Friday, October 20, 2017

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Middle Tennessee HT 2016 Recap

Nov 27 2016

It has always been a goal of mine to attend the Middle Tennessee Pony Club Horse Trial.  It is known as the longest running horse trial in the country.  I’m glad I got to attend this year to help them celebrate their 64th year!  The event took place at the Percy Warner Park in Nashville, TN. The gorgeous facility included a permanent barn, tent stabling, large warm up areas, and a cross country course with the mountains in the background. 

The best part of the event was that Team CEO brought 5 riders, 6 horses, and a handful of other family members and friends to support us.  Horse shows are always more fun with friends!

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Dressage: Dressage was held in a large, flat grass field.  This is the first time that Cullen has competed in dressage on the grass.  I put small grass tip studs in his shoes to keep him from slipping during transitions, but I think I had a little too much stud as he felt a little stiff during the test.  Other than the studding challenge, and our free walk which needs work, I was super happy with our test.

Cross Country: Cross country took place on Saturday after dressage.  I was super nervous about the course as there were several obstacles that I had never jumped before in a competition, but I had no need to worry.  Cullen ran around the course like a pro and we easily finished more than 10 seconds under optimum time.

Jump #3: My first picture frame jump in competition.
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Jump #10: This trakehner had a really pronounced ditch.
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Jump #16: Full coffin – Hanging log, straight down hill to this open ended ditch, then over the second hanging log.  This is the first time we have jumped a coffin with terrain changes in competition.
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Show Jumping:  Show jumping took place with lots of jumps packed into a small arena.  I knew I was going to have to keep Cullen focused and cantering in an active stride to make it around the course.  The course rode to plan with only 1 rail down.  

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Cullen and I finished the event in 3rd place!  So exciting!  Hopefully we can make it back to compete at this event again in the future.

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What’s Next: Cullen and I have one horse trial left for 2016!  We will compete at the Hagyard Midsouth Team Challenge Horse Trial at the Kentucky Horse Park at the end of October.

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