Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Woodedge E.P. Bishop Hunter Derby Recap

First:  a few words about the course.  The jumps were set up in a big grass field, with no fencing -- just a ton of lovely jumps scattered around a big grassy area with some little slopes here and there.  The jumps themselves were great looking -- walls, logs, wooden barrels, straw bales, foxes, toadstools, big tall gates, brush boxes lined with evergreens, lamp posts, pillars.  I pulled in and saw the field off to my right and thought "wow, that looks gorgeous!"

The courses were so cool that I decided I had to sketch them out for you:

Course #1

Course #2 - Handy Round

To sum it up, Tucker was a BLAST.  He was really brave, jumped everything (was even a little underwhelmed by the jumps, as you can tell from the photos where he's basically cantering over everything), and very handy.  I had the best day.  Halfway through my handy course, I thought to myself "THIS IS SO FUN!"  (How often does that happen at a horse show?) 

We only had one slip-up all day... we hand galloped beautifully to fence #7 in the handy round, and then Tucker just forgot to pick up his feet all the way and hung a toe, taking the gate down with him.  Of course, being the careful guy that he is, having rails makes him really ticked off and he almost had a temper tantrum upon landing, but I think the slick grass made him think twice.  Unfortunately, he was flustered, and missed his lead change, so we cross-cantered almost all the way to fence 8 before I got him to re-focus and pick a lead.  I ignored the cross cantering and just kept going forward with my eye on the next jump, so the last jump itself was actually good (a little redemption).  So, I think we need to practice some hand gallops at home.  I have a feeling, if I know myself, that once I saw the distance was there and we were on it, I probably took my leg off for the last stride.  I remember thinking "ok, there it is, just sit still" and in hindsight, I should have said "there it is, just support." 

All in all though, I'd say I have a pretty darn fabulous derby horse.  I was really, really impressed with him.  Everytime I asked him to do something (trot jump?  hand gallop?  long two-stride?) his response was "absolutely, I can do that."  As I said to Alicia afterward, "My horse is really FUN."  Do I think we'll  be rubbing elbows with Jersey Boy and Brunello anytime soon?  That's a no.  But do I plan to enter all the local derbies I can get to from now on?  Heck yeah I do.  I think we might even end up being competitve with a little practice.  Who knows?  Either way, I am so happy that I have such a wonderful horse. 

And... I can't wait to order photos!  These are the ones I plan to order:

What do you think?


  1. Dressage test + hunter courses + hunter DERBY courses = EVENTER! I knew you'd come around ;)

  2. lol, that's what I was going to say! hop, skip and a jump to eventing my dear... seems like Tucker is trying to lure you to the dark side ;)

  3. I agree with the eventer comments. :) Tucker is super cool. Great job!

  4. Love the pictures! There are so many nice ones to choose from, such a good photographer!

    I second them on eventing :)

  5. Agreed to the eventing comments. Looks like a fun course. Great photos. Very dashing.

  6. That sounds like a blast. Come do XC sometime. ;-)

    Someday, somehow, Izzy and I are going to do a derby.

  7. How fun! I am so glad that derbies are coming back. Love the courses! Since I do the equitation, I find this much more appealing than the standard figure eight class. Congratulations on a successful show!


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