This week at Spruce was the Prix de Nations. I was riding for the NorCal team. There are four members on the team but we were one short so we adopted a SoCal person for the day. It was a good thing too 'cause she was one of the top riders for our team. The top four teams come back, do the course again, then jump off.Walking the course for the 1.30 meter Prix de Nation in Spruce Meadows Meadows on the Green felt intimidating, yet exhilarating. The first jump was a yellow triple bar. After two more fences making you do a U-turn you came upon this red triple combination made up of rails with white horizontal stripes that looked like a sea of rails. Then you jumped a white wall that was so bright it you needed sun glasses. If that didn't seem like enough optical illusions there was a green and yellow one stride with green boxes set on the outside under the first element and then green boxes set together in the middle in the second element. You couldn't tell where the bottom was.
There were 17 teams on at the 1.30 level. I went 11th, being the lead rider for the team. I had two rails, but considering the first rider stopped out, meaning she was eliminated and the second rider had 3 rails and no one had gone clean, I was still proud. The other members of my team did okay. One girl stopped out herself, but the other two, the SoCal one included, went clean. With the eliminated score dropped we had 8 faults.
The exciting part was waiting for the scores. Each team would go and we would count up their totals. Until the bitter end were in the top four. I ran back to the barn to pull a sleeping Stella out of her stall to get up to the ring. As Stella and I walk up to the ring I see Lindsay holding a 6th place ribbon. We just missed the final 4. As I walk back to the barn the adrenaline leaves my body. After counting faults and cheering and watching with baited breath and waiting, I wonder if I had it in me, if we, if the team could go and do it all again. If we did, would we be able to fix out mistakes without losing the challenging parts we did so well?
Here we are, the whole NorCal team. All the teams, meter 1.10, 1.20 and 1.30 placed in the top 6 teams. Go Girls! These are our sponsor jackets. We got jackets, hunt coats, hats, tank tops, saddle pads, and ear covers for the horses. Thanks, it was a good time had by all!
Here's where you can see some pictures from the first week.