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.

MGAA’s Mid-Atlantic Games #2

This past weekend team Old School competed in the MGAA Mid-Atlantic Games Series #2 in Centre Hall, PA at the Grange Equestrian Park. 

Dunking in the Old Sock Race.
Photo by Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

The competition had a pretty full roster with 10 intermediate teams, 13 masters teams, 1 green pony team (that rode during the fossil session) but only 3 fossil teams. 

We arrived Friday afternoon, got the ponies settled in and set up a massive camp that we shared with close to 20 friends.  I tried to get a good photo of the camp set up, but there was no angle that really showed the awesomeness. 

Placing the final mug in the Mug Shuffle Race
Photo by Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

Saturday morning after an outstanding camp breakfast prepared by teammate Linda, we started our first session at 8am.   We whipped through 11 races, when we had a scary pause, as green pony rider, Leah, had a mishap.  She turned too tight and set her pony off balance.  He fell, and landed with her under him.  It was scary, he just laid there with his legs up in the air like a turtle on its back, with Leah under him.  Luckily one of Leah’s teammates and an assistant referee were able to roll him off of her.  Also we were lucky an EMT was on grounds and able to check Leah out. 

Photo by Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

 As a team we rode pretty well.  We had a few mistakes throughout the session, perhaps a few more than ordinary.  I know I made a mistake, although exactly what has slipped my mind.  Oh darn, guess I can’t tell you about it.  The mistakes were enough to leave us 3 points behind Time Flies.  Like normal, they were our greatest competition.  Red Solo Cup, the other team in our division also held their own, only 5 points behind us leaving the spread; 28, 25, 19.  

That afternoon we rode our second session of 12 races.  We had a few mistakes but as a team we were a bit more on than the previous session.  I missed my ball pick up in High-Low and had to hop off to retrieve it.  It was an out of character mistake, reminding me that I need to practice this skill more frequently.  We tried a few different orders in a few races, and that seemed to shave off a few seconds here and there.  We left the ring one point ahead with 27, followed by Time Flies with 26 and finally Red Solo Cup with 19 points.  Of course that still leaves Time Flies in the lead since points from each session are combined, but whatever, we took that session, even if it was only by one point.  Got to take the glory where you can, right?

Photo by Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

With so many heats across all divisions, the final one of the day didn’t end until nearly dark.  After a quick potluck dinner and some perfectly roasted smores prepared by expert marshmallow toaster, Lucy, everyone turned in pretty early. 

Bottle Shuttle Race
Photo by Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

Our final session started at 8:30 Sunday morning and with us entering the ring only 2 points behind Time Flies.  Unfortunately we did not perform as expertly as necessary, myself included, making two mistakes, and Time Flies brought their A game for the 15 races.  They whooped us 42 to 27, with Red Solo Cupholding steady with 20 points for the session. 

Joust
Photo by Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

The total scores in the end were Time Flies taking the blue with 96 points, Old School in the red with 79 points and Red Solo Cup taking 3rdwith 58 points. 

Sword Race
Photo by Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

It was a fantastic weekend, and most of the races were finished with the three teams crossing the finish line just lengths apart.  Although all teams made their share of mistakes, as always, the fossil division ran relatively clean, with nearly any mistake taking a team completely out of the running for a first place finish.

Dunking
Photo by Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

Team Old School decided not to take part in MGAA Nationals this year which is being held in Batavia, Ohio.  This means we have a lengthy break with no multi day competitions until the end of July when we are hitting Charlestown, WV for the International Pairs competition.  We have already planned a few practices and some of us will be keeping our game on at the Nearsville, VA afternoon mini competitions, the Summer Sizzlers.

Photo by Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

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