Kaela and Rembrandt Z
Kaela and Rembrandt Z

Kate and Van Guard
Kate and Van Guard

Shannon and Papillone win the blue!
Shannon and Papillone win the blue!

Early Saturday morning, Kaela and Kate joined an equitation lesson with Bob Braswell, a well-known trainer from Florida. Tough work for the girls, they spent a lot of time working without stirrups, as well as jumping complicated courses with their relatively unfamiliar mounts. They also got a chance to watch some accomplished Big Eq riders do the courses, as well. It was a great experience for them.

Kate and Kaela were entered in the THIS Children’s Medal, scheduled to start at 8am, so during their lesson with Bob, I got them on the start list for that class. They both put in strong trips, and scored in the 70’s. Kate was on the bubble for being called back to test, until that last few riders (there were 55 in the class). Then it was on to the Limit Equitation in a different ring, which went in the middle of the day. Both put in respectable rounds (and both were working very hard to implement the changes Bob had suggested).

Shannon had a most impressive day. She was entered for the Adult Maiden Equitation, much to her chagrin, since she had never competed in an equitation class before. Shazam! She won her first over fences class! Papillone was a good boy and Shannon laid it down with him. She also garnered third, fourth and sixth place finishes in that division. I was so proud of her. Congratulations!

The day went fairly long, as Shannon’s division didn’t finish until around 6pm. The Children’s/Adult Jumper Classic was scheduled to start at 6pm, and there was a free buffet dinner in the VIP tent. So we all pitched in to get Papi safely tucked in for the night before driving the golf carts to the Grand Prix ring.

The food was great, and there was was a 50/50 raffle and calcutta (where you draw riders’ names out of a bag and if that rider wins the class, you get half the pot). It was great fun, although none of us won the calcutta. The golf cart ride back to the barn was interesting. None of the golf carts had headlights on them (I guess most show days finish well before the sun goes completely down) and the main driveway that goes through the show grounds has no lights. The temporary stabling that lines the driveway are just far away that no light is cast toward the pavement. So there we were, driving very slowly back to the barn, with no ability to see where we were going. I felt a need to shout “Marco” every few feet, hoping to hear “Polo” from some unseen person up ahead, in case we were headed for a collision. Thank goodness for modern technology, as Shannon and Steve whipped out their iPhones, Shannon with her flashlight app, and Steve with his Zippo lighter app (great for use at rock concerts) and both miraculously lit the way. Were were surprised at how bright the path was illuminated by the two phones. I wish I had some duct tape with me at the time; we could have made some redneck headlights! It was a hoot – and we safely made our way back to the barn where our cars were parked. Bellies full and still on the high of Shannon’s win, we headed back to the hotel for a mini-celebration. Onward and upward for a great final show day on Sunday!

Saturday in Ocala
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