|Intermediate division XC jump #13
Photo does not truly show incredible depth/spread.
Saturday I went to the Galway Downs horse trials down in Temecula. I’ve volunteered there a few times before and it is always a blast. This time we did XC jump judging again, but we got there early to watch some stadium jumping too.
|Preliminary division XC jump #13|
We jump judged #13 for both the Intermediate and Preliminary divisions – the two highest offered at this particular show. These jumps were quite beautiful and straightforward, and they rode very well. We were happy to radio in all riders clear over these jumps. No refusals, no run-outs, no nuthin’! In fact for the whole XC on Saturday there were no major incidents or issues. One rider toppled off at the jump after ours, but she was fine and the horse took the shortcut route back to the barns and did not interfere with the other competitors.
In Jimmy Wofford’s book Training the Thee-Day Event Horse and Rider he makes a comment that I remember bugging my eyes out at: that any horse can compete at Preliminary level. Tell that to Spirit. Well, I’m sure Jimmy could get any horse around Prelim level. But in light of our observations about horse types successfully competing at Prelim versus Intermediate, maybe that is more what Jimmy meant. That most horses physically can do the prelim level job, but it takes special conformation (and many other things) to go higher.
Another interesting discussion is whether or not it is appropriate to compete one’s horse at its capped-out level. Theoretically you are always schooling one level higher than you’re showing, but at some point the horse is maxed out. Do you compete at that level or not? There’s no margin for error, but they can do it. An interesting problem that one day I hope to experience.