Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Isaac Royal USDF Dressage Show - July 8, 9, 10, 2011

I had a great weekend at Isaac Royal Farm in Dover-Foxcroft, ME.  They run a nice USEF/USDF dressage show, with gorgeous grounds, an outside shed row stabling (good for Dreamy's breathing issues!), and nice volunteers.  We rode three days and Dreamy was super tired by Sunday!  I stayed in a local motel, which was a change from the last two years where I slept in my trailer at this show.  I really wanted a bed and shower this year!!!  LOL!

We rode Training 3 and First 1 all weekend.  We had to ride them out of order again, which I have decided I don't like to do.  I am sure it is just a mental thing on my part, but I rather like riding the "easier" test first as a warm up and then doing the "harder" test.  Oh well.  ;-p  I am writing this over a month later, so I cannot remember many details. 


Friday
First 1 - 62.759%
Comments included "A pleasant horse who has talent."  Lots of 7s, 6s, and an 8 on the free walk.  Scored our first 7 on the first trot lengthening.  This judge (NL) LOVED us all weekend.  We placed first out of two.


Training 3 - 58.400%
We had two judges for this test.  DR loved us again, all 7s and 6s and an 8 on the free walk.  However the other judge (DR) did NOT like us at all and scored us quite harsh.  All 6s and 5s with a few 4s on the canters.  Still an 8 on the freewalk though!  LOL!  I was surprised but what can you do.  It was weird to have the two judges score us so differently (only a two points difference, but still odd).  We scored 8th out of nine riders.  They place out to 8th, so we got an interesting brown ribbon!  LOL!

Saturday
First 1 - 58.965%
Again the two judges DR and NL.  Again VERY different scores.  NL was a 61.734% and DR was a 56.2075!!!  Over a five point difference seems crazy!  I hate when judges are so different.  It was seriously like they were watching different tests.  When you compare the two sheets side by side, nothing matches even closely.  We placed 2nd out of three riders.  DR tells us "pretty horse" in the comments (gee, thanks) while NL who loves us says "A very accurate ride - smooth and polished team!" Whoever says dressage is not subjective has obviously never had two judges like I did!  LOL!


Training 3 - 60.400%
Now here is the interesting part.  Again the two judges, DR and NL.  AND THEY SCORE US THE EXACT SAME SCORE!  What??  It was so bizarre to go from having such different scores to both judges give me the same %!!  DR finally gives in with "Some nice moments in the trot"and 7s and 6s.  NL made my day with "This is a stunning horse" and 7s and 6s with an 8.  We placed 9th out of 12 riders.

Sunday
First 1 - 53.792%
Dreamy was exhausted.  Showing three days in a row is too much for her.  I doubt I will ever ask her to do this again.  It was still a great weekend, but our Sunday rides were not good.  Looking back I should have scratched.  NL scored us mostly 5s with a few 6s and 7s.  Dreamy was on the forehand and had a hard time pushing from behind.  A new judge was there on Sunday (since technically it was two shows....Friday and Saturday was one show and Sunday was a "new" show) named SO.  She scored us more all over the place, from a 4 to an 8 with some 5s and 6s in between.  Somehow we still got a first out of two.


Training 3 - 59.600%
Almost all 6s from NL and she commented "I like your horse!".  Fives and 6s from SO and she commented that this test was better balanced than our First 1 test.  I did get 7s on my rider position throughout the weekend, which was nice.  We were 11th out of 12 riders.


Overall, I was very happy with Dreamy.  She was a trooper and tried her best for me.  She was very relaxed at this overnight show; sometimes she won't eat a ton of hay like usual and will leave some of her grain.  But she ate and drank very well this weekend!  She was very cute and whinnied to me each time I came back to her stall.  I would get her settled in by 5PM, go back to the hotel to shower, have dinner, and then go back out to check her around 8:30.  She whinnied and nickered each time I would come back or arrive in the morning.  We got lots of compliments on her breed, her looks and age, and her manners.  People are always surprised of her breed and her age.  And of course, she is a very good girl, but it is even more obvious when many of the other horses stabled around us are being naughty!  LOL!  ;-)  And why is it that so many dressage horses cannot be tied to the trailer and need to be held to be tacked up???    Dreamy defies them all and stands quietly and happily at the trailer at all shows while I get ready.  We saw a lot of our dressage "friends" who we see each year at the shows.  Many of them remarked at how far she has come, which always feels nice.  :-)  I am not sure if I will show rated again next year, and if not, I will certainly miss traveling up to this show.

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