After a long hot summer, it was rain and cold that greeted competitors this morning at Katydid. The rain stopped as the first Intermediate tandem driver, Tracey Morgan entered the ring (although the first few got wet warming up), but the cold continued.
Kail Palmer – Pres. of the Jury, and ground jury member Sue Mott’s rain coats were soaked through after inspecting the course early this morning, so they donned plastic garbage bags under over their clothes to make a barrier between them and their wet rain gear. Chester Weber’s, (the third member of the jury,) plane was a little late, so he missed the soggy course walk and stayed dry.
The competition started at 11 with two Preliminary Tandems and two Preliminary pony teams and then there was a lunch break. The Intermediate division followed, and is still going on. At this moment, it looks as if the skies are brightening. Friday all the Training level and Preliminary level drivers will go.
Actually, everyone is happy for the rain because they have been so long without that the track will be much better as a result. Competitors are being asked to keep off the track, even on Section E to preserve the track. Too many ATVs just churn up the sand and make the going much deeper for the horses and ponies than it has to be.
This year, Katydid didn’ t offer Advanced level, but opened it up to Training Level drivers. For many years, there weren’t enough Training level entries to warrant holding the division, but to everyone’s delight, there are 29 training level entries – 17 single ponies!
Katydid, just outside of Aiken, in Windsor, S.C., has become an extremely popular fall event. Including scratches and those on the waiting list, the number of entries would be over 80. About 75 are actually competing.
Officials and volunteers enjoyed homemade hot soup and salad that secretary Peggy Dils provided.
A competitor briefing is scheduled for 5:30 tonight. When the sun comes out I’ll try and take some photos of the obstacles. I don’t think there are any new ones since last year.
The rest of the weekend is supposed to be dry, although unseasonably cold.