I'm using up all my vacation time horse showing and this weekend added to the tally. Campbell Valley is a 'proper' three day event, with dressage on Friday, XC on Saturday, and show jumping on Sunday. Because we needed travel time and time to settle in, we left on Thursday morning, and arrived early afternoon.
G came this year, which was such a treat, it's not very often we have the same days off work! Campbell Valley is a Metro Vancouver park featuring some historic farmland and green space with some equestrian amenities and multi use trails. It's not an actual show grounds, so camping there with horses isn't normally something you're allowed to do. G and I found a nice little spot on the edge of a field to camp in - shady, quiet, and cool, which was much appreciated. I also upped my camping game this year by buying Midge a tent of her own. She loved it and it kept her so much cooler than last year.
Thursday evening we had a dressage lesson, but Midge was way too keyed up. There's a little hog fuel track around the rings, so nixed the dressage practice and just cantered around that for a bit while I just generally enjoyed having a very fresh and forward pony.
My ride time for dressage was first thing (8:45am) Friday morning. I really didn't sleep well because I had a bad attack of nerves. So weird because I've been doing so well with that!
Once again, I got in trouble with the tack check. I had no idea that spurs with moving parts are not allowed below Prelim. So, since my roller ball ones were the only ones I brought - no spurs for my dressage test! A potential recipe for disaster. Luckily, while we definitely felt the effects of a not-quite-so-sharp Midge, she stayed fairly honest and steady and put in a nice test. The canter work in particular is getting hugely improved - someone got 7's and 7.5's on her canter work, and a 7.5 for gaits in the collectives! There were a couple of low points - one icky transition up, and one down, for 5.5's and for the high marks, she got 8's on her walk. The rest of the marks were all 6's and 7's for a score of 67.5%, which in Canadian eventing = 48.8 penalty points. The put her in 6th place out of a division of 25. I was thrilled!
Our cross country ride was again super early - 8:15 am. I slept well and wasn't too worried, it was pretty much the same course we did last year: a little palisade jump, a water option, some log piles, and just a whole bunch of simple logs set on various terrains and angles. Midge wiggled and wobbled pretty much the whole way around the course - she was really spooky which I didn't expect. I guess the decorations were scary? And the jump judges? And the photographer? And the spectators? LOL, you never know what you're going to get with the pony. It was still fun, even though Midge was absolutely convinced the water = a place to rest and have a drink and we slowed to a crawl through there. We had no jump penalties, but accumulated a bit of time as Midge just isn't built for galloping (or even fast cantering) 1.6 km on terrain. Also, the water was a bad choice, lol, It was at the end of the course and I should have known the temptation would have been too much for her :) Somehow though we still were the 4th fastest time of the division and moved up two spots to 4th place. Crazy, right?
Show jumping on Sunday wasn't until 3:00, and my nerves got to me big time. All day to wait around isn't my thing, I guess. Also, I had zero expectations of a ribbon or being competitive, until suddenly I was in 4th place and desperately wanted to stay there...so I was working myself up over that. So silly.
Midge had zero gas in the tank and it was hot, so I got on with 10 min to spare, walked around a bit, galloped one lap, then jumped the warm up jump and went in the ring.
Again, Midge was backed off and spooky. I rode pretty boldly for me but jumps 1-2 were still a bit less forward than I would have liked, but OK. Jump 3 came up on a short 5 stride, so I really booted Midge forward to get the pony 5. Jump 4 was a little wall (she hates those) on a 4 stride and I could feel her backing off even as we cleared 3. Since I had all the adrenaline in the world going on, she got a timely smack on the bottom and then gamely galloped up to it. The rest of the course rode fine - I cut all the corners and galloped everything I could because everyone had said the distances and course rode better that way. And so it did! Midge went double clear and well inside the time! The course designer guy came over later to compliment our round. So proud of Midge!
So, in the end we moved up and got a pretty 3rd place ribbon. And prizes, so many nice prizes. They spoiled us with a really nice saddle pad, a full set of jumping boots, a box of Omega Alpha products, and some horse cookies.
On a related note, Ginger and her rider got 5th place in an equally large Entry division! Go cobs :)