My Secret Public Middleburg Diary: Day #2

My horse Esprit and I are in Middleburg, Va., the “Nation’s Horse & Hunt Capitol,” for 10 days in preparation for the Maryland Horse Trials. This is our journal.

Saturday, July 7

Dear diary,

Today I went to Maryland Horse Trials, which is located in the very nice state of Maryland, to groom and cheer for my buddy Lisa, who was competing. (Esprit and I aren’t competing until next weekend.)

It was 102 degrees out, officially making it the hottest event I’ve ever been to. Lisa hadn’t been feeling too well the past couple days to begin with, and after her dressage test, I was pretty sure she was a goner. She later said, “I thought at the moment that this must be what dying feels like. First you get really hot, and then you die.” With the help of a soaked-in-cold-water tank top, truck air conditioning and a mango smoothie, she rallied and put in two double-clear jumping rounds to finish in second place in her division. The red ribbon doubled as their ticket to the American Eventing Championships, so three cheers for them!

The event was well-prepared for the heat. Cooling tents with troughs of ice-water, big fans, water for the riders, and volunteer helping hands were available for horses coming off course.

The strangest thing that happened today involved a loose Training level horse that came tearing up past the dressage warmup, where I happened to be standing. He came over the hill and dove headfirst into a drainage pond, probably thinking it was just a splash-through water complex. He got about halfway through before stopping, with a really bewildered and apologetic look on his face; event officials had to wade in to fetch him. I had to run off before they pulled him out, but I hope that everything turned out OK.

Esprit is settling in nicely at Sara’s. We’ve just hacked and flatted the past couple days, but we’ve got big plans for the upcoming week–stay tuned!

Maybe I’ll actually see Middleburg proper soon, too.

Until next time…

The best jump on the MDHT xc course was this one, of host Loch Moy Farm's interpretation of the Loch Ness Monster.




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