No rain! Blue sky and sunshine. There was frost in the morning for those up early to walk obstacles for the last time. Aiken is a real horse town, so even though Katydid is about a half hour outside of Aiken, there still were a lot of spectators, and bleachers were set at many of the obstacles to accommodate them. Jack Wetzel, who is sponsoring Bill Long, invited many of his friends to come and watch, so it was a great opportunity to showcase driving to other horsemen and women. There are also quite a few vendors here who I hope did good business today. The vendors are located near the dressage/cones area and they can all see several obstacles so that makes them happy too. For the spectators, it was possible to see the Carousel, the Water, and the boxes in the trees without moving. The Cobweb obstacle was way out in the woods, so I doubt many spectators ventured out there.
In the Advanced four-in-hand class, Bill Long won the marathon with 90.44 penalties, winning 5 of the 7 obstacles. Gary Stover also drove very smoothly to come in second. Casey Zubek had a couple of hiccups but managed to extricate his team from one very precarious situation at the water obstacle which drew cheers from the crowd. So at the moment, Bill is standing in first, nine points ahead of Keady Cadwell. Gavin Robson, who won the dressage, is standing third going into cones.
Sherri Dolan kept her first place by winning the marathon, and like Bill, won 5 of the 7 hazards. Dirk Van Beckhoven is only a point behind, so the pressure will be on tomorrow. Kate Shields also won the marathon in the Adv. Single Horse class, and has almost thirty point in hand over Suzy Stafford. Wow!
Marcie Quist had a significant cushion going into the marathon, and even though she drove conservatively in the obstacles, held onto her lead. Bob Koopman smoked the obstacles, winning 6 of 7, with a total marathon score or 57.12 by far the fastest of any Intermediate or Advanced driver, but overall, he is standing 4th.
The cones course won’t be open until 7 a.m. so I expect that there will be some chilly walkers out first thing in the morning.
There were no accidents, and relatively no questions for the jury that weren’t resolved before the final scores were posted.
I will post photos tomorrow when I’ve had a chance to download them from camera to computer. In the meantime, the full results can be seen at http://drivingnews.us