Monday, March 26, 2018

OCEA Finals

Well, I made it! I qualified third out of the West Zone for the 2018 OCEA finals at Caledon Equestrian Park. The McMaster Equestrian team had a small unit of three riders competing in four classes which allowed us to have a fun time at the show. Our two wonderful captains had us well prepped on what to expect, but the show was still beyond words! There were the top six riders from each zone competing in each class, similar to that of Trillium Champs or the Royal, but the OCEA Finals had eight ride-offs, one per class.

The ride off over fences selected the top rider per horse as well as the next two top scores from the class. This created a pool of eight riders who then selected the horse and order out of a hat. Because scores varied in the first round depending on horses, the second round was a clean slate with two perfect horses to choose from.

I went relatively early in the first round for the Open Over Fences. I drew a fun grey jumper named Blaine, who trucked around the course like a pro and helped me set a score of 79.0. Th score kept me on top for a while but was surpassed by another rider on Blaine. Nevertheless, I made it into the ride off via the wild card spots.

I drew a lovely grey hunter named Logan for my ride off and was the third of four riders to go on him.The first two riders elected to do a five in the bending line that most had done in four. So when it came to my turn, I stepped on the gas pedal a tad more! Logan cantered around the shortened ride-off course with perfect manners and helped me lay down a trip that put me fourth for the second round and therefore the class.

My teammates both had beautiful rounds with one hiccup each, but I am so proud of how great they looked out there! Happy to say that the next day we all walked out of the OCEA Gala with some very colourful ribbons. I finished 6th overall in the Open Division (2nd over fences!), and MacEq also had the 3rd overall rider in the intermediate and 7th overall rider in the novice.

I am so thrilled to have joined the MacEq team and compete on OCEA. I was lucky to have my coach and parents at the show and Saturday, all who were impressed if not a tad concerned for my sanity. Especially Susan my coach had a blast and loves the whole concept of the circuit. We are not Talentless, Fearful Amateurs by any means! Getting on a random and unknown horse to go jump a 3ft course seems like a terrifying thing to do, but with great horses being donated and shows running at great venues... It is just a whole lot of fun!!


Mac Eq!