Last week Penelope and I competed in The Event at Skyline in Mount Pleasant, Utah. I had my AP Physics Exam the following Tuesday and my junior finals are right around the corner. This was my first show of the year and with my busy schedule, I went out on a whim and signed up for the event. I had to work my butt off to prepare for this event while juggling everything else junior year entails!
Best case scenario Penelope and I would qualify for the American Eventing Championships at this show, but after realizing that I would be competing against 12 other people for a Top 2 finish, my hopes and dreams shrunk.
As many of you know, Penelope and I switched to a new and fabulous dressage trainer (Anita Williams) in December. Over these past few months our dressage skills improved immensely, but it wasn’t until this show when I realized just how much better our dressage skills have gotten.
Friday May 4th – Dressage Day
When I hopped on Penelope after braiding for over an hour, I quickly realized how much our off-property lessons have helped. P has become so much more comfortable off property and our lessons have helped me learn how to better channel her energy.
We pranced into the dressage ring, strutted our stuff, and walked out in 4th place on a 26.9. Our dressage test was not perfect, but I could not be more happy with how well it went!
Saturday May 5th – Cross Country Day
I was stoked for cross country at Skyline! Having have never ridden at Skyline, I was in awe after I walked the course. James Atkinson did a wonderful job creating a fun, flowing course with a lot of variety! Banks, ditches, tables, two water complexes, a Weldon’s wall, picture frame, gosh the course was perfect!
As I walked around the start box I knew that the hardest part of my course would be leaving it and getting Penelope’s attention before the first fence. But Miss P was on her game and knew exactly what I wanted from her. We flew around the course with ease (and one sticky moment at the book, it was legit a jump shaped like an angled book) to come in clean and clear and 38 seconds under time!
After an incredibly fantastic run, Penelope and I moved up to 3rd place!
Sunday May 6th – Stadium Day
Stadium has always been Penelope and my most stress-free phase. Penelope loves show jumping! I went into the show jumping ring with the mind set that I was just there to do my best and show what I know how to do. By this point, my trainer had already left for home so I was on my own for warm up.
My biggest focus with our show jumping right now is just not letting Penelope drop her shoulders at the base of each fence. We picked up our canter, I focused on lifting her front end, and we popped around the course with a handful of beautiful fences and a handful of ugly ones. Despite our chips, long spots, and Penelope jumping like a deer a few times, we walked out with yet another clean and clear round!
After everyone else completed their stadium courses, it was official that Penelope and I had moved up to 2nd place and would finish on our dressage score of a 26.9!
Penelope and I have officially qualified for the American Eventing Championships and will be on our way to Nationals at the Colorado Horse Park in August!