Saturday morning XC notes

Links: Live Scores, Ride Times

10:00-11:30 CCI2* XC 
12:10-1:35 CCI3* XC 
2:10-3:15 CIC3* XC
Good morning from Jersey Fresh everyone!  The sky is overcast right now, but the weather predictions have moved to just a slight chance of rail throughout the day.  Temperatures in the 70’s should make for a comfortable day for the horses and the cloud cover keeps shadows out of the equation.  Here are a few notes before the XC gets underway.
(1) After a great showing on the flat, I will be interested to see how the Californians handle the XC courses.  Earlier this year, I was concerned with how straightforward the Galway CIC3* seemed to ride, and the west coasters had a tough Saturday at Rolex.  A few great rides tomorrow means redemption for west coast eventing.
(2) The CIC3* Saturday leader board basically depends on whether or not Phillip decides to go for time.
(3) In the CCI3*, Tiana can take her step into big-league eventing by running just fast enough to give herself a suitable margin in the show jumping.
(4) As usual, I don’t have a firm plan in mind of how we are going to cover the action today.  I like to stay flexible and pick the best of our many options depending on the circumstances.  Of course, we will have updates throughout the day, and a recap post after the XC is finished.  I think I will save the live blog for Sunday, but the beautiful thing is that we can be very flexible depending on how the day plays out.
(5) We received multiple requests for more worst videos ever from Jersey.  Unfortunately I arrived too late Friday night to make a Blair Witch XC preview, but I’m sure my jeans will be soaked from the vet box (see above) and, if I feel inspired, maybe I will just go for a short run to show everyone what they missed at Rolex.  Just don’t watch it right after dinner
(6) I will be helping a few people in the box cooling their horses off tomorrow–so if there’s a pause in our coverage that’s why.  If you have never helped in the vet box, it’s an exhilarating and fun experience and I highly suggest you try it sometime.  For those of you who don’t know, when the horse crosses the finish line, it’s a race to get it’s tack off, halter on, and then to start alternating walk sessions with ice baths.  Ice water buckets are usually arranged in a square.  The horse is walked into the square and then people starts using sponges to get as much ice water onto the horse as possible with a special emphasis on areas of high blood flow close to the skin.  Other members of the team use scrapers to remove the water just as quickly at it is applied.  If there aren’t enough people then you just have a sponge in one hand and a scraper in the other.  The reason for the scraping is to remove the warm water before applying the cold water.  Furthermore, if the water is left on the horse for too long it warms up and actually acts as an insulator, which is obviously bad.  When someone (usually the horse’s personal vet) gives the command, all the water is scraped off and the horse goes for a quick walk.  This process is repeated until the horse cools off.  Things get pretty hectic and everyone gets drenched, especially if the horse is still excited and bouncing around.  With such horses, the boots should never be removed before the studs.  Go eventing.

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