It’s embarrassing to admit, but my bags from the test event are still on the floor of my bedroom, waiting to be unpacked! Since I got home it has been non-stop. I got home Wednesday night and when I arrived at the yard Thursday morning everyone had left to go to Barbury International, leaving a list of around 10-12 horses to ride. I can’t complain though because I love it! Getting paid to ride nice horses everyday will always be a privilege. Anyways, back to the test event. I just want to say that I am so proud of my little mare’s performance. The results don’t do her justice! She did a lovely dressage test with only a few green mistakes but unfortunately she had her tongue sticking out the entire time and therefore received quite a harsh mark. The cross country was a breeze except coming down to the water where tons of little kids and dogs came running up to the string screaming “horsey!” She got a bit distracted and had a hesitation at the drop in and got 20 penalties. (Because tickets to the test event were scarce, the majority of the fans were completely non-horsey people who lived local to Greenwich Park. They were invited to attend the event as a sort of peace treaty to try to get the local community to be more supportive.) Another reason my mare may have hesitated at the water could have been do to the fact that she fell in the water just the weekend before the test event! At Salperton Horse Trials she hung a leg at the fence in the water and fell properly. We were both okay but it was definitely not ideal as a last run. And, to make matters worse, or at least comical, the fence where Bree had her fall at Salperton, was the exact fence that they put in the water at the test event! They literally moved the thing from Salperton to the water at Greenwich! While walking the course with Captain Mark Phillips and the rest of the team USA gang, I casually explained to my good friend Sinead Halpin the situation and then asked if it was appropriate to make a joke about it! She laughed and said it was not appropriate so no joke was made to the Captain. Luckily Bree picked up her feet this time so now we can all laugh about it. Phew! Finally, Bree jumped well in the show jumping and we just had one down, which was my fault. Some of the signs from the not-so-happy Greenwich protesters outside the park entrance. It was an amazing experience to be apart of the team at the test event and I feel that it was very educational for both Bree and me. For the first time since Bree landed in January, I felt like we were on the same page, which is what’s most important for us right now. I’d like to say a big thank you to my wonder groom and dear friend Alex Van Tuyll and all the new friends that I met that were supportive and fun to spend the week with at Greenwich. Oh and Toddy of course for saving me from almost elimination in the cross country warm-up when he realized that I had the wrong spurs on and lent me his! Goofing off and probably embarrassing Princess Bree during grazing time.
Read more at the source: The Olympic Test Event!
Article excerpt posted on Sidelinesnews.com from Onward, Upward.