Jennie Saville (née Brannigan) has always been a gutsy, determined rider, but her latest feat takes the cake.
While competing in the Stable View CCI3*-S, Jennie found herself relying on her balance, strength and a little bit of luck when things got dicey aboard Nina Gardner’s Kismet while navigating the tricky combination of 16abc. At the preceding obstacle, the 8-year-old KWPN (National Anthem — Ularinka) seemed to stutter step before leaving the ground at 15b, a narrow cabin with a drop on the landing.
“I wasn’t sure if he was going to leave the ground,” Jennie said, but leave the ground he did, but with the next combination — a line of two angled brush followed by a corner — only a handful of strides away, Jennie was then off her step and that’s when things got interesting. What followed was several moments of incredible balance on Jennie’s part and heart-warming honesty on the part of her horse, “Herbie.”
This effort would have been inspiring on a good day, but the day’s buckets of rainfall make it all the more herculean.
While Herbie might have shown his greenness at the level over that narrow cabin, he stepped up to exceed expectations where it really mattered, like when his jockey was down a stirrup and face-deep in his mane.
“That’s the moment right there,” Jennie said of the fifth photo in the series. “That’s where I was sure I was falling off.”
Jennie isn’t going to let a little thing like nearly hitting the deck slow her down, though. She kicked on to meet the corner element at C in the prescribed forward four strides. For their efforts, Jennie and Herbie earned the Harmony Chiropractic Best Save Award and will both be treated to a well-deserved adjustment.
Go Jennie. Go eventing.