Jacob Fletcher of the Fleeceworks-sponsored Area V eventing team agreed to allow Horse Nation to tag along on their journey to Championships. Here’s the latest!
Greetings from Bartonville, Texas!! A lot has happened to the Area V Good Shepherds since my last entry, and I’m here to tell you all about it! Area V is the only area this year to have held a selection trial, which was at the Texas Rose Horse Park. All of our Area V Selectors were on-site, so the pressure was on to deliver our best performance. Mike Huber, the coach of most of our young and junior riders, was not at Texas Rose because he was in Bromont conducting the United States’ very own Olympic Selection Trials. It was quite spectacular to see these two different selection trials being held juxtaposed to each other. (And I must confess that most of us all dream about being in the other someday!)
The vast majority of the riders had respectful, if not spectacular, dressage tests. Many of the junior riders were in the upper 20s, and no one was above 34, making the selectors’ jobs no easier. Despite the higher scores in the intermediate, I feel that all of the young riders had respectful tests, and Mary Frances Cargile trumped the class on a 38. In the dressage department, Area V looks to be in good shape and we’ll only get better since we’re all attending our various boot camps. Speaking of boot camp, Heather Morris has a new torture method: push-ups. When anyone repeats a mistake with their horse, that person has to do 10 push-ups. Needless to say, we’re not only going to be riding well at Young Riders, but we’re also going to have amazing “guns.” Watch out, if you see one of us coming by in an awesome Fleeceworks pad, we may just challenge you to arm wrestle!
Carston Meyer, the show jump course designer, built the course with Young Riders in mind, which resulted in some interestingly challenging questions including long distances to short combinations. All of the Young Riders showed that they meant business, putting in stellar rounds. Avery Klunick and In It To Win It had quite a great round at the beginning of the division, showing everyone else how to ride it. A few problems sprouted up in the Junior Riders’ show jump rounds, but overall the riding was still quite good. The show jumping test most definitely required a fair bit of riding and a good, forward rhythm, and most of the riders rose to the challenge. Tragically, that night, Mary Frances and I suffered an unfortunate injury. I would not suggest riding with no hands on a moped to anyone ever again. Other than a few scrapes, and our pride going down the toilet, we were fine as we were only going at a walking pace. It was actually quite embarrassing because all we needed to do was put our feet down. I never said I was the brightest crayon in the box. It provided great entertainment for those around us… although not as much as Jon Holling provided in Bromont! Go Jon!!
The cross country in the Young Riders division rode quite well overall, but there were a few uncharacteristic run outs that were no doubt a freak accident and will not happen again. I decided to withdraw Theo from the cross country to save him for another day. Avery Klunick ended up winning the Young Rider division after a great weekend for her. The prelim cross country had a few rough edges as the up bank out of the water to a skinny proved to be quite difficult.
Once again, there were unique challenges presented at the Texas Rose Horse Park, and overall, our Young and Junior Rider groups did quite an impeccable job, making the selectors’ job that much harder. From the sound of it, Mike Huber’s Olympic Selection Committee had just as hard of a time at Bromont with the stellar weekend some of our riders had in the CCI*** and CIC***. Until next time, we will be down here trying to keep the lambs in line!