NAPPA Champs

Jack and I ended our first season of steeplechase racing on May 22 at the North American Point-to-Point championships. The races were held at Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia where they run the Virginia Gold Cup… and some of our jumps were jumps used for that course!

Jack figured out what race day meant as soon as we got on the property and tried to kick his way out of the trailer. Alice Slater came with me to help out, which was great because there was no way I would have been able to get him tacked up on my own. Once I was on him, he settled a little, till we hit the course to school through the water… yes, there was water on this course… and a stone wall, and some brush, and a huge ramp…

Once we were on course, Jack settled well, but it was a fight to keep him behind the master. He jumped so well and came up to every jump in perfect stride. It all just seemed to click for him, and it finally all came together and clicked for me as well. I actually even remembered to link a finger or two around my grab strap and it felt completely natural to do so.

Although in my opinion Jack jumped better than the other rider in the race (who almost fell off twice), we got beat in the stretch by a ton. That part of racing, Jack doesn’t get yet, the part where you accelerate to actually pass another horse. No worries, he’ll learn! In the end, I do want to race again next season with him but will have to play around with weights and get him into the foxhunter timber races and not the field chases. Field chases were great for us to test the waters in but I think he’s good enough to run on his own.

We’ll just have to wait and see what happens next season!

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