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!


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