Loyal EN reader, and former 2011 Blogger Contestant, Chesna Klimek kindly sent us a write up and photo gallery of the brand new Advanced course at Aspen Farms. The course is absolutely beautiful, and looks like a lot of fun to ride. Many thanks to Chesna for writing, and thank you for reading.
Aspen Farms Advanced Course Walk
From Chesna Klimek, Rainier, WA
This past weekend Aspen Farms hosted their September Horse Trials in Yelm, WA, including classes for the Area VII Championships and for the first time ever, a $4,000 Tin Men Supply Advanced division. You read that right, an Advanced track in Washington! Before if Washingtonian eventers wanted to watch or ride Advanced, it meant a 500+ mile road trip east to Kalispell, Montana or south to California.
Here’s the wrap-up from Aspen Farms’ inaugural Advanced track:
• Amazing weather. This is notable because Western WA is not known for amazing weather. XC day was sunny and warm with dry footing.
• Eleven brave horse and rider combinations from Area VII, CA, and Canada started in the Advanced division, and a good-sized crowd of awestruck supporters gathered each day to watch.
• The XC course (pictured below fence by fence), proved to be very influential in the standings, with only six horses moving on to show jumping on Sunday.
• Karen O’Neal and her mare True Avenue were the tenth place combination after dressage, but rocketed right into first place after XC with the only clear, inside-the-time run. In the end this pair was untouchable, with another clear jumping round on stadium day. Karen more than earned her $2,000 first place prize money, as she rode not one, not two, not three or four, but FIVE horses at the show (including two in Advanced)–how is this humanly possible?
Full results from the Aspen Farm Horse Trials are available here: http://eventingscores.com/
Kuddos to the Elliots and Aspen Farms crew for their lovely event and especially their attention to detail. This show was so classy I almost forgot I was in Yelm. They had roped off viewing areas along the XC course, fresh flowers, hand-crafted wooden signs pointing out show landmarks, free tee-shirts to spectators who could catch them, and their signature “cooler jumps” stocked with ice cold beverages for course walkers.
The new Advanced track at Aspen Farms may provide Area VII eventers with a new perspective: perhaps Rolex isn’t so far away after all!
Unfortunately I lost my course walk map that listed all the jumps with their proper names. In lieu of the names given by event organizers, I have renamed the Advanced XC fences with more or less accurate descriptions… I’ve been having nightmares about Fence 4 ever since I saw it under construction back in June–nevermind the fact that I’m not riding Advanced, or in the show at all. But my sleepless nights were not completely unwarranted, this jump did cause trouble for horses and riders, including a fall (horse and rider are ok). As the fourth fence on course, it definitely served as a strong reminder that Advanced is for, well, advanced people.