Thanks to Siobhain O’Connor, who is competing in the CCI* at Ocala this weekend with Faux Indigo. This pair is currently in 10th place as they look ahead to cross country, and Siobhain generously shared her course walk photos and commentary for how she plans to ride with us.
The questions begin early on in the course, not in the form of combinations but in that riders will be jumping towards the show jumping ring and stabling. Riders will need to be sure their horses are focused on the task at hand and not wishing they were back in their stalls munching on hay.
The first water complex comes early in the course at fence 6AB, and Siobhain says it is not to be taken lightly. “Even though we don’t land in water we need a strong bold jump in to set the tone for the course. The out is a very vertical gate with a safety pin it,” she said.
The next tricky combination comes at fence 10ABC, the coffin complex. The striding is a two to a three and Siobhain thinks it will ride nicely if the rider is bold and forward, which at this point they definitely should be.
The next serious question comes up quick as well at 12 and 13. “You need to make sure you are square to the house with enough power but not speed to jump the cabin on the hill,” Siobhain said. “Then you land, dropping into the hollow, and run up to another skinny hedge. And then bend again to another skinny hedge.”
Finally, riders will face another technical question at the second and final water complex at 16 and 17. “It’s then a nice snug turn (after 15) to the water, where I will have to give Indigo a reminder tap about how much I love him when he jumps into water. It’s a bold two strides to a jump in the water then a skinny hedge out.”
As you may have noticed, a few of these jumps will also be used on the CCI2* course. Please enjoy the full gallery of the CCI* fences below, and many thanks to Siobhain O’Connor for sharing her thoughts and photos! Good luck to all competitors!