Spirit Ridge 2nd Annual Nations Cup.
We were thrilled to be moving past COVID restrictions and bring our recently expanded Farm Family together for our 2nd Annual Nations Cup on Sept 17th and 18th.
The weather, rings, and ponies were perfect for all our riders. Saturday started with Dressage tests with our fantastic judge Marilee Moss. Lots of first-time tests for horses and riders. Much learning for each partnership, these dressage scores are what set the starting tone for the teams… The top 3 teams in order were USA, Mexico and then Singapore.
Next, we had two rings running consecutively – in the Infinity Ring outside we had our GP Cross rail division being judged from a volunteer judge for the day Sandra Koller. Extremely proud of all our over fence riders as each showed that lead lines were not required, and not one went off course, remembering all 9 of their fences.
Just outside that we had the ever challenging and new to all of us extreme trail course, being overseen and judged by our own Glenn Perran. The extreme trail course was sponsored by Mara Lumber and Steve Niemeier with their donation of wood, and carpentry skills. This was a tough course for rider and pony. Some of the step ups were higher than some pony legs. There was a windmill to push around, 3 different water tests for the horses to walk through, what has become known as the “fashion runway” which is a skinny raised platform, a teeter totter bridge, and so many pool noodles coming from all different angles. This was a great new discipline for our annual event, which tests both rider’s and horse’s tenacity, and we look forward to expanding on it.
The placing after these three events were as follows:
1st USA 5th Canada
2nd Britain 6th Ireland
3rd Singapore 7th Costa Rica
4th Mexico 8th Sweden
Prizes were pre-awarded to all competitors, with the sought-after Diamond H Best Represented Award, and this was won by Team Singapore with their extra Festive Chinese Dragon/Pony.
Day Two was the final event, and this was also new to Nations Cup which was a Cross Country Component. This distance-paced course was 14 jumps spread from starting in the Infinity Ring, out to the fields, jumping over logs, ditches, coops, barrels, hanging logs then back up a bank and back into the ring to finish with 4 stadium jumps. With many canter/gallop opportunities and both low and high options for riders to take. The challenge was that each rider had to go over each of the jumps that they so choose, on the first attempt. Points would be deducted from their country’s current standing score. The pressure was on the team’s anchor rider in this challenge… and despite this, each rider and horse flew around the fields fast and clear – so the placings would stay.
A huge thank you to each boarder, competitor and their family and friends and spouses that came out to either help build cross country jumps that helped keep children on schedule, provided drinks, and refreshments, or ran out on my behalf. I’m so proud of each of you for showing such sportsmanship, being role models, and supporting this favorite event.