Monday, March 3, 2014

Gigi and Rio Report on Their First Competitive Weekend in Florida!

Since arriving in Ocala on February 15, Rio has been stabled at Kim Kojima's lovely eventing facility, on Route 326, minutes from Longwood Farm South.  We have thoroughly enjoyed the (somewhat sporadic) Florida warmth and sunshine!  Many thanks to Kim, David Zeigler, and Steph Cauffman for tending to Rio while at her farm!

Missy, Gigi and Rio
Our first show this past weekend was outside Gainesville, about an hour from the farm in Ocala. We rode the Team dressage test on Saturday, scoring a 70, with moments of brilliance and also areas leaving room for improvement. As I was the last horse of the day, we seized the opportunity to video the movements in my freestyle test to be set to music from "The King and I".

We returned to the same venue on Sunday morning for an chilly 8 o'clock ride, and at 46 degrees, Rio had frost on the tips of her ears!  Regardless of the cold, she impressed me with her show manners and was so much fun to ride! Normally, she tends to be lazy, but on this chilly morning she was very forward and exuberant.  I could hear Bruce Davidson's voice, from the old days, telling me to use my legs to contain her and her dressage test (71.5%) was brilliant!

I have been blessed with a great support network in my preparation for this trip to Florida.  This winter in Pennsylvania, a great foundation was laid by Jessica and Rachel Gross.  Upon arriving in Floricay, Missy's coaching has made all the difference in our final preparation for the show season! As well as riding Rio and teaching me, she has enlisted her expert team consisting of Stacey Kent DVM, Saddle Fitter Bruce Close, Blacksmith Todd Meister, all of whom have pulled together to make us truly competitive! Elyse Fehr has been indispensable as a groom and Brian, my husband, has videoed every ride as well as provided all that unconditional support.

We have another practice show next weekend in Ocala before traveling to Wellington on March 11th for the Adequan Global Dressage Festival and CPEDI 3*, a qualifying competition for the World Equestrian Games in Normandy in August.

Video of this past weekend's competition is stay tuned!!  ~ Gigi

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