Sarah Finkel brings us this write-up of the USEF Eventing Training Sessions in Ocala, replete with video reconnaissance on Karen O’Connor’s new horse Mr. Medicott.
EN would like to thank Sarah Finkel for her write-up of the Training Sessions in Ocala. Sarah is a junior at University of Delaware majoring in International Relations. She rode with Danny Warrington for about 6 years before she went off to the O’Connor’s last year during her college winter break. Sarah acquired her horse Deep Sea (aka The Cutest Man in the World) as a four year old and they just moved up to preliminary last fall. Her spring goal is to do the Virginia CCI*. Thanks for sharing, Sarah, and thanks for reading! See Sarah’s first Training Sessions report here.
Top photo: Karen and Mr. Medicott
The second round of training sessions started off at a chilly and breezy 28 degrees. But that is all I will say about that because I didn’t hear the Canadians complaining! Despite the “relative” cold, or just darn cold, there was a good turnout of spectators for both days of the training sessions once again. With the peanut gallery packed and shorter days of training, Hannah Burnett started things off with the handsome Harbour Pilot. Harbour Pilot, or “William”, was a tad bit fresh at 8 am but who could blame him! When asked for his thoughts on the brief cold snap, William muttered something about margaritas, sombreros, and wanting to go back to Mexico, but the second day’s jumping would get his attention back on the job.
Hannah getting some help putting all her layers back on!
Jon Holling’s Downtown Harrison seemed to be in good form despite being back in full work for only a little over a week. Jon is taking it slowly with “Will” after the issues that prevented his Pan Am Mexico trip. But at least this Will didn’t have margaritas on his mind. He seemed ready for everything he was asked, you would hardly believe he’s just coming back into work.
I was impressed to see the number of riders out watching each other’s lessons. It’s great to see so much support between the riders in what is sure to be a very competitive Olympic year with so many talented pairs. All the riders wore headphones for their dressage lessons, which although I’m sure benefited them, did little for spectators outside of the ring. So please forgive the iPhone quality and windy background noise that covers up anything you wanted to hear because, Eventing Nation, I listened! And here are your video clips from the training sessions!
Jon Holling working on shoulder-in.
Karen O’Connor and Mr. Medicott. This horse is even more impressive in person. The jumps were set at about 4′ for him and Mr. Medicott made light work of them as CMP remarked, “they’re not big to him!”
It was a treat to get to see Marilyn Little-Meredith do her thing in her jump lesson with CMP on RF Rovano Rex. I hope you all enjoy it as well.
I hope the video was helpful and gave you all a sense of being ringside for the action! All in all it was another productive session. Captain Mark Phillips kindly allowed me to ask a couple questions once all was said and done. “Some riders have more homework to do than others,” he remarked. He said all of the horses have different plans for the spring season based on what will hopefully produce the best result for each horse. With Jersey Fresh, Rolex, Saumur, and Badminton the last four qualifying competitions, we can all look forward to an intensely competitive spring season.