Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Weekend in Maryland

This past weekend I went down to Maryland to visit my best friend, Emily. It's two weeks until her wedding so I went down for her final dress fitting and, of course, to hang out and do horsey things. :)

On Saturday after the fitting we went to Shawan Downs for our first ever steeplechase, the Legacy Chase (don't know how two such horse-crazy girls never managed to watch one before). It was so much fun! A lot like the polo Dan and I used to go to in Newport atmosphere-wise, with lots of tailgating and preppy people, except they were races instead of a match. It really made me want to try it sometime.

Today we got up bright and early to go see some of Emily's friends from her barn in California compete in the Capital Challenge Junior Equitation Competition. In a class of 77 riders, two girls from her barn got 4th and 5th which was awesome! It was really fun and inspiring to watch everyone compete, lots of young talent and beautiful horses (and lots of $$).

In the beginning, though, one of the competitors had a really scary looking fall and actually knocked herself out. Her horse valiantly tried to save a really bad distance and ended up crashing through the back of the oxer, actually breaking the rail in half and falling over it to his knees which tossed the rider on her head/back. She ended up being ok with only a concussion and no other major injuries, thank goodness, but she didn't move for awhile and then when she did wake up she immediately started screaming incoherently. 

The part that scared me the most was that there was no ambulance on site. There was a horse ambulance, but in such a large competition in a dangerous sport like riding, how could they not have a people ambulance?! It took a good 20 minutes before one got there; it was a really good thing she wasn't more critical.

The rest of the competition was only eventful in a positive sense with the sheer talent of the horses and riders. Unfortunately my camera was not very good at capturing any decent jumping from so far away in the dim lighting but here's one shot so you can at least see the gorgeous jump course:

After the show we traveled over to Emily's barn to go for a ride. Unfortunately, as horses have a tendency to do when you have big plans for the day, both her horse and the one I was supposed to ride were injured so we had to go to the Plan B horses. Hank, the horse I rode couldn't have been more the opposite of Charlie: a round, sloooooww warmblood that needed a lot of leg to keep going; Hank the Tank I affectionately called him. He was still a lot of fun, but I am not used to riding something so lazy (or lazy at all for that matter). I prefer horses with go so I really wished I had spurs, but I made do with a crop. It was good practice for me, but my legs will definitely feel it tomorrow. The most fun part was that I got to jump a mini course, which I haven't done in forever! I surprised myself by getting over half the distances almost spot on, and when I did mess up (a few I really botched) Hank was a sweetheart and really helped me out. What a good boy :) I can't wait to start doing courses again; I miss it.


  1. looks like lots of horsey fun. I agree such a big looking event should have an ambulance on standby, I'm hoping they at least had medical staff? Hank the Tank, lol.

  2. Shocked they didn't have a medic...not good.