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Saturday was the second Stellar Riding Schooling Show, and like the first one, it was planned to be a fun show, both as an introduction to showing for green horses and riders, and as something that is relaxed and fun to show at for those who are a bit more advanced.  After the first show, some light tweaks were made to the prizelist, and two classes were added that I was eager to sign up for — a 21+ Don’t Spill The Wine class, and a Derby!

We practiced for the wine class during warmup for my Wednesday lesson, and with a whole lot of laughing from both myself and Holly.  It is harder than you’d think to ride around one handed with a glass.  And they upped the ante at the show by giving us glasses of RED WINE to carry around while wearing show breeches.  Extra incentive not to spill, though I was smart and wore my very forgiving Romfhs, which tend to not stain very easily.  We had to walk, trot, and canter both ways, with several riders bowing out before we even changed direction because they spilled most of their wine and/or opted to pull up and just drink it.  I think there’s video somewhere but I don’t have it, so I’ll just share our happy results, given that Cally is not the smoothest of horses, and I ended up with wine-soaked gloves: we finished 4th!

No big wine prize basket, but quite respectable, and she was a very good girl about going around the ring with a dozen giggling women as we tried to steer and not spill.

Then we had a nice long break where Cally got to back to her own stall and take her usual daily nap while I spectated, cheered on friends, and picked my Best Turned Out winner. I took my time getting ready for our sidesaddle division, and felt like we had a decent little warmup. Apparently not decent enough, because the classes were a bit of a disaster, and made me really happy I didn’t spend the money to go show at Upperville instead. She tried to canter during the second trot in the walk/trot, we picked up a wrong lead in the walk/trot/canter, and the hack line was an epic disaster as she was a bit crooked and spun out and almost lost me at the second fence. We got over it perfectly nicely the second attempt, so I’m not sure what that was all about, other than possibly being taken by surprise at actually doing something that wasn’t on the flat.

So, not at all the go I’d have liked to have, and scratched my plans to do the first of our jumping courses aside. Honestly, though, after two weeks of dressage showing, I think she was just grumpy about going in and doing more flat classes. She doesn’t like flatwork, and finds it boring, and is just totally over it after doing nothing but that at shows for the last few weeks. Because she went in and put in absolutely stellar jumping rounds.

Our courses weren’t flawless, but were definitely on the better side of what we’ve ever done, as she just went in and totally nailed the Open Hunter course we did as our first round Derby qualifier. We finished fourth there, behind Holly’s two trips and Katie’s round, so I was the top finishing Amateur in there, and scored a 73 to come back in solid contention for a nice Derby ribbon. And other than one slightly long distance, our Medal round felt great, and Cally was feeling so happy at getting to go Jump The Things. We ended up winning the Medal! So I think we’re technically qualified for MAEF now, if we want to go.

Then it was time for the tougher second round of the Derby, which took 12 of us through to jump a different course, that made use of both our rings. I went in 5th, and put in a trip that wasn’t flawless, but executed some tough turns well, and had a very nice trot fence to finish with. That was a tricky ask off a long approach at the end of a long course, but Cally really nailed it, and I think that helped us move up.

Big thanks to Valerie for videoing us! I was very very pleased with that trip, and big pats to Cally for a job well done!  I watched the rest of the rounds and crossed my fingers, and was absolutely delighted to scores a 74 and come out in 3rd overall for the inaugural Derby!

Thanks to Katie for sponsoring and providing adorable gingham ribbons and big baskets of carrots, which Cally got half of before I left for the evening, because she more than earned them with her lovely rounds.

Overall, some frustrating moments but also some absolutely wonderful ones, and so much fun!  It told me Cally definitely needs to shift her focus from doing a lot on the flat to showing more over fences, because she’s infinitely happier doing that.  We’re doing Loudoun aside on Friday, but then if the weather cooperates, I think I’m going to take her to BEST to do a couple jumper trips for fun on Sunday.  I want her to remember horse shows are FUN!   She’s definitely all-in for the jumping, and just so over the boring flat stuff.  I’m going to have to make sure we stick to hacking out and doing our flatwork in the fields for a while, so she doesn’t realize she’s doing flatwork and conditioning, because it’s so much more fun for her.

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