Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Post Event Competitor Letter

The Stone Gate Farm post event competitor letter and a great video are posted on the Competitors Corner

Monday, September 26, 2011

Stone Gate Farm & the Area VIII Novice and Beginner Novice Championships Wrap Up Report

Kerrigan Baird & Mister Remington - Novice Champions
Wow, there must have been a lot of people praying to the 'weather gods' because we were suppose to have some rain all weekend long but ended up only having rain on Fri which watered the rings and made for perfect footing for cross country.   From what I hear we dodged a bullet as there was some pretty heavy rain not far from us early Sun morning and some rain and thunder a couple of hours after everyone had left.  But I think after the deluge that caused the cancellation of cross country in the spring; we deserved a nice weekend! The mix of sun and clouds all weekend and above normal temps on Sun were welcome by competitors and volunteers alike. Some some of our volunteers were sporting a fresh sun burn by the end of the day ;)

So enough about the weather, on to the competition.  There were 131 entries (which is about the most we can comfortable handle) hailing from KY, IN, MI, PA, NY, WV and of course OH.  Many of the competitors who came for the championship divisions had never been to Stone Gate before.  We hope they enjoyed themselves and will come back again even when we're not hosting the Championships.

New Sail Boats -  by Laura & Kevin
The championship levels saw some different, more challenging questions than the open divisions on cross country and had a different show jumping track than the open divisions.  All divisions did their Show Jumping on Sat and due to the slopping grass and slightly slippery (due to the rain on Fri) Show Jumping area riders really needed to ride positively forward in balance and rhythm.  Those who did were rewarded with clean rounds and those who didn't ended up with some penalties.  Additionally those who chose the 'scenic route' received time penalties. Although some of the standings were shuffled around after show jumping; the courses were educational for both horses and riders.

View of the Water jump from the Announcer's tower
View of the Show Jumping area and the back side of the Cross Country Course
For the most part the cross country rode really well for majority of the competitors but some of the Novice Championship competitors had problems coming down the hill to the Round Top a few strides before the water. Kerrigan Baids and Mister Remington had no problems and lead from beginning to end to become the Area VIII Novice Champions.   The Beginner Novice Championship riders didn't have problems cross country but the faster speed cross and the show jumping did shuffle the standings a bit.  Karen Berger and Lindor HB who moved into first place after Show Jumping had a clean round cross country to end up the winner of the Area VIII Beginner Novice Championships.  In addition to the lovely ribbons and awards through third place, riders who placed 1st - 5th shared in more than $700 in prize money.  In addition to the normsl awards; SGF wanted to recognize those riders who continue to compete in the sport of eventing in their senior years and to encourage the up and coming riders by presenting the youngest and the most senior riders who completed the Championship divisions with a gift certificates for a photo from Brant Gamma. Kerrigan, at 15 years was the youngest in the Novice Championships while 11 year old Helen Claire McNaulty riding her adorable 13.2 Cowboy Freckles was the youngest competitor in the Beginner Novice Championships.  The senior winners are Marianne deBarbadillo riding Myers Wonder and Lowelle Messner on Tessie's Bright Star in the Novice and Beginner Novice divisions.  We will be polite and not mention their ages, but I will say that Lowell and I are the same age ;)  We did give a best score award to the riders who are over 50 in the Novice & Beginner Novice divisions and tho winners were Sue Hines and Jan Hoover.

The biggest winner of the weekend undoubtedly was Sue Hines who won on three of her four horses and second on the fourth; finishing on her dressage score on all four horses! She won the Beginner Novice on 
Jana Tuckerman's Taconite Mike, was second in Training B on Brigette Colloca's Shoshone.  But the most impressive win(s) were in the Preliminary division when she tied for first with both Corporate Crash & Flying Four Shoes.  Talk about being consistent ...not only did they have the same dressage score and clean  jumping rounds but they had exactly the same time on both Cross Country AND Show Jumping!!!  Unbelievable...good thing I had extra awards ;)  Full results can be found at Start Box.

Kyle keeping track of horses on course and the HAM Radio operators
On a personal note; I think this was the most relaxed I have ever been during any event we have run over the last 27 years. I actually was able to watch a lot and enjoy myself.   It was disappointing that neither of my boys rode but made the stress level much lower not to mention I put them to work!!  I must say that having Kyle home to help with the ALL the prep work and having him to bounce ideas off of was invaluable.  It took a huge load off of me to have him serve as the Safety Coordinator as well.  With his recent training as a Technical Delegate and obviously knowing the farm so well he was a perfect fit for the job. The addition of the HAM radio operators also took a big load off of me.  No worries about radios not working, someone hitting their call button, transmissions getting walked over etc. etc.  They were very professional and  did a fabulous job.  I think all the radio operators enjoyed themselves and plan on coming back next year. 

I hope you have enjoyed this report and if you have any pictures or stories to share we would love to hear from you. As always we just want people to come and enjoy our farm (we think it's kind of pretty) and all of our hard work.  If we have done that, and no one gets hurt, we consider that a successful event.  Many thanks to all of the volunteers and to the competitors who chose to come to SGF and of course to the horses who allow us to pursue such a fabulous sport!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Volunteer Schedule

The volunteer schedule for the Sept 24 - 25 Stone Gate Farm Horse trials is now available.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Keeping up with What's Happening at the SGF Horse Trials

Whether your a competitor, a friend or a family member of a competitor or you're just interested in keeping up with what's going on at the Gate Farm Horse Trials Sept 24 - 25; check out the helpful links on the Competitors Corner  for checking scores and receiving text messages. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Who would have thought that all the rain at the Winona Horse Trials this spring would turn out to be a good thing?  After moving the entire show jumping course from the grass to the sand dressage rings; (so we could safely compete) my husband finally understood why we needed an all weather surface show jumping arena. When we sold Kevin's horse Tintin he was the one who suggested putting the money towards building a show jumping area. After unsuccessfully trying to buy 2 acres from the neighbor next to the stabling area we decided to build in it the newest field where we will be having cross country warm up for the upcoming event which is just to the south of the stabling barns.  Ironically Dave always called that field the new stadium area but I told him it would never work unless it was level and an all weather surface.  He always said that would never happen because it would be too big of a project and cost too much.  Well it's still a big project and it's going to cost a lot but Dave has decided he's up for the challenge and will do most the work himself!

It is going to take some major excavation and building yet another pond to get fill dirt but the plan is to have an all weather arena that is at least 250' x 150' with a grass warm up next to it which will be approximately 130' x 250'.  Since we will be doing major excavating anyway, there are plans for banks, a ditch and maybe a small water jump so we can use the entire area for a Jumping Derby!

In order to help raise additional funds to build the stadium & derby field we are hosting a Jumper show and Cross Country Pace competition on Sat Oct 15th.  Come join us for some fun while getting good practice with your show jumping and cross country pace.

Stay tuned for updates, complete with pictures of course.  We'll be starting sometime in Oct.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dave's Big Idea - Part 1

Well it all started with me saying that I would like 2 small buildings for the dressage & show jumping warm ups because the tents keep blowing away and getting destroyed.  Nothing elaborate something like those at Chatt Hills.  Then I also requested a building where we had the big tent that we had this spring near the stabling and dressage rings.  Well on the first one he said that he didn't have time before the event to build them and on the second one he said we couldn't put up that big of a permanent building because it would add to our property taxes.  I said fine; I would rent a tent again.

Well I come home from officiating an event and Dave says he has an 'idea'.  I always get a little nervous when I hear those words. He said he saw something in the Farm Show paper (a newspaper where a bunch of farmers show what they have made out of things they or someone else don't need or want anymore) and he had the perfect idea for making the buildings that I wanted.  I can hardly wait. ..  but first he had to see if Van Scoy's old grain bin was still available.  Well it was and the 'big idea' began to take shape  I still wasn't thrilled with the idea, but once Dave sets his mind to something there is no stopping him.  Besides that, it was this or nothing. 

Removing the top of the grain bin
So while I was away officiating again Dave and Kyle unbolted the grain bin from its cement base and when I got home I was the lucky one to go with him as the excavator loaded it on the trailer.  Easier said than  done and without the base of the grain bin the 15' in diameter top just flopped down over the sides of the trailer.  Dave managed to find some boards to put under it for a little more support.  I led the 6.5 miles home on winding roads and warning any oncoming cars that there was a WIDE load ahead.  Somehow we managed to get it home and moved it to the hay wagon so we could go back the next day for the rest which I was told 'would go better' because it is much stiffer corrugated metal.

The top hanging off the sides of the trailer
So the next day we go back without an escort car because the actual bin will  be much more rigid and won't be hanging off the sides of the trailer.  So while Dave was cutting it in half I was busy unbolting the door.  Dave was happy because it was cutting fairly well and he didn't need all five of the cutting blades that he bought for the project. When he was almost done cutting he got the man to come over with the excavator.  I won't bore you with the details, but the corrugated metal was NOT much stiffer than the roof and things rapidly began to deteriorate  Let's just say we needed the escort vehicle as the bin did not go onto the trailer as planned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             At one point I said that we would be further ahead selling it for scrap.  Well that was not well received; after all Dave had just paid a fair chunk of change to get all this metal loaded on the trailer and now he considered it a challenge to try to make this all work.  I knew I was doomed and had no other choice than to go along and hope it would turn out.  The Van Scoys found it all a bit entertaining to say the least.

So once it was home Dave got busy building a frame for one of the two buildings  made from the sides of the bin.  It was a plan as you go sort of thing and do as your told and don't ask questions ;)  It took a little doing, but putting the metal back up actually went better than taking it down and hauling it home.

Again I won't bore you with the details of building the structure.  I'll let you use your imagination as you look at the some of the pictures. I had some interesting captions but they really weren't fit to print ;)

So after a little time we have some semblance of a shelter that measures 15' long by 11' deep.  Not as big as the tent and a bit too large for the dressage warm up. We added two rows of bleacher seats (my idea which originally wasn't well received) and there is room for 2 tables and chairs or just more chairs.  Believe it or not there is seating for about 25 people. We're in the process of building a second one and now that Dave has already built one the second one will go a lot faster.  One will be placed where the tent was this spring near the stabling area and dressage rings and the other one is going down by the show jumping. Although they aren't quite what I had envisioned; I think they will be very useful shelters. Let's hope we'll need them as protection from the brilliant sunshine and not the R*&%.

Next up... the gazebo type structure using he roof from the grain bin.  Stay tuned for Part II of "Dave's Big Idea"