Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rider's Eye - True Prospect Relief

For all those unaware, there was a horrific fire which claimed the lives of 6 horses yesterday at True Prospect Farm. In an effort to help 50% of all sales in the month of June will be donated to the TPF recovery fund. Click on the link below to help: DPE Store

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sock's win at Fair Hill!

Fair Hill Update...Socks Wins!!

Conor, Erin, Kristin and I headed down to Fair Hill yesterday for today's event. The babies were out in force today. It was also Kristin's first event with Hughie and Erin's first in a while with Dalton.

I brought Leo, Socks and the Prodigy (aka Tribute). They couldn't have started better! Socks was first to go, he was great in dressage and finished up with a 23 in first. The Prodigy didn't want Socks to steal the show. He too finished in 1st with a 23. Leo was very good as well, especially considering this was only his 2nd event ever. He finished with a 31, tied for the lead.

Socks on XC - Photo Credit to Steve Berkowitz

Socks was first of the bunch to jump. He was very good, he continues to get better every weekend out. Like all things its better to be lucky than good...we had luck on our side today. We ended up with a much longer distance than ideal on the bank out of the water. Luckily Socks is a great jumper with plenty of scope to spare. We used most of it, landed without trouble and finished up the course in great form.

The Prodigy was next to jump. I was excited to try to implement what I learned at the Briarwood jumper show last weekend. He might be the most talented horse I've ever been lucky enough to ride, but he is a 17.3 hand 5 yr old who has been in eventing for a grand total of 4 months. I was able to get him a bit more active which allowed him to be sharper and jump quite a bit better. I was able to get it for all but 2 of the jumps. Unfortunately those rails fell...XC was great. He finished up in 5th. Still not a bad weekend in the least, moving up to training next time out!

Leo was last of mine to go, as I said before this was only his second event ever. He was very spooky at first. I hardly made it to the start line. We got about half way in the show jumping field before spinning and bolting for the in-gate. He managed to jump around without too much trouble. He did have a few rails, but in the future this will hardly be the problem. He's an excellent jumper, he actually might switch over to jumperland some day. XC was very good, again no room to complain with a 6th place finish at his first novice.

Kristin and Erin also had great weekends. Kristin won the dressage on a 29 and finished in 7th. Erin was very close behind in 3rd after dressage and finished up in 5th.

Back in NJ tonight...we'll be heading up to Bromont for our next event. That's not this weekend but next. Simon is planning on the CCI** and Tom in the CCI*.

Back again soon...


Friday, May 20, 2011

Tali update!! and other news.

Finally have some great news to share! While at Jersey last week (report here) Greg, our vet, came out to check on his progress as well as inject stem cells into the stifle which have been replicating for the past 3 weeks following a medieval extraction from his pelvis. If you've not seen them drawn, it might as well be in a dungeon torture tour at your local castle. No castle close...just imagine drilling in the point of his hip with a T tap which conveniently doubles as a needle to attach a 60cc syringe with extracts the marrow. Anyway long story short, Tali trotted up sound! I was in shock when I received the text. I figured we're on an 8 month journey, he wouldn't be sound for quite a while. This of course is very exciting and bodes well for his compeitive return in 2011.

So in the meantime he's been cleared for hand grazing for the next few weeks. We'll continue to laser it, thanks again to SpectraVet, hand graze for the next few weeks then on to real hand walking and soon we'll be back on him. I'm certain with some chemical assistance, I don't think I'd have a shot to actually getting on without being thrown into the rafters otherwise. Running around the farm, although a great thrill for Tali wouldn't exactly be good for his knee.

So continuing on the good news trend here we're very happy to welcome Parlanti Boots to the DPE team. They are the producers of some exceptional footwear as well as garments. As you may remember from Samantha Clark's blog, my boot situation was dire.

As for the Jersey horses update:

Running Order is thoroughly enjoying all of the mud we have as a result of the relentless rain. I think he's happy to be returning to his Irish roots. 

Tom's cut on his chest is healing very well, he should be back in work within the week and on to Bromont!

Simon is also doing much better, he's getting an IRAP injection into his right stifle. I still can't believe it. Dressage warm up!!! That's horses for you! Again Bromont is the plan.

The Prodigy, coming off his 5 yr old win is headed to a local jumper show tomorrow, and on to Fair Hill next week.

That's all we've got for now...check back soon! Until then try to stay dry if you're reading this anywhere in North America. I saw the sun today for the first time in a week. I was beginning to believe the world is really ending soon. I read that if it ends tomorrow that Bloomburg is suspending alternate side of the street parking in NYC (link). Good thinking!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Jersey Weekend - The Exciting Recap

It might be the unpredictability of Eventing that keeps you coming back for more. This weekend fit that mold to a Tee. Coming into it I figured I had a legitimate top 3 shot with 3 of the 4 horses (RO, Tom and Tribute) and a top 10 for Simon.

Dressage Results:
Running Order put in a very good test. He's still a work in progress but it's getting better and better with each day. He was placed in 2nd following dressage.

Video's courtesy of EventingNation.com

Tom was next up, he put in another consistent test. As he becomes stronger his scores will continue to improve, but 4th in his first CIC** wasn't such a bad place to be following the first phase.

Simon was warming up well for the CCI**, we were about 30 mins in when something didn't quite feel right. It quickly went from not feeling quite right to outright lame in his RH. The vet's best guess is that he locked his stifle somehow and popped back free. Long story short it's quite painful, but short lived. He's about 98% sound as of tonight (Sunday) so on to Bromont CCI** we go in a month's time. Beyond frustrating, but what can you do...that's horses for you!

The Prodigy didn't compete until Sunday, it was a great opportunity to ride him in a much larger environment than he'd ever seen in the past. I'm certain he'll be at the FEI levels quite soon...this week has been invaluable for his education.

XC Results:
Running Order was first of mine out of the box on Saturday being that Simon was on the DL. He's a notoriously spooky horse, and I have to be very careful in warmup. The first few jumps are always sticky. They hadn't been as sticky as this since winning the Virginia CCI* 2 years ago. We jumped the 2'6" log without trouble the first time around, I cantered around for a second jump. He spooked hard, and landed on top of the log, climbed all over it. I nearly fell off in the process. I think many of the onlookers were more concerned than I. This fits right in his character. I'm sure they were thinking 'how the hell is he going to get around the CCI*** after unsuccessfully jumping the BN log!'. All was well in the end though...he jumped around great. I really needed this as a qualifier for future events. Mark Phillips came up to me prior and said, 'just get a clean round with 10 time penalties.' I wouldn't claim to ever be that good, but I did manage to get just that. He jumped very well, and had exactly 10 time.

The CCI** Course 

FF to 2:20 for Running Order

Tom was out next. He warmed up very well. I was feeling quite good, we were up on the clock and jumping very well. This continued until we were 4 from home. The last water complex had a bounce into water, he misread the drop back into the water and couldn't stick the landing. Many had claimed there must be a 'hole' of some sort. It's very easy to find something out of your control to blame. In hindsight I was a bit too aggressive, and he just a bit green. I was thinking last week to build a bounce into water being that he hadn't seen one since Aiken. I didn't do it, and obviously should have. He tripped on landing and went under. I went clear over his head and right into the drink. It's amazing that in an instant you can get dirt in and under every garment you're wearing. He also managed to get a good cut between his front legs, my best guess is from a stud or rock. It was clean and had to get stitches and a drain, but all should be good in 10-14 days time. So our plan has again changed, it's looking like we might be headed to Bromont for the CCI* and then eventually out to Rebecca farm for the final PanAm games qualifier.

By Saturday, Simon was looking about 95% sound...annoying!! As much as I love that horse he is a princess.

SJ - Sunday: 
Sunday's at 3 days are always nerve wracking. The days starts off with a soundness jog in front of the ground jury.  They are looking to make sure all of the horses are sound and fit to compete in the last phase of competition. Of course any significant injuries should have been taken care of the night before, and the welfare of your horse is always paramount, but...no one wants to be spun for a small bruise or cut that might not be a significant issue for the horses while jumping. Luckily Running Order is one tough horse...and all was good, and he passed with flying colors. 

Tribute's day to shine had arrived. Shine he did. The young event horse series starts off with a confirmation and movement assessment. Then on to dressage and then on to the jumping phases. He was great as usual and finished up winning the 5 yr old division! Not a bad start to the day.

Running Order's jumping was next up. He was charastically spooky which helps a great deal in show jumping. He finshed up with a great round. Jumping one of a handful of clear rounds. We had a few time penalties, but moved up to 3rd place in the CCI***!! I was also awarded the sportsmanship award for the weekend. It's always a great honor to receive such an award. Although half of the horses didn't go as planned there is always another day, and it will be here soon enough. I appreciate all the efforts of the organization that was able to put on such a class event.

Photo from the Chronicle of the Horse - Click to head over to Chronofhorse.com

The day finished up by heading over to the US team short course vet evaluation which is intended to start to track each potential team horses' soundness. Again he passed with flying colors.

We then headed home...and I'm just about to step out the door for a celebration!

Until then...


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Jersey Day #1

Dressage day for both Running Order and Tom finished with very little room to complain.

The day started out by riding the two that go later in the week. Simon who completes tomorrow and the Prodigy who doesn't go in till Sunday. Simon was his usual exuberant self. I'm still very excited about his chances in the future but it's just going to take time. I would expect him to put in a good test but tension will limit his chances of coming out on top.

The Prodigy was excellent today especially considering all of the atmosphere. He's not seen anything close to this before. His 5 yr old class isn't for a few more days so we've got some time. Mark happened to be in the warm up and gave me some help while I was riding. He was on my case about expecting more from Tribute. He finished up very well. I find it easy with him to be lulled into just wtc around being that he's such a great mover and talented horse, I need to raise my expectations.

Tom was the first to compete today. He put me in a very solid test we had a few little mistakes but nothing that will prevent is success in the future. He would be the one of, or the greenest horse in the field but came away in fourth place less than 2 points from 2nd! Not bad in the least!

RO was last up today. I can't say enough about this horse he's just getting better and better. It's far from perfect, but were getting closer and closer with each passing day. For the most part is connection was more solid today then it in the past. We had 2 bubbles which prevented us from taking the lead, but 2nd by less than a rail isn't a bad place to be after dressage in a 3*.

Following dressage I was able to walk the 3 star and the 2 star CIC and CCI. All of the courses look great. There is certainly enough to do out there but I think its suits all of the horses well. I can't wait until Saturday. I've said it before at other events, but I think it holds true here this weekend as well. It's not going to be a dressage show.

We also have an open invitation to anyone interested, I'll be walking the 3* course at 2pm tomorrow. If your interested give a call or email or just show up by the barn entrance. It should be a great time for all...

Check back tomorrow here or in person at the course walk.


Doug Payne
PO Box 179
Pottersville, NJ 07979

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Times for tomorrow..

All of the horses passed the jogs today so onto dressage.  

Thursday Tom 11:29, RO 2:57

Friday Simon 12:02

We'll have a more detailed blog up tomorrow. With course info results and more...

Doug Payne
PO Box 179
Pottersville, NJ 07979