I've always heard people rave about the Event at Rebecca Farms, and even though Kalispell is only about 4 hours from here I've never been. I've always wanted to go, and this year it was a qualifier for the World Cup. Luckily my Dad was willing to go check it out too, so we picked up my brother's dog Harry (bro went out of town that morning and Dad was in charge of dog-sitting) and headed east.
The drive to Kalispell is about the same distance as the drive to Seattle, but beautiful! No ugly desert or Moses Hole. It's all forest and rivers and lakes, I bet for half the drive you're next to water of some kind. We got to the show Friday in the late afternoon with about an hour or two left to go, and I had planned on watching the upper-level dressage tests that were going on. HOWEVER, when we got to the grounds, a horse went galloping by! Training level cross country was happening and of course I got sucked into that instead.
We headed out to the course. Rebecca Farms is the most beautiful horse event I've ever seen. In a word- manicured. Amazing. Open. Classy. Friendly. There are shade tents set up for spectators on the top of a hill where you can see almost the entire course. They even put blue dye in the water obstacle water to make it pretty.
Training wasn't going over the "Booby Trap" (2 giant mounds next to each other) so we could stand on them and take pictures. Here's a horse going over the Hunting Hounds jump:
A horse going into the water complex:
And off the bank:
After x-country was over we checked out the jumps. They were works of art.
Dad and Harry at the Beaver jump (coming out of the water):
And I am sorry, but is this for real? Come up out of the sunken road to this.
This is NOT a corner jump- it's just a huge ginormous spread thing. This is the side view:
Harry's favorite: The Hunting Hounds
World Cup jump
And my absolute most favorite jump of all time: Ogopogo!!!
Here's the jump part. It was a CCI*** and Advanced jump.
One of the jumps in 'Jurassic Park'
This in one of the few events where a full traditional 3-Day is offered. On cross country day, the horses warm up trotting and cantering 3-4 miles of roads and tracks. Then they GALLOP fast fast fast around a steeplechase course. Then a cool down period of more roads and tracks. They have 10 minutes in a vet box, and if they pass they go straight on to their cross country course.
We had to get up early to get there (was the first thing to go Sat. morning) but was so worth it. There were only 3 entries, all women. We waited at the steeplechase course, and the first horse began flying. All 3 made it look easy (and fuuuuuunnn!)
After the Prelim3D-ers were finished, the CCI*-ers (I believe it was the same course) went.
The bar jump, complete with kegs and stools!
Jumping the bar
This one got a pretty rough rub:
On top of the Booby Trap
Jurassic Park T-Rex. I can't tell if she's smiling or grimacing, there was a HARD left hand turn to...
The dino egg.
After watching quite a few rounds, we decided to go check out the stabling area and the trade fair before the CIC***W riders went. Jessica Wisdom was checking out a tack store and gave me some great advice on a bit for my small-mouthed low-port but with a huge tongue guy. Of COURSE it's freaking expensive- a loose ring Sprenger Dynamic. I mean, if I knew it was going to work for sure there would be no question. And I do need to find something, all 200 bits I've tried have not worked and I'm ready to start riding him in a hackamore.
I got to sit in a Devoucoux Chiberta eventnig saddle. Heaven. And they had a used one, only $3,200! Did I want to take it home and try it out? Of course I did! For some reason the deal was off when I said I would need to trade it for my old Wintec all-purpose. That's really not even mine.
The CIC***W was exciting. I always like watching the water jumps (me and everyone else there) and I like to be up close so we went and hung out with the professional photographers rather than sit on the hill where you can see most of the course with everyone else.
This water line was 3 elements: a cabin into the water, then this jump, then...
a big up bank, with a bounce to another cabin.
Everyone went up the hill
To find this at the bottom:
After the CIC***W riders were done, Advanced started. It was exactly the same course, only these riders weren't trying to qualify for the World Cup. We decided to go to the Duck Pond area to try to find some shade and watch more water jumps.
Over a duck into the pond
...and over a duck out of the pond
On the other side of this pond was the pond where Ogopogo sat and waited for his prey...
We drove home yesterday afternoon and I spent today listening to the live web radio of the showjumping and watching the results. There were quite a few nailbiters and people moved quite a bit up and down the ranks.
They don't even have a beginner novice course at this event. However, I will ride here! (Do you hear that, Jasper???)