Tuesday, September 6, 2011
After a very successful weekend at the Carolina Horse Park, I would have to say that I’m feeling very good about my plans for the rest of the fall season.
I had a very successful return to the Advanced level with Ollie, finishing 2nd after adding just one rail to our competitive dressage score. Obviously, after making a mistake and popping off at Richland, I was bound and determined to make things go well at Five Points. Tremaine Cooper certainly gave us enough to do on the 7:17sec Advanced track, but that was just how I wanted it. One of the reasons that I made the 6 hour hike to Raeford, NC was because I knew the track would be awesome and it didn’t leave me wanting more!!
The offset houses out of the barn, two tough coffin complexes and several other combinations that made you ride forward and stick to your guns was exactly what I needed to rebuild my confidence at this level. I rode with a purpose and Ollie stepped right up to the plate and rocked around like a champ.
Little miss Vienna completed her second Training level event in style, shaving 9 points off her last dressage test and adding just one tired-pony rail to her score. She is so brave cross country, which makes my job easy. I am focusing on getting the ride right for an even better dressage test with this mare in the future. She has all the pieces, but she’s definitely a challenge!! She finished 8th in a large, competitive division and I couldn’t be more pleased.
Now, back to rainy Virginia ( yayyy for the footing… boo for the fact that I just bought two cans of camp dry for every thing I own)
Wishing everyone luck at the American Championships in Georgia this weekend, and looking forward to a few weeks of dressage and fitness work on the nice squishy ground!!
Saturday, September 3, 2011
It’s been an eventful couple of weeks since I touched down in Prague. With the World Cup Final, a trip to the 2011 Sprint Canoe World Championships, and now training full-on here in Bratislava, there really hasn’t been a stop.
The World Cup Final in Prague didn’t go as well as hoped. As I have referenced a number of times, with the amount of time I have spent training and living there, Prague is like my European home course. I was looking to better my performance from last year’s World Cup, and after a strong couple of runs in the qualifier, I was feeling on form. I was off to a strong start in the semi-final, and was fastest at the midway split, however, I took a touch in the lower section of the course that not only added two-seconds to my run, but slowed me down as I became a little more passive to avoid touching another gate. In Prague, if you are fast enough, you can get away with one-touch....but two-touches, forget it (unless your Vavrinc Hradliek, or Matuesz Polaczyk). Anyways, I ended up 13th, and as you can imagine was a bit disappointed. As this was the World Cup Final, I ended up ranked 12th on the overall World Cup.
Following Prague, the team headed south to Bratislava, Slovakia, where we are now based, and will be through to the World Championships. Seeing that this will be the site for our World Champs in September, getting as much training on the course here will certainly be advantageous. Training is going well, the beauty with Bratislava, there is always something new to learn, which keeps it fresh here. We can also tell that the Worlds are quickly coming. Everyday something new is being built at the course. I am getting excited to race.
This past weekend, coach Michal and I ventured further south to Szeged, Hungary to watch my all of my friends race in the 2011 Sprint Canoe World Championships. I have never been to a Sprint race before, and since Hungary is the epi-center of Sprint Canoeing, I figured why not! We were not disappointed. As most of you know, Adam VanKoeverdan dusted the competition in the K1-M 1000M final. It was inspiring to watch....and let me tell you, it was no fluke. I don’t know any other athlete who trains as hard as Adam does, and to see the hard work pay off, again, reassured my belief that hard work does pay dividends.