Kristi Nunnink and R-Star just returned home to California after a fantastic performance at the AECs. Rosie romped around Texas to finish with the Reserve Champion Advanced Gold Cup title, and she’ll soon be hopping on a plane to France to contest the Pau CCI4*. Many thanks to Kristi for writing. Go West Coast Eventing!
So we are finally home from the great AEC adventure, and it did seem like an adventure. Getting there was the easiest part. When we arrived, we were greeted by a beautiful facility. The infrastructure was amazing. All of the horses had huge stalls that were well protected from the elements, luckily. The arenas had lovely footing that held up quite well to the different weather conditions, and there was tons of room for everyone to ride.
The cross-country course was indeed at a championship level. Capt. Mark Phillips designed a perfect course that was both big and technical and very tightly metered. It separated the boys from the men while remaining safe for the horses and riders. Show jumping was delayed at times by monsoon-like rain, and the Advanced was actually postponed a day, which was fortunate, as the footing had gotten quite a bit better by Sunday morning.
The West Coast had a strong group of riders and trainers that participated this year, and I think we did quite well, especially if you remember that Gold Cup winner Laine Ashker is originally from California.
Our trip home was a little bit tedious; it felt like we kept going in circles. Our new trailer blew a tire early Monday morning, and we discovered that our old lug wrench did not fit the new lug nuts. Luckily, USRider came to our rescue. All in all it was a wonderful experience and I can hardly wait to go back next year. Rosie is not happy with her Reserve Champion title and would like a rematch with Al.