There are some pretty funny things professional riders do at competitions that I’ve always found amusing.
They tend to jump fences on the wrong courses for one.
I’ve seen so many get eliminated, or nearly get eliminated for jumping the wrong first or last fence.
And I will definitely say, when you have a row of nearly identical options it’s not all that hard to mix them up.
I watched one pro jump the Advanced drop into the water & then realize his mistake, circle back & jump the correct Intermediate option.
I’ve seen several that skipped an out-of-the-way jump because they just didn’t have time to walk all of their courses.
Tons of them forget part of their dressage test when they have 5 or 6 tests to remember.
I’ve always found all of these silly errors made by Olympians & super stars
It makes them seem a little more human after all.
I personally have never ridden 6,7,or 8 horses at a show. So I can barely comprehend that many rides.
I have, however, ridden 3.
But this week, was THE big event, and in an act of
sheer stupidity fearlessness I decided to compete FOUR.
Honestly, I think if the temperatures hadn’t decided to be around 90F it might’ve been ok.
As it happened I had 3 different XC courses to walk & they were all fairly long. Intermediate, Preliminary & CCI2*L. That “L” stands for long by the way.
After walking the Intermediate & FEI course I just flat out ran out of daylight to get the Preliminary walked by itself. The courses don’t open for walking until a certain time, and when you have all these horses to ride you’re also squeezing in course walks between dressage tests & the like. So….. I just didn’t get it done.
No problem, I thought. I’ll just look at what’s different on the preliminary as I walk the 2* course, problem solved!
Then XC day rolled around. It started with an 8:30AM warm up for dressage. Then I had an Intermediate course,
2 FEI runs
& finished the day at 5:00PM with my Preliminary horse.
It was hot,
And by the time I found myself in the XC warmup for Preliminary I realized I really, seriously, didn’t know my course.
I started asking people, and no one in warmup knew the difference between the Prelim & 2* either.
I was trying
I decided when I left the box I would just look carefully at every jump for those solid green letters.
To make this more interesting, this was my first Preliminary on Poison Ivy, AND, she just happened to be in 2nd. 1st place was only winning by 0.4 points.
We left the start & everything was going great
when I turned to the A element for the 2nd water jump. I did remember the B & C were definitely on both courses.
BUT – The Intermediate & the 2* had both jumped a log on a mound into the water.
So – I knew the way………
As I was turning up the hill to the A element, to my horror I realized it didn’t have a solid green letter on it!!!!!!!
So I circled & started frantically looking for the correct A. Fortunately, it wasn’t too far away & I was then able to change course & keep on going.
However, this bit of navigational error resulted in a gazillion time penalties.
So when Poison Ivy jumped clear in show jumping the next day & 1st place had a rail……..I had the full “silly professional” experience.
We would’ve won our first Preliminary if I’d known my course.
But honestly, after a near heat stroke, on my 5th ride of the day, while galloping at a jump at 20mph, the fact that I still had enough situational awareness to see it was the wrong jump BEFORE I jumped it…….
still qualifies as Bad Ass Eventer.