It’s closer to Saturday than Friday now, but I have a few notes from the first day of competition here at SoPo:
(1) Amy Tryon has Stephen Bradley riding both her A-listed Leyland and the B-Listed Coal Creek this weekend. This is due to a minor medical procedure Amy had done recently, and explains why we have missed seeing Amy at the early spring events. Amy is out and about this weekend and was coaching Stephen up before the dressage. From what I hear, Amy will be back just in time to pursue her spring goals, which is great news for the US. It’s a tribute to Stephen that Amy picked him to bear such a responsibility, and I imagine he will continue his good work from today into the weekend.
(2) Denny was just one of many wonderful volunteers who made today a great success. Thanks to Denny and all of the other volunteers, CHP staff, and event officials for doing a great job throughout the weekend.
(3) While Saturday is always the ultimate test, it looks like Tremaine Cooper has done a super job designing the cross country courses. The prelim course was large, but straightforward (half the prelim went today, with good results), the intermediate course looks very challenging, and the advanced looks inviting. I do wonder if the advanced is as technical as some of the A and B listers expected, and I am certain that The Fork will be a big step up in technicality a few weeks from now. However, the course design is getting good reviews in the barns, and I agree.
(4) One standout in the advanced dressage was Pawlow and Will Faudree, who really delivered a wonderful test and sit third in the advanced B. Phillip also went very low with The Foreman, leading everyone on a 24.7. When you look at the results tomorrow, just remember that winning Southern Pines 2 is not the ultimate goal for The Foreman this spring.
(5) I told Annie Yeager (Meister) that I would give her a shout-out because she is such a big fan of the site and because she helps one of guest bloggers with editing their entries. So here it is Annie, thanks for reading.
EN received the highest possible compliment in an email today, when the emailer finished off the email by saying: “love your site! it IS…eventing, the essential spirit and culture of it.” I probably shouldn’t say who sent the email, but it meant a great deal to me.
3D3W has an interview with Robert Kellerhouse, who is a big operations-side force in eventing, and I love the great opportunity Galway and the West Coast have with the new CCI3* this fall. Also, 3D3W gave us a shout-out and a link today, which we always appreciate. 3D3W is a big part of the massive growth in online eventing media over the last 6 months, and is one of our most linked-to sites.