April 28-30, 2006
Against the largest field to date, Donna and Jazz completed their third national Grand Prix Championship qualifier in 4th place. They achieved the second score of 64% from Canadian “O” judge Cara Whitham and are now eligible for an FEI Certificate of Capability which will allow them to compete internationally again. Once again they presented the freestyle rather than the special as their second test. Jazz hadn’t been out at night under the lights in quite a while. He puffed up another three hands entering the arena in front of the large and noisy crowd and gave a huge leap and buck as the music started. The onlookers gasped, but Donna got Jazz in the ring just in time to avoid elimination. Once “inside the box,” Jazz went right to business and performed a faultless freestyle that many thought underscored at 68%. .Jazz tried to eat his yellow ribbon during the national anthem and Donna decided not to participate in the honor round. Better to live to ride another day.
As no training level classes were offered at Del Mar, Al and Winnica stepped right up to first level. Once again, the pair’s scores improved day by day, culminating on Sunday with a second in the first level amateur sweepstakes and the reserve first level amateur high point award for the whole show! Al has no further interest in training level.
Katy Barglow and her new horse Uniek made their show debut at Del Mar. Uni had been laid up with a bad case of the flu for several weeks preceding Del Mar and Katy only decided to show him at the last moment. She needn’t have worried. In spite of the lack of preparation and a few moments of “young horse distraction” in the overwhelmingly busy atmosphere of the warm-up ring, Uni showed real promise. He earned Katy the highest score she has ever received to date, a 74% in first level test 3. A glitch by show management awarded Katy the reserve high score junior rider award. We guess she’s the only “junior” rider who is a Ph.D candidate in chemistry.
Visiting student Kate Hart came down from Colorado to train with Donna and do her first dressage test. An accomplished hunter/jumper rider, Kate elected to make her debut in the NAYRC selection class. No one could believe she would be ready, but Kate showed absolutely no nerves and rode three different tests (including a freestyle she had practiced only twice!) without going off course once. Although the judges could not seem to agree on the scores to give her lovely Dutch paint horse True Colors, “Dillon” and Kate demonstrated correct basics and good harmony. By finishing fifth in the YR Freestyle, the pair got to participate in their first dressage honor round. Not bad for a former medal McClay horse and a rider who had never done pirouettes or tempi changes. Kate and Dillon are now back in Colorado where they will complete the rest of the qualifiers. We all hope to see them at the NAYRC in Virginia this summer!