2018 UK Trip – Day 3

June 16, 2018

Today has been a busy day.

The team has been leading and ring crewing for Musketeers. Emma has been coaching and reffing. And I have been reffing and announcing. Note – announcing is not my strong point. Especially when you do not know the teams or riders. I called poor Grace and Lilli our about a hundred times and several others by “that cute roan”, and “that naughty gray pony”. Although I did explain that I only knew their names. They made me a cheat sheet, which did help but I think I still mixed the teams up a little bit.

Video of walking through camp this morning.

Its very different how they do their set up at competitions over here. I always marvel at it and it’s really hard to explain. Most people camp out and put their ponies in portable paddocks. So some venues become a maze of paddocks, vehicles, and tents. The stables were basically empty. Actually I didn’t see any ponies in any of them.

Chillin.

Emma reffing the Musketeers.

Emma being awesome.

View from the commentator box looking back over the camping.

Check out the schedule for today. They still played ten races a heat. The change over time between races took about the same amount of time as ours, maybe a bit longer. Riders went to the other end of the ring after the whistle, although generally at a trot, without being prompted for the most part. In the whole day they only got 30 minutes behind. This was attributed to the musketeers taking so long and the wind blowing equipment over and having to be restarted a few times.

The big time saver here is they do not have to repaint lines on grass. On all-weather footing we have to redo lines every heat.

The other big time saver is no briefing. They come in and the heat rolls on. The riders know the rules and don’t expect the ref to go over the race list with them. Although I like a briefing for our Novice division, I feel like our Open and O25 should know the rules and be responsible enough to look at the race list before going in the ring. Maybe this is something for our Rulebook Committee to discuss.

They do not do a warm up race, which does eat up a few minutes, but not that much all said and done. And they do get to ride on nearly the exact same footing right next to the ring in the warm up area. So it’s not surprising. And if the footing is different they are usually permitted to run up and back to feel it out. Which is essentially a warm up race. I do get frustrated as a rider and as a ref when we have riders taking advantage and going out twice or taking yet another hand off and going half way up the lane. The warm up race is not intended to be your actual warm up. It’s intended to feel the footing and your referees starts. It’s a carry over from pony club that’s gotten a bit sloppy and perhaps it also needs some clean up discussion by the RBC?

Anyway. Some play and practice thoughts. I am always looking at ways for us to improve and look into other processes and practices and how or if they would work for us.

Goof balls being goof balls.

Emma coaching Jane on Lacey.

This is our little home for the trip. It’s actually rather comfy. And really convenient. We will have to give you a tour of it in a different post. It’s a bit of a mess at the moment. Like 7 people’s belongings exploded in it. Which is almost exactly what happened.

We are having dinner in the venue. It’s a nice meal. Of course the “pudding” (aka dessert) is my favorite part.

Check this master piece out. Triffle with, I believe, a ground cherry on top. Amazing.

And this one Sadie got. Fenya tried the cheese cake. It also looked fantastic.

I talked a little about the venue last night. It’s a western facility. Really nice. It has a little shop, which is closed, very nice bathrooms with outstanding water pressure in the showers (kills my home’s water pressure). And a lovely indoor. It has an interesting smell that I think comes from the footing and wood the indoor is built out of (at least that’s my guess). It’s sort of a sweet peppery smell. It’s rather strong, but not at all offensive.

Some hang out time with Mel and Andrew and friends (who forced me to eat wonderful wonderful British bacon. How evil of them).

The team played with the kids. I think they all wore each other out.

video of all the riders playing.

After this photos I got a pile of hugs. Grace and Lilli have really come out of their shells this year. Grace stopped me two times today just walking along to say hello and told me how she did riding. And tonight she told me she made the A final. Last year she would have been too shy. They both even waved when I called their names over the PA from the commentator box. I hope I didn’t embarrass them, but Grace has really come so far since last year. I think growing taller helped, because she was good skill wise last year, and had a good seat already, but she was flying out there today! And Lilli too. That little peanut is more confident and just, more, grown up! I suppose a year does that. And Holly told me she cantered for the first time on her own today. How awesome! I’ll have to pay more attention tomorrow so I can check her out. They are all such cool kids.

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