With my sprained knee, I wasn’t able to get around as usual (and at Pine Tree I usually help the official photographer by taking photos of all competitors in cones) so I don’t have many to share today. I did sit with Larry Poulin for part of the Preliminary division and listened to his comments above and beyond what the scribe wrote on the test. These extra comments will be part of a future article. “Suppleness” was a word he used over and over and over.
One of the nicest tests was driven by Irene Gillis and her pony Hemmingway. Hemmingway is a beautiful pony and Irene is having a great time with him. Unfortunately, while we were sitting in the dressage booth, we heard the announcer say that she had eliminated in cones. Later she told us it was just a brain fade and she went through 18 backwards. It happens.
Several competitors drove more than once and/or had clients to school and watch – Marcie Quist, Wiebe Dragstra, Emily and Josh Rector. They were very, very busy. Marcie had her very first error in dressage, driving her Intermediate entry late in the day. It happens.
I have to comment on just how hard and how long it takes for the person who schedules the marathon (and even dressage) to accommodate all the people who drive twice, share navigators, share equipment or have other ‘special requests.’ If I were to say hours – like five!!! – I wouldn’t be exaggerating. And then when people complain that the marathon schedule isn’t ready when they want it? Really? The alternative is not to allow anyone to go around more than once.
After a wonderful dinner of all-you-can eat beef tenderloin (and an endless salad bar), Kelly Valdes asked Lisa Singer and Larry Poulin to reminisce about some of their experiences together over the many years they have both been competing. Between them, they have double digit National Championships and have each competed in eight World Championships. I think they had even forgotten some of the things the other remembered. An impromptu rendition of Janis Joplin’s “Won’t you Buy Me A Mercedes-Benz” by Janet Sidewater topped off the evening.