2014 Mid-Atlantic #4 – 9/27-28/14

October 6, 2014

The last weekend in September was the Mid-Atlantic #4 competition in Centre Hall, PA at the Grange Equestrian Center. Poe and I were geared up, and excited to compete on team Old School.

I felt pretty good going into the first session. Poe was a little fidgety, which I later attributed to him being itchy, but we rode pretty well. I made an uncharacteristic mistake, which was simple sloppiness on my part. In Tack Shop race, on the return, I placed the toolbox on the barrel, and did not have enough stick and follow through and it fell. Poe cooperated and I was able to complete a quick correction, remount and finish the race. I also had a hand off blunder, which was again, out of character. I started Balloon race, and was off center after a clean pop, but unable to get lined up for a smooth hand off, and had to circle back around. It was also very unusual for Poe to not respond to me and move his gallop into a handoff path. He was also extra fidgety after the race, and just felt irritated. I decided to attribute this error to his itchiness. Not that being itchy is an excuse. I should have ridden him better. As a team, there were a few more mistakes than usual, but not a bad session at all. We finished the session in fourth, well behind the top two teams.

The second session also went well. I felt like we were all more “on” as a team. I was extremely happy with Poe and myself. We started a lot of races, which Poe is starting to excel at. I do need to trust him more, and know that he is going to check up when I ask him to. Meaning, I need to ride to the end, then check up for my turn, or ride to the obstacle, then check up for my skill. I am asking for my check way too early, and since he is so responsive, we are losing ground there that we could be gaining. All in all a good session for the whole team, and we left the arena in third, with a large gap between us and the first two teams.

Saturday night was fun as usual. Zoe, Averi, Brenden and I enjoyed a pot luck dinner consisting of pot roast, those cookies that are glazed that we all love, and Zoe brought bacon wrapped stuff (dates, mushrooms and broccoli). Sooo good. We stopped by Camp; Carol Ann, Linda and Kim for some smores, and managed to fit in some more socializing with our other favorites, getting our chat on with Kathy, Janey, Nancy, Sissy, Whiplash, Matt and a whole bunch of others before hitting the hay.

Sunday we rolled into the final 15 races, feeling good. I did pull myself from quite a few races that I have not been performing my best in, keeping the team’s needs in mind.  Poe and I continued to start a lot of the races, and I felt like my trust in Poe’s checks was slightly better than the previous day. I had a close call on my sword ring pick up, but got lucky and it went clean. Ball and Cone was our nemesis and I completely killed the race. Poe would not stand when I leaned over, and would get too close to the cone. I finally managed to get it on but it rolled right on off. Lame. I hopped off and fixed it but then I could not get myself back on. Poe would not stand and I was quickly beginning to panic. Linda, who was just behind the A line behind me, reminded me what a good teammate she is. She called me to her side, and held Poe while I mounted up. It was quick thinking and a smart move on her part. She talked me off the panic wall while I climbed on, and I could feel my confidence steadying. It was one of those times, when riding with people that KNOW you, really pays off. I remounted, and finished the race, although I caused us to finishing second to last.

The rest of the session went well, for myself and for the team as a whole. We managed to hold our 3rd place spot (152pts), with no hope of catching up to the two top teams who had been battling it out all weekend, but we did accumulate a spread behind us. Time Flies managed to get the best of Border Patrol for first (211pts) with BP in second (205pts). Red Solo cup came in behind us (124pts), followed by Groppits (107pts), Antiques Roadshow (94pts) and Young and the Restless (90pts). TFs finished first or second in all but one race, Canadian, in the 3rd session! Border Patrol finished first or second in all but three of the 15 races. Old School managed to take first in two and second in two races. RSC is the only other team to finish first or second in a race in the final session, winning the Canadian Race.

I did not get to watch very much of the Intermediate division at this competition, although I usually enjoy seeing the riders stepping up their skills, and I will be sure to catch some of their ride this coming weekend at MA#5. Whiplash did manage to pull the win in the A final (62pts) after battling it out with Buck Wild all season long. Buck Wild finished second (54pts), followed by Wicked (43pts), Flying Squirrels (34pts), and Trouble (29pts).

The Masters A final was a good spectator sport as always.  Northern Heat, did not make the cut and were the winners of the B final. I enjoy watching that team and some of the rider pony combinations on it are really outstanding. Punk Rock Ponies was handicapped as a four man team, with Regan absent. The Calhoun sisters were riding hard, and as smooth to watch as always. Mack and Inky were looking good on Limitless, until Mack took a knock to the head in Ball and Cone. She was still spectacular, getting the hit in the head after placing her ball, and still managed a clean speedy pick up and handoff before being pulled from the rest of the session. Kelsey and Muffin are another pair that I love to watch. That pony eats the field with her stride and Kelsey has the skills to go with her. Jessie was on an older pony of hers, and not her usual ride. She rode well, although, not evident in other divisions, you could see the lack in this pony’s speed compared to the masters A field. Limitless pulled off the win (78pts) followed by Punk Rock Ponies (71pts), Adrenaline Rush was 10 points behind in third (61pts), followed by Crash (57pts) who won a tie breakers with Inception (57pts), Rush Hour (46.5pts) and Get Lucky (44.5pts).

As always an excellent competition. Only one more leg to the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Series, and my last ride on team Old School.

Photo creds: riding photos by Genevieve Arens of EquiStar Photography.
Except the Sword – Ring the Cone photo by Brenegan.
Announcer booth banner photo: Vassallo
Other camp pics: me :0)

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