Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dressage Schooling Show

November 24, 2012
LMKDressage at Crawford Chance, Centreville, Maryland
High 45* (dropped 15* overnight), gusts to 35mph = definitely not optimal conditions!

Julia Jesu riding, arrived late, only 10 minutes warmup.

USDF Introductory A test: 60.03%, 5th place
USDF Introductory B test: 73.12%, 2nd place


And less than one year off the race track for Briar Rose! The one year anniversary of her last race at Charles Town was November 27, 2012.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fall for Horses Thoroughbred Show, October 21, 2012

Held at the Horse Park of New Jersey.
Results for Briar Rose:

2nd - Walk/trot equitation
3rd - Off-track Thoroughbred Mares Model Class
3rd - Fresh off the Track walk/trot (less than one year since racing)
4th - Fresh off the Track walk/trot/canter (less than one year since racing)
5th - Introductory A Dressage (56.69%) (large class)
5th - Introductory B Dressage (58.75%) (large class)

Monday, October 8, 2012

First horse trial

Briar Rose competed on October 7, 2012 in her first horse trial at Olde Hope Farms in Earleville, Maryland.  It was their Oktoberfest (unrecognized) schooling event and a well-produced event at a beautiful facility.

She was entered in the Elementary Horse division which was split into several groups, and since it was a rainy day with a sudden cold snap (highs in the 50s) there were many scratches. We arrived a little late for an 8:20 start so had a very brief warm-up.

Julia Jesu rode her in the 2011 USDF Introductory Level Test A and scored 33.7 penalty points, or a 66.3% dressage score. She earned an 8 on a lovely square halt at the end. She ended up FIRST out of six horses after dressage - how exciting for her first real competition!

Stadium was a brief round over 8 fences up to 18" in an enclosed area and then out on the rolling cross-country course of 10 obstacles.

She was staring at the huge standards on each obstacle (something we don't have at home) and at the pond. On one obstacle she had a moment of confusion and Julia took her around again, but eventually she did finish  her first cross-country course scored with one refusal.

That knocked her down to 5th out of 6 for the day in her division, but we counted it as a huge success for a young lady only 4 years 6 months old this week and less than a year off the track!

Her stablemate and trailer companion Gandy (Silver Maestro) also ridden by Julia Jesu finished 2nd in pre-Novice on his dressage score, going double clear in jumping, so an excellent day was had by the Close Up Show Stables team!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Show Debut: Young Event Horse competition for 4-year-olds

Briar Rose competed (with Julia Jesu) in the USEA Young Event Horse competition for 4-year-olds at Greystone Farm in Brookeville, Maryland. We are still working to put weight on her but nevertheless she showed very well!

We have had her less than 70 days. This was her:
  • First trailer ride away from here (she loaded, trailered, and unloaded like a true professional!)
  • First overnight at a show
  • First braids
  • First show
  • First dressage test
  • First time in an indoor arena (fantastic warmup!)

Her scores today:

Conformation: 7.17 (71.7%)

  • Type: 7.0
  • Frame: 7.0
  • Legs: 8.0
  • Feet: 7.0
  • Jog: 7.0
  • General impression: 7.0

Dressage: 6.98 (69.8%)

  • Walk: 6.8
  • Trot: 7.0
  • Canter: 7.1
  • Submissiveness: 7.0
  • General impression: 7.0
[Just for context, any score over 6.0 is considered "satisfactory".]

Jumping test: Withdrew (not quite ready for a dozen 2'11" obstacles out in a huge field, but we did get in some good cross-country schooling practice!)

Here is her first-ever dressage test:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Work In Progress

Briar Rose has been with us nearly two months now. She lives in a one-acre paddock where she can roam and graze, and even though her coat has been bleached by the sun, she seems much happier there than confined in a stall. She is getting basic dressage and jumping training nearly every day. She's getting as much alfalfa as she can eat and has gained about 50 pounds since she arrived. We've worked over her feet and put four shoes on her, and now she's on the second trim. We fecal-tested her and dewormed her twice. We groomed her and trimmed her up. Her sweet personality is shining through every day and she works very hard in understanding and attempting what her riders are asking her to do. She's coming along beautifully.

Everything is coming together very nicely for her debut at the United States Eventing Association Young Event Horse competition at Greystone farm on September 23, 2012.

Here was her first little jump over a crossrail with me on August 9, 2012:

Over the flower jump with Julia aboard, August 21, 2012:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Briar Rose's bloodlines

"Dizzy Lizzy", as she was known to the Jockey Club, was sired by Cat Thief, who put his stamp on her:

Her dam's sire was Academy Award, one of the last surviving sons of Secretariat:

Monday, July 16, 2012

How it started

It all started with a brief email on 7/10/2012 8:29 PM from our riding instructor, Julia, with a link to the website of a nearby place that retrains off-track Thoroughbreds, Leighton Farm

I took a look at the pictures. Four years old, solid bay mare, 15.3 hands tall, retired sound. Not bad, her conformation basics were decent, but I admit she didn't jump off the screen at me.

Then I took a look at the linked videos:


and I was impressed. She has a lovely trot stride, especially after being warmed up at the canter. She fussed a little with her head, like any green horse, but accepted the directions of her rider nicely.

Then I freeze-framed a shot of her jumping and liked the form I saw:

I checked her racing records: 10 starts, one win, $9032 earned. Last raced in November, 8 months ago. Yeah, that's why she's available.

Then I took a look at her bloodlines.

3/16 Secretariat!?? Alydar, Mr. Prospector, Northern Dancer!??

I emailed Julia: 7/10/2012 8:47 PM, 18 minutes after the first email: "I'll take her".