Thanks to Athletux, we’re thrilled to bring you a host of guest bloggers from Galway Downs this coming week. Kristin Schmolze, one of those guest bloggers, is entered in the CCI3* with Ballylaffin Bracken. Kristin and Ballylaffin Bracken, a 13-year-old, 17.3 Irish Sport Horse gelding finished Rolex this year in 25th. After a long trip from the East Coast, Kristin and “Rox” have arrived in California. Many thanks to Kristin for writing, and thank you for reading.
Kristin Schmolze and Ballylaffin Bracken at Rolex. Photo by Jenni Autry
I love coming out to Galway Downs for many reasons. First off, the facility and the amount of work that Robert Kellerhouse and his crew put in to making this event run so smoothly for everyone is something to applaud! Ian Stark’s cross country tracks are always incredible, and this year I believe was the toughest of his courses that I have jumped around. But also, it is so nice to be able to catch up with riders and friends from the west coast that you hardly ever get to see! Needless to say, it has been a fun week!
The pace picked up a bit in the barns as the week has rolled on. From jog to dressage to yesterday’s cross-country, we have all been running around keeping busy. The three-star track proved to be quite influential in the standings. The problems that occurred were spread out all around the course at different obstacles, and only two of the clear rounds made time.
East coast choice of studs, left. West coast choice of studs, right. The West coasters thought we were being ridiculous studding up so big!
I couldn’t be happier with Rox. He was on his game from start to finish, tackling each question with ease! Even when I wavered a bit in a line, he was absolutely solid for me and never takes his eyes and ears off of the flags you put in front of him. He really is an exceptional horse! He was on fire in the warm up and at the start box, which is more exuberance then Rox normally shows, but I could tell he just couldn’t wait to get out there on course and have some fun. He came home with only a few time faults and plenty of run left!
Thank you to everyone that has supported Rox and I on our trip out to Galway. I’m very lucky to have such a wonderful group of people in my life! Today was exactly what I came out here for: a positive and fast xc round over a tough technical track as preparation for our 2014 season. It’s been an exciting day for everyone involved with this talented horse! If you would like to find out more about how to be involved with supporting and owning a share in the Ballylaffin Bracken Syndicate (which also includes ownership in some promising young horses), please contact me at [email protected].
Fingers crossed for the jog and show jumping today!