MGAA Mid-Atlantic Mounted Games Series #4

This past weekend was the forth installment of the Mounted Games Across America (MGAA) Mid-Atlantic Series.  It was a two day competition held in Centre Hall, PA at the Grange Fairgrounds near State College.

I drove up Friday and arrived in the mid afternoon.  I had plenty of time to set up my stall and camp area and then I took Simon out for a nice hack.  It was very enjoyable to be joined by some of my favorite non team members, Nancy, Kim and Kelsey.  This early arrival hack really does a lot for both me and Simon.  It loosens us both up and gets some of the gusto out.

This weekend we were lucky enough to have Genevieve ride with us.  She usually riders on a different team in a different division but stepped up to ride with us when we sadly lost teammate Zoe to a job (she is a pony rider at Charlestown Race Track).  Gen fit in great, and was an amazing asset to our team.  She usually takes photos of us, but friend, Annie, stepped in for her and did a great job.

Me and Gen hanging in the hold area.

Normally our division rides first in the schedule, but this weekend the schedule was flip flopped and we rode last.  So we got to sleep in a bit, take our time feeding and cleaning our ponies up, and working our assistant referee and ring crew shifts.  We rode our first session at lunch time, which seemed really weird.  I was so off schedule that I ended up tacking up way too early.

Simon not wanting to canter in 3 mug race.

But even with all the warm up Simon was still a little awkward in the first session, which is typical of him.  Not bad, just not as dependable and consistent as I would like.  I was way off though.  I made several sloppy mistakes and cost my team some points.  I knocked my bottle off the barrel in bottle shuttle race, I took more than one attempt to scoop my litter in the litter race and I dropped my tool box off the barrel in toolbox race.  My three mug was abysmal too, but that blame goes on Simon who didn’t want to canter!

Successfully dropping off a carton in the Association Race.

I was extremely discouraged leaving the ring.  Linda tried to reassure me and explained her theory that I am so busy actively pushing Simon on, that I am not able to concentrate on my skills.

A clean drop of the sock into the bucket in the Socks and Bucket race.

Our second session on Saturday ran into the dark, under the lights.  I kept Linda’s suggestion in mind and stopped putting as much effort into pushing Simon on when I had a skill to perform.  Either that worked out, or I was just back ‘on’ because my session went a lot better.  I did have some issues seeing at the beginning of the session because it was dusk but it got better as full dark came on.  In particular I had trouble seeing the flag cone hole, but I managed.

Some of the friendly faces enjoying the camp fire.

We finished late.  Linda and Joy prepared a quick but fantastic meal and then we all enjoyed some company around the fire.  There was a little smores roasting, lots of laughing and a game of clue.

a game of Clue

We woke up to a light rain, and packed up what we could before getting ready for our work shifts.  We were all assigned to the Masters A final, which was, as always, an amazing display of rider and pony skill. I am continually awed to see these teams go head to head.  They are so fast and so fearless.

Linda and Kim riding in the near dark of the second session

We went in the ring for our final and played a hard game.  We had some hand off issues and there were a few oops errors across the team, but all in all it was a fantastic final session for team Old School.  I was very happy with my performance and Simon was there for me.  The other teams were also fantastic and the competition was fun and challenging.  In the end Time Flies got us by 10 points to take the blue.  We got second, ten points ahead of Red Solo Cup and the Black and Blue Crew held 4th.

Team Old School
Linda, Genevieve, Krista, Kim and Carol Ann

Genevieve and Annie of Equistar Photography took all of the riding photos in this blog post.  Thank you guys for letting me use your fantastic work!

Its a lot harder to pick up and put down one of these brush boxes while moving at speed than you might think.
Masters rider: Jenn

Look, Simon has all his feet off the ground. He must have broke into an actual gallop! Go Simon!

Masters rider
He accidentally pulled his whole bridle off in the middle of a race while fumbling a little during a moving dismount. He got it back on and continued on incredibly quick.

Genevieve, Kim and Linda waiting for the next race.

Preparing to drop our litter off in the Litter Race

Masters rider dropping her carton off in the bucket. I love this photo, and I think the pony is pretty cool too.

Kim smiling as always, and Matt from team, Red Solo cup, preparing for the start of the Joust Race.

Masters rider; Annie making a clean dunk in the Socks and Bucket Race.

Masters rider: Alicia
I love the combination of her and her pony. They look like a fantastic match and are really enjoyable to watch.

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