While some event riders just wrapped up their weekend at Jersey Fresh and Badminton, others, particularly in Area 1, just got out for the first or second time for the season at King Oak Horse Trials in Southampton, Massachusetts. This past weekend was my second outing for the 2015 season, and boy did it feel great to be competing back at hom.
My first outing at Carolina International was a learning experience to say the least, considering I felt like a fish out of water. So getting a good Training run in before moving back up to Prelim was exactly what King Oak offered me and Vin!
The event ran over two days. Saturday ran Beginner Novice and Training, and Sunday offered Novice and Prelim. Even though a group of friends and I had to do some minor truck and trailer rearranging before leaving for the event, everything seemed to fall into place, and the four of us who went to King Oak together all had a fantastic outing.
Sometimes not having enough time to stress over the course or have too much time to analyze your courses can be a beneficial thing in the long run. I literally ran round my cross country course twice, with just enough time to get my 25 minutes of dressage warm up in before entering the ring.
Overall, I thought King Oak did a fantastic job running this event. Everything ran really smoothly and on time. The volunteers were super friendly and the atmosphere was calm, yet exciting! The Training course was a blast, offering a decent variety of typical Training level questions with the perfect amount of galloping. There was a definite flow to the course which is always appreciated. Plus, the footing and the weather were pretty spectacular, too.
Fortunately, the very talented Joan Davis of Flatlandsfoto was on site and captured all sorts of exciting and lovely moments. Her husband Tom Davis, who comes from a well-known eventing family in Vermont, had a couple horses competing at King Oak. He has competition mileage through the Intermediate level and is a USEA ICP Level 2 certified instructor. Here is what he had to say about his experience at the event:
“What a great venue to get going after that crazy winter. Well-designed courses that got everyone back in the game when so few of us had a chance to get out schooling this spring. Hats off to Fran Cross for another well run event.”
And, of course, Joan has kindly shared four winning shots from King Oak. Thank you Flatandsfoto, King Oak and all the amazing volunteers who helped put on one of my favorite events in Area 1. Go Eventing.