Eastern Classic Individuals – 2014

September 4, 2014

Labor Day Sunday was the first Eastern Classic, held in Mt Airy, Maryland at Taylormade Stables.  Mackenzie and Jordan hosted this individual competition, and offered Intermediate, Masters and Fossils divisions.   It had been a good month since the last games competition and I was eager to get myself out. 

Although it was not really a ridiculously hot day for a typical August, we have been treated to particularly mild temperatures this year, and this day turned out of the one of the hottest of the year.  It was also excessively humid and sunny.  I left my house before the sun was up, and was already soaked through my tank top, with sweat rolling down my face.  And once I got riding, the weather really zapped me.  I think this was true for everyone, and we all panted through each session. 

My skills were also very off.  I did not push for speed, and still I made an excessive amount of sloppy mistakes.  A few I can contribute to my back being tight (missing a dunk in carton and my picks in both runs through bottle).  But I also dropped a mug, missed a flag pull (seriously, sloppy), I am sure a few others I am forgetting.  I also was having particularly trouble mounting still.  I am getting right to the top, and that last little pull to help my leg round the saddle is when my back hits the too tight point.  I also think I am a little nervous about Poe moving, and then being at the no -returns point and having another fall. Luckily I was allowed to have a few butt-pushes to help me. 

I was particularly happy with my 3 mug.  Poe was really feeling that race.  We rounded with nice smooth turns and just rolled on through the race.  My association also felt respectable.  Its become one of my favorite races over the past year, and Poe really seems to enjoy it as well.  He is also pleasantly content to make a return in individual play for a second pickup, and is not bulky to go back up like some more experienced games ponies are.  Amazingly I was also a little bit pleased with my ride and run (ie. run and ride).  I know that sounds completely irrational coming from me, and I was by no means fast, but I felt like it came just the slightest bit easier for me than the last time I ran that race. 

We ran three heats, and as sometimes happens, the finishes came down to the very last race.  Matt took the lead, closely followed by Zoe.  and let me mention, Zoe just keeps getting more and more in tune with her pony.  This pair is one to watch!  I overtook Jennie in the last race.  Sarah, still not cleared to ride from her injury at MGAA Nationals, but who still came out and had fun on Simon (deemed a “safe ride”) followed us up. 

It was an awesome competition, as they all seem to be.  I was really impressed with Jennie, who has been away from the sport for years, and was on her event and dressage pony, Emmy, playing real games for the fist time.  Emmy gave her a buck off the start line in the first session, but otherwise seemed to really get into it.  I know she edged ahead of me in a foot race back to the A line in one race at least.  I am hoping to see more of this pair.  And Matt, who always rides like a champ brought no surprise.  He is one of those riders that you know is kicking butt, and he manages to do it in an easy laid back manner, like, ‘it ain’t no thang”.   And he was sporting the Maryland proud shirt and socks.  Woot Woot Maryland!

I enjoyed watching the masters and intermediate divisions.  Mack brought out two of her new rides.  A cute chestnut, and the dark bay (almost black) was gor-geous.  Bella continued to impress me, as she has for this whole season.  Her and Misty make a good match and her accuracy at speed has really stepped up this year.  I also took note that Aidan has been practicing with his mare.  I would expect no less from this kid, who seems to put his all into everything he does.  His turns really struck me.  That pony can sit and turn.  Which caused him a touch of issue with his barrel end turns, he really needs to set her up just right.  Which he did most of the time.  His turns really stood out in 3 mug.  I think he is going to be a big name as he continues to practice and mature and he continues to gel with his pony.  That’s just to mention a few of the riders that particularly stuck out at me this weekend.  Not that everyone else wasn’t equally as fabulous. 

Afterward, Zoe and I stopped for a quick, free (compliments of MGAAA nationals), dinner at Chipotle and hit up Stablemates.  I have to say I was disappointed in Stablemates selection.  But that is a whole other post.

Some of the photos are by me and some are by Jill!

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