Early Days

Derby Recap with video

First, a quick recap of the Rolex Kentucky 3-Day Event for our California riders and then on to mine and Hemie’s derby recap from Sunday!

Hawley Bennett-Awad and Gin & Juice
Photo from rk3de.org

Kristi Nunnink, Hawley Bennett-Awad, and James Alliston did an admirable job representing west coast riders at this world-renowned event, with 2 pairs placing in the top 10! The competition has 3 phases in this order: dressage, cross-country, and stadium jumping. The horses also have to pass inspections before dressage and stadium. Each pair gets a score for each of the 3 phases, then the combined total determines the final placings.

Hawley Bennett-Awad with Gin & Juice
Dressage: 59.8. Cross country: No jump faults, 0.4 time faults. Stadium: double-clear. Final placing: 7th!!

Kristi Nunnink with R-star
Dressage: 55.3. Cross country: No jump faults, 4.4 time faults. Stadium: 4 jump faults, no time faults. Final placing: 8th!!

James Alliston with Parker
Dressage: 66.2. Cross country: double-clear. Stadium: 4 jump faults, no time faults. Final placing: 14th.

Kristi Nunnink and R-star
Photo from rk3de.org

James Alliston with Jumbo’s Jake
Dressage: 51.5. Cross country: No jump faults, 24.4 time faults. Stadium: 8 jump faults, no time faults. Final placing: 23rd.

James Alliston with Tivoli
Dressage: 49.5. Cross country: No jump faults, 7.6 time faults. 2nd horse inspection – eliminated.

Go west coast eventing!! For a fabulous review of Rolex check out this comprehensive recap from Eventing Nation!

And now, on to mine and Hemie’s derby recap from yesterday!

My goal for the event was to simply perform better than last time. My wish was to not come in last place.

Goal was met. Wish was not. But I’m feeling great about our performance and excited to get out there and do it again soon!

Ironically, by all objective and technical measures we did not perform better than last time. My dressage score was worse than last time’s, and we were eliminated in the jumping from exceeding the time limit. But I feel better about our performance and improvement in both phases.

To cut to the chase, here’s the video of our jumping round. Like last time, we did the “Easy Beginner Novice” division with jumps up to 2’3″.

So, we had 2 refusals this round as compared to 1 the last time. And we got eliminated by exceeding the time limit whereas we just had time faults last time. So why do I feel this round was improved? One word: forward. We cantered the majority of the round and overall had more oomph as compared to last time. Its still not nearly as much forward as is needed, nor as much as we have at home, but its coming along at shows…slowly but surely.

Understandably, by jump #3 I was pretty rattled. My thought heading to jump #4 was a simple wish to get through the course. I’m so pleased that we did. I’m proud of myself for not letting those two refusals dictate the rest of our course. And I’m proud of Hemie for being brave. I think overall he had fun out there.

Two other gals from my barn competed as well, and in fact they both were in the ribbons! S.B got 2nd place in the Intro division, and K.K. won 1st place in Training.  Here she is on her horse Georgio Armani (“George”) showing how it’s done. These jumps are up to 3’3″.

It is wonderful to watch talented riders on safe, game horses. Fortunately and unfortunately, local shows like this are an opportunity to watch how not to ride. We saw some dangerous riding and strung-out horses, including being ridden by trainers. Reflecting on my ability to safely address issues on course, and in light of the safe and positive performances of the other gals in training with Laurie, I am thankful to be in training with someone who focuses on quality rather than ribbons.

Next post will recap our Dressage phase.

14 comments on “Derby Recap with video

  1. It's always good to come away with positives :)


  2. Rolex was so cool! I was def rooting for Hawley given how many of your CA bloggers are fans :)


  3. Improvements are good! He looks good in the video minus those first few jumps.


  4. You guys looked GREAT! It looked like a really educational experience for him.


  5. Wow, you really held it together, kudos! I would have been a hot mess!


  6. Yay for feeling better then last time!

    Holy moly he is a bad boy with those refusals!


  7. What a long course! How in the world do you keep track of where you are? :0)

    Glad you felt better about this show. It looked like a lot of fun, and Hemie looked willing (except for that one little area)! Good job!!!! :0)


  8. Some times its harder than others to look for the positives, isn't it?


  9. Yeah! I love watching Rolex, but the whole time I'm thinking…”these people are crazy!” Hawley did us proud!


  10. Thank you! Baby steps can be frustrating, but getting through was a major win.


  11. Thank you! Yes, that's how I have to look at all these outings – educational experiences (for both of us!).


  12. Thank you so much!! It sure is a mind game when you're in those situations. =)


  13. Thanks, and you're right! My trainer keeps saying he's green, but it's been a frickin year already and he knows his job by this point, I'd think. We just gotta keep going to these shows so we can deal with the issue (he doesn't do this at home).


  14. Thank you! For staying on course, they give you a map the day before and you can walk the course as many times as you want. Also, the jumps are numbered and colored so if you get lost you can look around and try to find your next one! But I must day memorizing 10 to 14 jumps is easier than multiple dressage tests!!


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