King Oak held its annual spring horse trials in Southampton, Mass., this past weekend, running divisions from Beginner Novice through Preliminary, with Tremaine Cooper as the mastermind behind the cross-country course. There were some difficulties at the first fence on course — at least for Preliminary and Novice, and some Prelim riders had difficulties at the water — but overall the courses rode well and competitors seemed very happy. I spoke with several competitors, and most were all smiles!
I don’t know exactly how Saturday went, but Sunday could not have been more ideal for an event — 70 degrees, a slight breeze, and maybe a cloud or two in the sky — what more could you want? The footing could not have been better, both on the trails and in the fields. Everyone seemed especially cheerful for finally being able to gallop and jump in comfortable spring temperatures!
I took my mare Valonia in the Novice division, and after not galloping and jumping cross country for over seven months, she was quite good once we got ticking. Show jumping and dressage felt good, but cross country felt a bit rusty on both our parts. But getting out there and competing felt amazing. King Oak is one of my favorite venues in Area 1 because of the friendly atmosphere, and, above all, the cross-country course offers such a nice blend of fields and trails, and the length of the course encourages horses to really gallop and get into that awesome rhythm that we all know and love.
All photos of the blue ribbon holders in this post are courtesy of Joan Davis at Flatlandsfoto. Thank you to King Oak, the secretary, fence judges, volunteers, judges and anyone who helped make the event a huge success. What a fabulous event, and I cannot wait to compete there again.
And, as always, EN’s good friend Thehorsepesterer has a full playlist of videos up on his YouTube Channel. Click here to see the full playlist, and check out Susan Berrill and Young Man on the Preliminary cross-country course in the video below. Go King Oak!