Monday, November 27, 2017

Rancho Murieta Autumn Classic: Friday Part 2

Derby Day! Murieta ran an $18,000 Derby across three different heights- 2'9", 3', and 3'3". While the height range is pretty enticing (there were about 50 horses entered) I did recall from earlier this year that they also have this absolutely terrifying log fence that a good number of horses had turned away from.

In addition to the log of doom they also had a barrel jump and between the two of those, the cold weather, and the late evening- the class was basically carnage. Like there was not a score above 60 for the first half. And this is a B rated show!

Fortunately I did not have to witness any trips before mine- we went second.

The course walk opened at 5:30 and the class started at 6. It took a second for my brain to relax during the walk- what sounded like a jumble of fences at first turned into a pretty straightforward 10 fence course with a bunch of bending lines.

Our warm up was somewhat ill-fated just given that there wasn't the opportunity to really take a breath. And poor Teddy- my butt turned into a rocket seat and I was clinging to him with legs of steel.
Walking to the warm up ring
No thanks
Walking to the ring our name was being called with an open gate- there was no "hurry up and wait" here. I was terrified- there were literally tears welling up in my eyes and Ted was not interested in stepping into the ring. Poor Ali was like "take it down a notch" please. And in we went. 

This is a wonderfully edited video of all the best parts of our round! A flash went off after our first fence and he gave a pretty solid dolphin. The next element was a galloping 9 stride line and I was interested zero in doing that so we crawled down it in an 11 (I just cut that whole line out). Then into a bending 10 to the barrels- he landed cross cantering so I made a very large and very slow circle before catching the out fence (the out is the second fence in this video). Into a 2 stride which we drove right by since we were moving a snails pace. I don't fault the guy- we didn't have enough canter to make it out. After the stop I looked over at the gate and Ali asked if I wanted to come out. Some shouts from the stands encouraged me to keep going and the entire peanut gallery was clucking us along as we cantered past. Last a bending line, the scary log being the middle jump was supposed to be a 7 to a 6....I did a 9 to an 8.

BUT we finished. And for all the horses that stopped out at the barrels and log (Ellie for example was excused)- Ted didn't even blink. AND he landed his left lead out of the two and carried it for the balance of the course.

The horse has officially reached Saint status.

Over the scary log- no problem

Our first fence 

Sigh of relief to be done and a big smile! 

Ellie waits for her turn to Derby- so cute! 

Derby girls! 


  1. HUGE kudos to you for getting out there and doing it!

  2. Those fences look absolutely enormous all decked out. Kudos for you for getting it done!

  3. Give yourself a pat on the back, way to get it done!

  4. I can't wait to compete in my next Derby. The Murieta Derby at Spring Classic was the only one I had ever been in before.