Redland Wrap-up

And it is over! My first event as course designer is done. What a learning experience for sure. I can’t really get into all of it but here are the highlights… good and bad ones.

First of all, a GIANT kudos to Ted and Terri. The “guys” who built jumps, moved jumps, staked jumps, flagged jumps and then un-staked, dug in, moved again and re-staked, re-flagged jumps. Those two are super machines and this event could not have been possible with out them. Oh, and mental note for next year… no, I can not lift one side of a Training roll top (even a skinny one) by myself. Not sure how Terri did that!

Secondly, kudos to the whole Redland crew on rallying together, making last minute changes, standing outside all day in the heat, and then all day again in the cold rain. I know putting together an event like this is super time consuming and these folks just kept on trucking.

So, Thursday show jump set up was un-eventful. I placed the rails all down for the course, the volunteers placed the standards and then Friday morning the course was finished. I went back that afternoon and remeasured everything to make sure it was all up to par for the Training divisions. The only change we had to make was the triple bar at #5 became a square oxer because we ran out of standards.

Friday was a bit of a mess. Tons of things led up to this mess that the organizers, builders and I just couldn’t control. The result was a few of our jumps being technically too big for the levels (some were only off by a half inch, others were off by up to 3 inches). As the course designer, I will take the fall for most of this. I measured and remeasured but was unable to take Monday off from work (when the last of the jumps were placed) and so when the TD walked around to measure, some of those jumps were too high due to the take off points being down hill from the jump. This led to a lot of moving, a lot of scrambling and me almost crying several times. I wasn’t upset that the TD was finding fault with my courses, I was upset that Ted and Terri had even more work to do.

The TD also did not like a hogsback jump we had made for the BN/N levels. So she and the PGJ changed it to this odd tiny ascending hay rail thing. It rode like shit. Sorry to everyone who had to jump it. I did not have the final say on that one and next time will stick up for my design. But, live and learn, and I already know how to fix it for next year.

Also, I’d like to point out that we were going to soften the turn from 12a to 12b in the Training water, however, 12a was dug into the ground and our tractor to dislodge it was not available. Thus, the question stayed. The TD and PGJ both felt it was a fair question for the level but a tough one. Mary Macklin (rider rep) also pointed this out and did ask for it to be changed. I wish we could have to accommodate the concerns of the riders but we just couldn’t at that time. With that said, there were only two stops the whole day, and I watched about 15 riders go through and it rode perfectly fine. Those that stayed on the mowed path we provided had great rides. Those that found their own path, not so great. But the turn and jump out of the water was so inviting that everyone got out successfully even if they had a bad jump in. So from the designer’s prospective, the question rode well and was fair for the level.

Unexpectedly on Saturday, fence 14 on the BN course had several stops. It was a big produce stand at the end of the course. I placed it there because I wanted the riders to have to keep riding throughout the whole course. I also made sure that it was headed towards home and on a nice slow uphill. The TD watched several rides, I walked all around it for a while looking at it from all angles and we couldn’t find anything wrong with the face of the jump.

Sunday it rained all day. We had a ton of plans of what to do if the loop on the hill (for Novice) became un-jumpable but the footing held really well throughout the day. Thank you to all the competitors who happily changed their schedules around so we could get everyone through the jumping phases before the heaviest of the rains came through. The only odd thing was that the ditch all of a sudden had several stops. It was the same ditch as Saturday’s BN, where I think there was only one stop the whole day. On Sunday, there were at least five stops and one or two eliminations. The only thing I could think of was that it was in shadow because of the rain.

Overall, the competitors all seemed happy and the reports I’m reading on various blogs all sound good. I already have tentative courses mapped out for next year 🙂 Yes, I am that much of an overachiever. And as soon as it dries out, I’m heading out there to meter the paths I want to use for 2013.

Here is a link to Diane Z’s Training run. She had a helmet cam on and had a good go around the course. Diane, by the way, went to college with me at St. Mary’s. So nice to see her successfully making the switch from show hunters to eventing.

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1 Response to Redland Wrap-up

  1. lorlee1 says:

    Congratulations on your successful course 🙂 Lovely reading about the event preparations from the other side, so to speak… Thanks

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