Friday, March 5, 2010

Olympic Gold Medalist Beezie Madden Blogs About USEF Show Jumping Team Selection Trials for the 2010 Games--Part III

WELLINGTON, FL--March 3, 2010--It was another day of mixed results to say the least. WEG trial #3 was a very nice event held in a grass field which gave the horses something fresh to see and changed things up a bit. It was Danny Boy’s day to shine with a clear round. As I thought he might, he responded well to the change of venue. He has had a lot of experience on grass at places like Spruce Meadows and Aachen, so while he hadn’t had a look at this field before, it wasn’t something too unusual for him.

Via Volo and I had trouble at a difficult double. Again, it was a matter of not knowing the horse very well and her not having a lot of experience. It was an airy double with a spooky panel at B. Her attention was totally on B, causing her to have A down quite hard. The rail went in front of her, and it would have been pretty impossible for her to jump B – she ducked to the left, and I fell off to the right. The fall results in elimination and put us out of the running in the standings. I won’t be doing any more trials with Via. She’ll have some time off since she’s been doing a lot lately and then we’ll start her in smaller classes, and I’ll take my time getting to know her as I normally would have if I hadn’t had gotten her just in time for the Trials. She’s a very nice horse, and I’m looking forward to spending the time with her.

Mademoiselle was the last horse that I rode. I thought she had a good day even with her 8 faults. Similar to Via, I had no idea how she would react to having to jump a big course off the bat in a new venue and on the grass which I haven’t done with her before. I was happy with how she responded and know that each day I’ll learn more and more about her.

The last two Trials are on Friday and Sunday. Mademoiselle and I should continue to get more comfortable with each other, and I’m hoping that Danny stays on the upswing. I have the feeling that he’s getting more and more comfortable and in the groove.

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