“Get ‘er done”: A Disappointing Fork, Lessons Learned, and Onward into the Future
From the start, The Fork held many challenges for me as I traveled up alone and was hoping for Elisa to meet me there to serve as support and groom but she came down with the awful flu and was in bed most of the time I was competing.
The travel to The Fork proved to be a little rough on Cody. The SC roads were horrible and I put Cody in a box stall in my new 4 horse which proved to be a mistake. He never settled in on the traveling and went off his feed on Tuesday. He ate plenty of alfalfa, drank plenty of water and was good on vitals during the week.
After my horrible mistakes in dressage which ruined 3 marks, I noticed Cody was a bit dull and not his normal self. On Saturday, Brian Murphy warmed me up for show jumping and Cody still had not touched his feed. He did not fire off the ground and so I was concerned about his energy level and had the vet come and do a work-up on him. We had three rails.
With a huge CIC 3 Star cc the next day, I wanted to make sure I had a horse that was up for the task. The vet said his overall health was great, good vitals, hydration and gut sounds so we decided to be careful and load him up with fluids and electrolytes. Cody was great and stood eating his alfalfa in the slow feeder for 2 hours with his drip!
I had not brought bran with me which usually jumps starts him back on his feed and by end of day Saturday, I decided to see if another feed would work. Presto, it did and he began eating and had many small meals through Sunday AM.
The fluids, alfalfa and many small meals had Cody jumped started and I felt good about heading out to the cc. As many noted by the results and updates from The Fork, the boogie fence was the coffin’s 9C.
It was a difficult question out over a toothbrush skinny (chevron). The AB had to be ridden forward and on to make the long two stride over C. Cody jumped amazing up through two combinations and a huge ditch and wall and as we approached the coffin, I got his attention and really rode forward to the first of the coffin. He managed a bit of a peak over 9A but I pushed on and he got the ditch 9B in one stride and as we move up for the two I could see his head twitch a little left and right as if he was trying to figure out the question in front of him. I felt the first burst of energy as he began to lift his front end, but then he reflected right.
Here is where the real problem was with this fence. There was no real way to re-present to C. Several riders during the course walks requested an option only if the first attempt over 9 C failed in order to have a way to complete the coffin. This was denied. In hindsight, I should have approached the ground jury and requested this as well. I believe the only rider who managed a second attempt of 9C of the 12 plus horses who retired or were eliminated at 9C was Jon Holling.
This is a tough sport and we must always navigate and work toward a successful outcome. Plans always change. Cody is home and looks great and we will run Intermediate next week in Ocala and head for the CIC 3 Star at Chatt in May. The old phrase in the south always resounds in my head: GET’ ER DONE. And we will.