Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Playing with the big kids

In Region 8, the regional championships take place at the biggest show of the year, the NEDA Fall Festival in Saugerties, NY.  This is the HITS grounds where they run all of the fancy h/j shows.  It's a massive event with 10 rings, breed show, vendors, a bar, VIP pavilion, the works.  It's like the shows you read about in the magazines.  I've never gone as it's a four hour drive and rather expensive and rather huge.

Seriously, this is just the description of the schedule policies
Since it's such a big to-do, I'm already working on the plan.  Prizelist, schedule, rings, and stabling were all posted recently, so I've been trying to piece together what's going to happen.  Entries open August 1st.  As a championship ride, I have priority entry from August 1 - 6.

The most important bit is that Regional Championship ride.  That is Thursday, the first day of the Festival, and they're expecting 37 people in the class so it runs pretty much all day.  YIKES. 

This is just for Thursday and just the 8 main rings.  I ride somewhere between 11:20am and 5:06pm

It's in one of the two rings that are being used for the championships, away from the FEI ring and the other five rings that are running most of the open and breed show.  I have to scoot between the boutiques and the vendors to get to my ring.  I get to school it all on Wednesday, but it will be quiet.  Rings 1, 2, and 3 will all be running championship classes when we go.  The only way to get into my ring with the show in full swing (bleachers in use and the vendors running) is to enter the one class running in the ring before the championship.  First 3.

I'm in Ring 3 for the championship ride, note the VIP pavilion, vendors, bleachers, and breed show ring

So I guess we're doing First 3 this season.  HA. 

Seriously, it's going to be a lot of atmosphere, I need to get in there once and deal with anything Theo throws at me.  I can get through a First 3 test, it just won't be a fantastic score.  Especially considering everyone else doing the class is going to be people that qualified for the First level championship getting in a last minute tune up before their rides the next day.  We're going to get butchered, but at least we'll get a chance for Theo to see the bleachers with people on them and the vendors in full swing before we have that all important championship ride.

I'm currently predicting we get a 66% for Training and land smack dab in the middle of the pack, assuming he doesn't blow his top in the chaos.  We've been consistently landing smack dab in the middle on most of our rides with occasional breaks into the top percentage.

The junior championship is on Sunday, so if my co-pilot is attending, we'll be there the whole weekend.  She hasn't qualified, but she has one more shot in August.  It's all up in the air.  Miss Thang has been throwing fits at the shows and making it very difficult for her.  If the copilot isn't coming, I'm done on Thursday.  I'm going to enter a class on Friday morning because I drove 4 hours and have a stall all weekend, I might as well.  I'll run First 3 again and hope that between the two runs, one of them is a 60% and I'll have my score for freestyle.  We're considering hanging out to watch on Saturday before we take off for home, catch some of the Grand Prix and freestyle. 

I've also booked my hotel, signed up for the videographer, and started reviewing the extra rules for a level 5 competition.  No whip in the championship ride, no one can ride my horse but me at the show until after the championship,  I'll need a health certificate and full shot records to get my horse on the grounds, etc.  It's a lot of fiddly little details that need to be nailed down and planned out.

It's just now dawning on me what I'm going to be doing in September.  Wow.  What have I done?


  1. That all sounds a little overwhelming, but mostly so exciting. It insane at big venues like that, but there's just nothing like that atmosphere either. I love it, and I wish we could be around that more often.

  2. Good luck! I'm overwhelmed just reading about it. Hopefully Miss Thang can get her thangs together and your copilot will attend too. :)