Southern Pines I Horse Trials: Eight is Enough!
Last weekend Tebogo was well represented at Southern Pines I Horse Trials in North Carolina. Barn B at the beautiful Carolina Horse Park was ours and we took it over from end to end with lovely, willing, sweet horses, some of whom were out for their first event of the season.
While we mostly obsess and write about our collection of off the track thoroughbreds, Tebogo also owns and campaigns a couple of lovely Irish horses: Fernhill Solar – cause everyone has to have a Fernhill horse – and Sportsfield Candy, both ridden and competed by Jenn Simmons. Dave competes a kiwi thoroughbred, Clifton Imperial, as well as his horsey soulmate, the English thoroughbred Tangle Top. Top that collection off with a rather flamboyant Dutch horse, Lestaire (Bing to his friends and family), also ridden by Jenn, and you have the complete set of who competed. Overall it was a fantastic weekend.
What makes a weekend fantastic? First the obvious – good weather (I’ll admit, I’m a weather wimp), a well-run event (I would find this event hard to top when it comes to efficiency, good communication, and exquisite footing), and horses and riders putting in their best efforts with big smiles on their faces. Check, check, and check! Add to that equation some great friends who not only pitch in with the endless tack changes, photographing of equine greatness and keeping of riders and horses fed and watered – but that make me laugh until my abs hurt on the ride home – and you have a fantastic weekend.
The babies, Irish and American, were exceptional. We have watched Peyton truly grow up this year. As I stood by the first combination on the Novice track I watched horse after horse stop, nearly stop, or, sadly in one case, pop their rider out of the tack as they tried to read the bank and then the water down the hill in the soft early morning light. I was starting to worry – were we right to ask Peyton to have a go at this, only his second Novice run? But then, I saw Katie’s pink jersey heading toward the jump and Peyton cantering along and badabing, badaboom, they went through without so much as a hesitation. Peyton is such a good jumping horse that we sometimes toy with the idea of campaigning him as a jumper – but the horse loves cross country. You see it in his face each time he goes out. He’d probably be a stellar hunt horse as well.
Pandora is only six but I still tend to think of her as one of the “babies”. But there she was, clocking around the prelim course like it was old hat. She missed first place by less than a point (Katie groans as she’s reminded), but she didn’t care. Pandora had the look of a horse who knew they’d done good. The extra cookies and treats might have tipped her off.
Next horse trial is back to Southern Pines for Pandora and then the next big outing will be back in home territory – Morven Park! Since we’ll be there in full force again I can almost guarantee a tailgate.