expected. Miss Fancy gave me a chance to win and I held nothing back.
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I fared better in a few other classes, placing in 3 of them (we got ribbons - yay!). It didn't matter that I had burnt my brand new show shirt on the shoulder the night before in my attempt to iron it (wore it anyways - the judges can't see under my jacket!); it didn't matter that I didn't win a 1st, 2nd or 3rd. It was so much fun and very satisfying to know I had reached this, a long-time goal.

And my husband says, "All that work and money spent for a few dollar-store ribbons?"

And I say, "Absfuckinlutely!".

A few more pics of the show below.
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Below: Back at the barn after a long, but rewarding day.
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Below: Briggs, a cute Appaloosa owned by a friend also at the show.
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Thanks to Totem Photographics and my dear friend Melissa for these wonderful pictures.

5 comments:

MizzJ said...

Wow congrats on the show!! The pictures are great!

quelle said...

yay congrats!!

The Haute-Shopper said...

Congrats! I definitely admire you for this, considering I gave up horseback riding years ago (you should know the reasons by now... Fanling + hot weather = I'd rather go shopping in an air-conditioned environment). Loved these pics... I've always enjoyed watching equestrian shows on TV!

Oh and I've been meaning to tell you: scuba diving is actually ok once you get used to it. I used to freak during the swimming pool sessions, but once in the open water, I no longer focused on the breathing but instead just admired the underwater world. My hubby unfortunately still doesn't feel all that secure with diving, but I'm hoping he'll get the hang of it :)

The Anthology said...

Those are unbelievable. You look amazing, your horsey is so beautiful! And Melissa takes such gorgeous photos.

VancityAllie said...

Congratulations! That is SOOOOO fantastic that you compete!

Both you and the horse look beautiful.