It was set up so that first a jockey rode on a horse right off the track, then a group of horses recently off the track with a few months, a group with a year or more and then horses that are out there actively competing.
We took Top Punch who was the 12 yr that we got from the track in June and Escape by Sea who I have had for two months or so. I wasn’t sure what to expect out of Bella going to a big event like this and when I saw the seating arrangement I thought it would be a challenge. The indoor was tiny with several jumps set up and the crowd was basically right on the edges and the horses could touch them!!
Bella had a slight moment when people clapped for the horse leaving and did a pop up and Kurt had to come out and hold her to get my mike on but once we got that settled she was great. I spoke about how important it is to have a plan and break down your exercises to keep it simple and then build from there. She w/t/c in a lovely balanced frame and although looking at the crowd she was quite good. Jumped a pile of poles and then an x-rail in a huge fashion like 4ft in the air Everyone was oohh and ahhhing over her. She then jumped the snot out of the oxer and straw bales. She takes off a bit long and then really goes straight up so I felt retarded on her as always but she is just that challenging to ride over a fence. Huge jumper with knees up and a big push. Then he asked us to jump this 2’3″ rolltop which she jumped her first time!!!!!! She jumped so high her back feet hit it on the way down and she landed on a diagonal so she scared herself and stopped once on the represent but then we demonstrated my walk jumping technique the next time.
This mare is fantastic but he was right when he said she is not for your average rider. She jumps everything very round and big and is quite challenging to stay with. She has a lot of talent to go up the levels and is soft and quiet enough for a hunter but brave enough to event as well.
Top Punch was perfect. Calm, relaxed and just admiring the crowds there to see him. He just stepped over the little jumps and although even newer to jumping than Bella he calmly stepped over the scary jumps without a care in the world. I thought it was a great compare/contrast of the types of horses out there.
Bella is something that everyone wants even if they can’t ride it but Punch is probably the horse your average rider needs and won’t buy. I hope he illustrated that a 12 yr who just came off the track can still be a great mount. He is a super classy horse and Alison is just so happy with him. It was a great day and I was excited to show off what CANTER is doing with the horses.
Love her expression
Salute the Truth in the trailer thinking he and Bella would make some really pretty babies
Punch is just learning to go in the contact after 10yrs of racing but I rode him two times and that horse is so darn smart he figured it out practically right away. Alison has done an amazing job with him!