Sunday, August 21, 2016

Back On Track Sends Gigi and Rio Rio to Rio In Comfort!

We are so grateful to Back on Track for making sure that Gigi and Rio and properly outfitted for their journey to Ocala, then Miami, then Rio!  It is a big mission to send Gigi and Rio (and Missy) on their way to Rio de Janiero, Brazil and Back on Track has stepped up to make sure they are comfortable while making this long trip.  We are so appreciative of their support of our Paralympic superstars!!

The use of the Back on Track sheet and the Quick Wraps will really help in keeping Rio's body and legs comfortable while in transit.  Although Rio is accustom to long trips for her competitions, it's still a lot to require of these animals when shipping so many miles. 

"Rio Rio and I are well equipped for the Road to Rio with our Back on Track Mesh sheet and Quick Wraps and  I am thoroughly enjoying the warm hug provided by my Double Back Brace!  Thank you so much, Bo and Lucy,  we are delighted to attest to the benefits of Back on Track's technology!"

Lucy and Bo sent us the following message regarding their support of Gigi and Rio, “Back on Track is delighted to stand behind Gigi McIntosh, while she rides at the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.”

Schedule For Rio:

8/27 - Rio and Missy are scheduled to leave Blue Hill Farm headed for Ocala
8/28 - Training Camp from August 28th - September 2nd 
9/3 -  Missy, the grooms and Dr. Duncan Peters (team vet) fly to Rio ahead of horses.
9/3 - Horses fly later that same day from Miami to Rio with the Canadian vet and grooms.
9/4th - Riders fly to Houston for "processing" with the other Para athletes, then onto Rio.
9/7 - Opening Ceremonies
Gigi and Rio compete on 9/12, 9/15 and 9/16!
9/19 - Horses fly to one week quarantine in Miami.
Missy and grooms fly back to Miami on the same day.
Athletes back to Houston on the 19th.
9/20 - Home, sweet home on the 20th!

Here's to wishing the entire US Paralympic Team the best of luck in Rio.  You will make us proud!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

What an unforgettable week at the NAJYRC's at the Colorado Horse Park!

Our in house YR superstar, Madeline Backus, reflects on her travels back home to Colorado and her experience of riding on the team for Area IX. 

"Many people asked me why I wanted to go back down to the 2* level to compete at the 2016 NAJYRC’s after Ari and I have completed a couple of 3*’s together. Competing at the 2* NAJYRC’s has been a goal of mine for as long as I remember, and I had the opportunity this year to represent Area IX. It was also great to be able to compete at the Colorado Horse Park again, which put on a great competition as usual. 

Area IX Young Riders

"I felt the courses were all very fair yet challenging enough to shift the standings after dressage.  I was actually quite pleased with my dressage test on Thursday, even though we didn’t quite show enough of what the judges wanted to see. I was still happy with Ari’s effort, as we all know she really just wanted to get on to the jumping phases!

"Friday was a rest day for the 2* riders as the 1* riders completed their dressage tests. My fellow Area IX 1* rider put in a nice test before moving onto the jumping phases. Area IX is very small, so this year we only had one rider on the 1* team, and one rider on the 2* team. However, we were blended  with other area teams so that we could still get the experience of competing on a team. I was combined with the Area V (Texas) team, which was really fun and I was able to get team experience at this level.

Area IX in Action - Credit Sportfot
"Going into cross country, Ari and I were sitting in 13th place with a score of 60.8. Cross country day was exciting, and Ari and I had a lot of fun out on the course. Unfortunately, we had the frangible pin on a down hill fence because Ari tapped it with her hind legs to slow herself as we descended down the hill. She hit it just hard enough to knock the frangible pin, adding 11 points to our otherwise clear cross country round. Still, she was fantastic as usual on course, and recovered well and ready for show jumping the next day.

"Sunday went really well, and Ari jumped wonderfully, not adding any points to our score, which moved us up to 8th place individually. It was really cool to be on a team with two other great riders. As the only 3 person team, we still were able to take home the gold, which was very special.

Team Gold!

"It was such a memorable week, and I am so grateful for all the help and support I received from my grooms, parents, coaches, and friends. It was great to spend a couple of weeks prior to the NAJYRC’s back home at Pendragon Stud Equestrian Center, where I grew up and developed the solid foundation I needed before moving on to Blue Hill Farm.

"Being at Blue Hill Farm has helped me grow into the rider I am now, and getting to apply all the knowledge I have learned is an incredible experience. It was wonderful having Missy come out and help me through the week. We all had a great time, and it will forever be one of my favorite memories. "