Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Big Event - Day One

At last, after a year of working towards this one goal, we are at the USDF Region 8 Championships & NEDA Fall Festival of Dressage.

The 5 hour drive from central New Hampshire was easy and uneventful.   By 5pm Wednesday evening, Jeddien was settled into her stall on the showgrounds.   And after a couple hours of "nesting", organizing our tack stall, we checked into our hotel.

Today was our first day of competition, where we contested the first half of the 3rd Level Sweepstakes early this morning.   Putting in a performance that was obedient and close to the best Jeddien can do, we came 6th with a 63.333%.   Unlike some shows were the first test tends to be the throw away score, this start was much better.   So, I am happy with it.

The rest of the day, we ate, walked around, and spectated, watching a lot of PSG and Grand Prix rides in Ring One.   At one point, much to my surprise, I realized we were sitting near one of Germany's star dressage riders, Ulla Salzgeber.   Ulla is in the USA supporting her student, competitor Chris Hickey, who won the PSG Regional Open Championships this afternoon.   It was a pleasure to chat briefly with Ulla and even nicer to hear that her famous partner, Rusty, is well and enjoying his retirement.

Sitting above Ring One provided me with time to mentally ride through my 3rd Level Freestyle a few times, imagining how it will feel to ride Jeddien there on Sunday.   Should be great fun!   I'm really looking forward to it!

So, one full day done.   At this moment, I feel dusty, tired, and quite content.   In another hour, we'll go back to the showgrounds to tuck Jeddien in for the night, then head "home" to clean up and call it an early night.

Tomorrow, rain comes.   Not a problem for us.   We'll just pretend we're back in England.   :-)

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