It’s interesting how being so close to winning like that can give you terrible writer’s block. But for those of you who don’t know, Holstein Park Leilani and I were the overnight leaders going into the show jumping at the Pau International Four Star in Southern France.
The mare did a super dressage test giving me everything she had and stayed with me so beautifully. I was able to ride her flying changes for the 8’s they are. She did everything extremely accurately including the halt-rein back, etc. After I rode it was hard for me to think of something I would have done differently. Hence we shot into equal first place after dressage.
The cross country at Pau initially rode tougher than I expected. Pierre Michellet’s questions really made you think and really made you work hard to ride them well. It rode as one of the toughest Four Stars I have ever ridden. The chestnut mare answered every question I asked of her, and using her huge gallop stride, that looks slow, she came in the fastest horse of the day leaving me able to casually gallop the last few fences on course.
Show jumping day was hot, the course was very technical, and the arena surface was… Well there is no other way to say this, crap! Unfortunately Lani and I had 3 rails down and we finished the event in 8th place.
You know I hate making excuses, but I do want to talk about one theory that is out there where horses changing hemispheres are often not quite the same horse they used to be during the first 6-12 months after the move. Talking to William Fox-Pitt, who has brought many horses from the Southern Hemisphere, he said that a lot of them lose their jump in this period.
This was the last show I will have for a while and I will be using this coming time to reflect on the amazing season I have had over here with this incredible team of horses. I am very much looking forward to eventing in 2012. Thanks so much to everyone who has helped make this possible.
Link to You Tube cross country footage: