The first week was a last minute add - and our only show close enough to home that I got to sleep in my own bed.
I wouldn't have added it to the calendar, except the schedule was such that Winds could be done with classes and sneak in a few days of pasture before shipping to Thunderbird.
So it was an easy way to log a few rounds, get in a derby and have some family there to cheer us on.
Except that Evergreen is a cursed show for me. The last 3 years in a row I've had intentions of showing it - only to have something come up that kept us away. In one instance it was an unplanned surgery, then pregnancy, then lameness... life just didn't want me to ever get in the ring at that show.
But anyway, we signed up and the dark cloud of Evergreens past lurked in my brain.
|Best thing about this show was for sure getting this pic of Winds over the Trot Fence|
The schedule was such that both my Eq, Hunter and the Pre-Greens were running on Wednesday and Thursday. In the name of not showing everything under the sun, I opted to do only my Eq and not jump Windsor's legs off.
It was a good decision because Winds was not feeling like his normal self. He was a bit stiff, jumping flat and very, very unimpressed with the show.
|Very Bored. Total Wow.|
Then, the show was running so long that there was a THREE HOUR delay in my ring (which was poorly managed) and resulted in me getting on three separate times only to scratch and leave because I had a meeting I had to get to downtown.
I was feeling like the Evergreen curse was in full swing, but Thursday showed some redemption, and while the PG rounds were still lackluster I managed to win my second Eq over fences as well as the Eq on the flat for a championship.
There is no video evidence of the Eq - but trust me when I say it was adequate, but not spectacular. The division was pretty small and the Eq rounds were normal Hunter line-diagonal-line-singles.
Friday, the only Hunter classes were Derbies. Two Amateur ones, and then a National and International.
The National ran in the morning, and Windsor had a HUGE cheering section. My parents, my kid, my husband, my in laws and more than one non-horsey friend were in attendance.
The class was large (maybe 35?), which was great, but the announcing was lackluster and overall the show just felt very quiet and underwhelming. No atmosphere, no music, no... energy. So I felt a little guilty that so many people showed up, but it was great to have them.
I was disappointed that the derby ran in the Grand Hunter ring with no changes... no additional space or grass or whatever.
That said, the course was set really nicely and I thought made for an interesting track. Winds was relatively late in the order and we had the benefit of seeing how the Judge was scoring - which was helpful since they seemed to be really penalizing a slow pace and stalling in front of the fences.
Winds put in a good round - but again, not brilliant. My trainer gave him a great ride, he just wasn't giving his biggest, prettiest effort over the jumps. He fought about a lead for a few strides toward the end (maybe between 10 and 11?) but otherwise it was tidy. They scored an 86.5
Also - Toddlers, good lord they know when to throw a fit....
The handy was a fun track. I don't know if it's a normal thing, but for the first two fences you could jump them in any order, going any direction. A bit of a Gambler's Choice.
It could have been a fun option if there actually was more than one option.... But everyone rode the same direction, in the same order, so that wasn't as exciting as I had hoped. It was a nice track, and while I didn't see any crazy slices, the inside turns demanded a lot of softness and control, especially if you wanted to catch the high options.
We came back in 3rd and held the position with a score of 88 in the handy.
It wasn't his finest work - I thought he looked petty stiff in the bridle and though you can't see it on the video he drifted to the last fence and the distance got a bit stretchy. All in all, good - but not great.
Afterward, Winds got his braids out, a bite of grass, and a quick bath before hopping on the trailer for a few well deserved days off.
In digesting the show, I felt a bit sour about the Pre-Greens, and irritated in general with the overall schedule and culture of the show.
I felt great about the 3rd place finish in the derby, but not so great about how flat Winds seemed at the show. He was dull, bored and overall just felt a bit sour.
Also, the show was a bit disappointing overall. The Evergreen Classic used to be the crown jewel in our local show circuit. But it's bounced locations a few times, struggled with footing and ultimately lost a lot of its draw. I think it's on the right track to making a comeback, but entries were low, prizes (and ribbons) were mediocre at best, and no aspect of it oozed AA anything. I hope it continues to develop, but I can easily say that for one of the most expensive shows we attend - it wasn't a great value from any perspective.
We decided we would still head to Third, but if we needed to scratch the second week and end our season a bit early - it would be an easy option.
Stay tuned for week two (and some redemption).