“I survived 2009 Advanced Horse Trials at Pine Top!”
That’s what the T-shirts say and that’s how I feel! Thomson, Georgia had an incredible amount of rain Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Luckily the sand ground held up to these storms remarkably well and the show management made some safe choices about how to proceed with the running of the event.

Advanced did dressage and show jumping on Friday; This was the first ever dressage test for both Charly and I with flying changes, I think both of us were anxious to see how that worked out and both happy to have the first one out of the way! It was truly pouring rain during our show jumping but that didn’t stop Charly from sailing through the air over each of the fences, it did have me a bit apprehensive about making the inside turns so we incurred a few time faults but no jump faults.

I rode an Intermediate horse on Saturday, Toast of Manhatten (owned by Liz Patrick of Waters Edge Farm) and he had to deal with even more rain than Charly did. This horse has improved by leaps and bounds and was a bit shorted on Saturday for his dressage efforts but he’ll be out again at Southern Pines to show off some of his new skills. Manhatten is the true meaning of a “mudder” he cantered around his show jumping course in the downpour without any studs and didn’t miss a beat. Manhatten didn’t get to run cross country as the management decided that only Advanced would go on Sunday after a horrible storm throughout Saturday evening.

Charly and I headed out for our first ever Advanced cross country in yet again another downpour. There were some really big fences and a few definite advanced questions, Charly was so smart about all of it, he hasn’t forgotten a thing from last season. The courses footing actually held up quite well, there was just standing water on about 70% of the course. I’ve never been hunting in Ireland but I suppose this is a bit what it’s like. My main objective for the weekend was to give both Charly and myself confidence at this level and gives us a good place to start out for the rest of our endeavors. Despite the weather I think we did just that. 🙂