I've said it before and I'll say it again...I really love technology. Being able to watch, on a tablet or smart phone, something happening live in another state or country is just amazing. Today, while I was at work, I watched parts of the Devon Horse Show on my computer. I couldn't see any classes from start to finish, but that's okay. I learned the difference between Large Junior Hunter and Small Junior Hunter, which is the size of the horse. "Smalls" are for horses under 16hh, although I can't imagine an animal being just under being considered 'small' and "Large" (larges? Not sure I head that word used although I did hear them say 'smalls') are over 16hh. I like learning new things. When I got home from work, I whipped out my iPad Mini to see if they were still going and they were. It appeared to be an equitation class, although I can't find anything on the schedule for it.
After a couple of equitation-type classes they got ready for the Jr Hunter Gambler's Choice and that's where the purpose of this post comes about. I'll be the first person to admit I don't know a whole lot about horse shows. Mostly about scoring. I do know that generally, a fence down is four faults in most events and a refusal, I "think" is four as well unless you have three refusals and then it's an elimination. A fall is usually an immediate elimination in many jumping sports, if not all. The classes of "Larges" and "Smalls" they kept changing the minimum score to be eligible to return for what sounded like a Trot Off. I'm sure I heard wrong but that's what it sounded like. So, when I saw the next class was a Gambler's Choice I looked it up on Google to see what it was all about. There wasn't much information, but I think the basic gist is that a bunch of jumps are set up and the riders are able to choose the direction and order of jumps. It looked like they had to jump so many fences then stop and do something then jump a couple more. One girl backed her horse up a few steps then continued her course. I imagine it's a timed event but I have no idea how it's scored. So, there I was, watching the Gambler's Choice and this one horse and rider combo was going, for lack of a better word, balls to the wall. Most of the riders were going at a canter, but this one was practically a gallop. On a couple of jumps she almost fell off and I had a feeling something was going to happen. And it did. Two jumps later her horse decided he'd had enough and slid to a stop. The girl didn't. She sailed over her horse's shoulder and face-planted into the jump. She landed on her feet, though, and didn't appear to be hurt. She was lucky. If I were her trainer or parent I would have given her a lecture for taking unnecessary risks, but that's just me and, again, I'm no expert. Far from it. But when you're watching a competition and it looks like something bad is about to happen, it likely will.
Something I saw during the day today fascinated me. Many of the riders were from the East Coast. Connecticut. New Jersey. New York. Rhode Island. Virginia. Some of the girls were riding two or three horses per event with some of them being self-owned while others being owned by someone else. That's not a major thing at the professional level, but surprising at the junior level, in my opinion. But that wasn't the most surprising to me. No. It was the riders who came all the way from California. I understand that showing at Devon is a big deal, but I can't imagine my parents ever allowing me to miss school so I could attend a horse show on the other side of the country. And while riding and competing is the most important thing to these kids right now, what happens when they age out of Juniors? Sure, they could turn pro and make a go of it, but what about college and life? I wonder how many of the kids in today's classes will turn pro and keep going? I'd be interested in knowing the percentage.
Well, it's Friday. It didn't start out too good. I stopped at Jamba Juice to get a smoothie, but they weren't open yet. There was a guy standing outside waiting, but I didn't get out of my car so when an employee opened the door and said something, I didn't hear what it was but the guy got into his car so I left. I was too far away from he other two places so I decided to go to Circle K to get breakfast. I got my soda and a bottle of milk but couldn't find any cereal cups. They don't have cereal cups! So I put the soda and milk away and left. There's a Burger King in the same plaza so I went there and got one of their smoothies, but it's not the same. Oh well.
I have a 3 day weekend because Monday is Memorial Day. I like 3 day weekends. I have no plans. I have to go get lottery tickets tomorrow and grocery shopping Sunday. Yippee! Hahaha. I still haven't uploaded my horse-hunting pictures from last weekend (Friday the 16th actually). Maybe I'll do that. We shall see.