Piedmont Jumper Classic 2019

We came, we saw, we jumped! After much of a spring and summer spent dabbling in the other rings, we spent our whole weekend chasing time and rails.

The short version in case you’re in a rush: I am proud almost to the point of tears with the Frankfurter. He was beyond professional in a big ring and packed my rusty butt around the Lows with those cheerful ears hunting down the jumps, including some delightful inside turns. Best Boy Francis is very much Best Boy and he earned us the ribbons to prove it.

For those of you not in the area, this show is held on the same showgrounds as Upperville and Loudoun Benefit, but only on the jumper side. The way the schedule ran meant all my classes went in the main ring over there – which you may remember as the class Frankie and I were in for our very first classes together as a team a few years ago. Despite returning to Upperville/Loudoun for several years since then, I’ve been in other rings. So this was actually the first time we’ve back in that giant ring since that very first show! Talk about a walk down memory lane.

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A little throwback to 2016 when I first saw my name in lights when we marched in that ring. Emotions!

Originally the plan was to go in and do a 0.90m as a warmup on Friday, see how that felt, then plan on doing the Low classes later that day and throughout the weekend.

Fate is funny though. Just like that first show back in 2016, the schedule got moved around fairly last minute so that the 0.90m ended up running in a different ring AFTER the Lows had already gone. So much like 2016, we ended up going straight into the Lows and saying “cool cool cool this is probably fine.” The parallels with that show really were kinda comical.

But no matter how similar, there were a few big major difference from that first show. Instead of it being the first 1.0m class for both of us, we now have several years under our belt competing even higher. Our confidence over this height is rock solid, our skill set over this height is solid, and nowadays Frankie really is a schoolmaster dream to pilot around the jumper ring. I know I say this all the time, but he’s just so. dang. good. at his job and it makes taking him around a downright pleasure.

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Big smiles all around with this excellent creature

Our first round on Friday was a mix – we ended up with 3 rails, but I’m actually extremely happy with the ride. Frankie was accurate, forward, and responsive. I don’t think either of us did anything really *wrong* to have those rails, I simply think he wasn’t expecting to have to do a full round at that height. It’s been a little while. Considering how long it’s been since we’ve gone around the jumper ring (6+ months) and how long it’s been since he’s had to compete over 3′ (14ish months), I was thrilled with how well he remembered the game.

Saturday was a speed round. In case you didn’t know, speed rounds are my FAVORITE OMG I LOVE THEM. It’s just you and the course, being as efficient and aggressive as possible to get. it. done. No phases, no separate jumpoffs. Just one round to go kill it.

And kill it we did. Francis was a STAR. He galloped up when I asked, he sat down when I needed him to, he helped me out when I gave a bit of an override, I helped him out when he needed some support to rebalance into a shorter line. He landed asking to turn and locked onto every jump. It was fantastic. We went early in the class to set the pace and held onto the lead for the blue ribbon.

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Have you ever seen a more handsome hunk?!?!!?
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The most handomest derp in all the land
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Our awesome kiddo won her High Children’s jumper class earlier that day, so it was a fantastic day for the barn!

Sunday was our stakes class with a jumpoff, which ended up getting combined with the Low Children’s. Frankie is always a bit tired on Sundays and needs a bit more support so my plan always accounts for that a bit. A surprising number of people that day were going clear in the first round but getting time faults, so I knew we couldn’t take our time at all. We certainly had to take turns helping each other out over such a long course but ultimately Frankie did pull out a clear round within time allowed!

Our jumpoff came up pretty fantastically – I swung way wider on a rollback than I had planned which ate up some unnecessary strides (around 0:32 in the video below), but we did a pretty killer inside turn (0:40ish) and a super fun slice (0:47ish) that I don’t think many people ended up doing.

Double clear and a speedy jumpoff were enough to clinch us 3rd behind two children, which also earned us champion in the division for the weekend!

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Frankie: “Why did you pull me out of my stall for this?? I cannot eat this?? Mahm??”

In a nutshell: Frankie was perfect, we had a total blast, and he is incredibly good at his job. I’m also very glad that we chose the division that we did – sticking with the 1m classes right now means that we can go in and build confidence while trying some of those tougher turns without overfacing ourselves. While I’d love to eventually get back into the bigger classes, this was 100% the right choice for where we are right now.

To close out, I’d like to share with you my new favorite photo ever taken of all time:

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I….I have no words.

And an obligatory nap pic:

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Cheers to a fantastic weekend of fun and jumps with the bestest horse to ever exist!

9 thoughts on “Piedmont Jumper Classic 2019

  1. Nadia 09/30/2019 / 11:00 am

    Congrats!! That sounds so fun! You really do have a unicorn!

    Like

  2. Emily 09/30/2019 / 11:34 am

    Frankie actually makes me want to jump those heights hahaha. He is such a big, bay unicorn. ❀

    Like

  3. carey 09/30/2019 / 1:10 pm

    A W E S O M E
    So pumped for you! Congrats!!!
    We’re headed to a show at the end of Oct, and I am debating between being competitive at the .90s or trying to move up to 1m for the whole weekend to start getting more experience in that height. I do think we can handle the 1m if we’re both fresh, and we’ll only be doing 1 class a day, so we should be. But I also think, we might have a chance to be in the top of the class if we stay in the .90s.

    Like

  4. Tracy 09/30/2019 / 1:32 pm

    Congrats on a GREAT show!!

    Like

  5. draftmare 09/30/2019 / 2:53 pm

    Woohoo! Congrats on a lovely show weekend!

    Like

  6. Austen 09/30/2019 / 5:13 pm

    Omg that photo is GENIUS πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Like

  7. Stacie Seidman 10/01/2019 / 1:52 pm

    That is also my new favorite picture of all time. Congrats on a great weekend! You guys have become such an incredible team!

    Like

  8. lauracoburn1111 10/03/2019 / 10:50 am

    Glad you had such a great show. And omg that photo at the end is gold! I totally want to print it out and put it up in my house or something! lol

    Like

  9. Genny - A Gift Horse Blog 10/04/2019 / 8:06 pm

    You guys are total goals! You look so at ease and happy out there! Congrats on such an awesome show πŸ™‚ You deserve it!

    Like

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