Maryland 5* Recap

I’m about 12 blogs behind because I’m too tired to blog, but I might as well post a little bit about my favorite event of the year, Fair Hill.

I cut back my volunteering significantly this year because I’ve just been so burned out. In the end, I just worked the in gate for Young Event Horse jumping on Thursday and Friday and while I could have done more, I’m OK with this for this year.

Just gives you an idea of the conditions…

I’ll be honest, Thursday was…less than great. I LOVE working the in gate. It’s one of my favorite volunteer jobs–you get to chat with the rider before they ride, see the horses up close, almost get taken out (thanks Mike), and overall, it’s just a good job, but Thursday? Thursday was… in less than ideal conditions. It was raining for a while. Then there was a deluge. And, let’s be real, after a while, it doesn’t matter how many rain coats you have, you can’t really stay dry. But, waterproof pants ARE the way to go. What Thursday did have going for it was 1. It wasn’t cold and 2. I spent a good amount of time standing in the horse ambulance (which was parked in the wrong place, but whatever) and 3. I had my truck parked near the in gate which let me sit down when needed.

And then the rain got worse… I was very impressed by the last few horses who were going around the course in pretty much a deluge. No video of them as I was trying (and failing) to stay as dry as possible, but… Condition were less than ideal. The ground stayed surprisingly good.

Much prettier morning!!

But for as bad as Thursday was, Friday was GORGEOUS. The footing was surprisingly good, mucky in spots, but decent.

There was some communication issues first thing in the morning with the announcer. I found out later that they didn’t have a radio for the first 6 riders so they were just guessing who was on course. This led to mistakenly calling the first rider as Boyd Martin vs whoever it actually was (I don’t have the order in front of me). But, it did lead to one of my favorite interactions of the day.

Trusty post

Boyd came down early to watch. Near the in gate in a holding area where the next rider can watch, warm up, or walk around. They have a true warmup area up the hill, but they can also warm up a touch near the gate. One the previous rider finishes, they can school the water/look at jumps/warm up in the ring. Anyway, Boyd was the second rider and more or less followed the first rider down to see what the course looked like. As the announcer was announcing all of Boyd’s accolades and accomplishments, information on his horse, and other such information, Boyd looks down at me and with a straight face says, “you know, I’m Boyd Martin.” The only thing I could think to say back was, “ya think?” But in hindsight, “No shit,” would have been a better response. Anyway, that was my entertainment of the morning.

After 2 exhausting days, I ended up just taking it easy during cross country day. Normally I try to walk as much of the course as possible, but I wasn’t feeling it. I never made it down to saw mill. I stayed closer to the main arena and just moved back and forth between a handful of jumps. While I missed seeing the saw mill area and larger parts of the course, it was a nice, relaxing change without feeling like death at the end of the day. Well, almost. I did spend too much time at the StableFeed booth and ended up buying a bag of Sainfoin pellets and getting a 40lbs bag to my truck during the break between the 3 and 5* was… not fun. But, the folks at StableFeed are great. So too the ladies at Botori and DappleBay (I only shopped Botori clearance and scored a nice pair of Adlers in petite at more than 50% off — way better than cuffing the leg– and a $20 shirt I already own because I love it).

Sunday I splurged for seats as my husband joined me for the day. After the running around the other 3 days, I’ve really grown to love stadium day. Our seats were great and it was just a fun, enjoyable day. 4 days later I’m still exhausted!

Fair Hill Recap (Part 1 of 60000)

Another Fair Hill is in the books! My goal this year was to attend everything. Soak up as much as I could and volunteer as much as I could and just be there.  I haven’t started editing pictures, but here are a few to get started…


And I sort of accomplished that and sort of failed.


Much of my volunteer work came before the event with pre-event set up. I was out bright and early Saturday a week ago helping decorate the venue. Moving mums, driving around in gators, watering mums, breaking water tanks in the stabling area (oh, wait, never mind) until the water guy showed us how to work the damn tank, stacking straw cut side up and then, 20 MINUTES LATER, arranging straw (SO WHY DID IT MATTER HOW WE STACKED THE DAMN STRAW), moving chairs, etc. img_2313-1

Sunday was dressage ring set up. I said last year I wouldn’t do this again so of course I signed up to help and once again I’m OCD enough to be volunteered to make the courts straight… there were two of us left making everything straight after the bulk of the group left because it appeared it was out talent… Oi. Wednesday was merchandise set up and my OCD took over again as I was volunteered to put everything in size order… Is anyone seeing a pattern?


Charlotte Collier & Clifford M (3*)

What I missed was the jogs. I was originally going to volunteer for the jogs, chickened out, then when I went back, the slots were filled. Friday, was Young Event Horse Jumping and jump crew– the best volunteer position EVER. I had the opportunity to eavesdrop on the judges and learn SO MUCH about what they were looking for. And, accidentally voiced my opinion and cast my vote for the safe harbor winner… Can someone PLEASE buy me this horse? I can’t wait to volunteer for YEH next year too. Learned so much!


Celtic King and Charlotte Collier

2*/3* cross county on Saturday was incredible with the exception of a super scary fall in the 2*. I didn’t see the fall, but heard it. Horse was down for a very, VERY long time, brought out the curtains and everything. He trotted the fence before hand and… Despite that, horse and rider were OK.

The rest of the day was a lot of fun and the course was challenging.


V3 Red Thirty Six and Campbell Jourdian (YEH 4 year old)

Sunday was windy and blustery. In the 2*, jumps were blowing over and Master Frisky was held up mid course so that the jump crew could re-assemble a fence that fell over completely. Despite that, he went double clear. Boyd and On Cue went double clear to win when a plank was almost flying into them. In the 3*, 8 in a row went double clear towards the end before the final riders started to have trouble. Then Frankie Thieriot Stutes put in an incredible double clear to win. All in all, another incredible Fair Hill in the books!