Illusion was 4th in the Olds Free Jump Challenge!!!! The three year old class had 10 entries. The other 9 were warmbloods, all well over 16 hands. Same distances, same heights. 1.15m ramped oxer, 1m spread. Illusion didn’t even hesitate, didn’t add a stride and cleared it easily with lots of room to spare!! He definitely stole the show and was the crowd favorite in his class. I’m on cloud 9.
Free jumping or chute jumping is where a grid is set up in a lane, usually, ground pole, one stride to crossbar, one stride to vertical, two strides to ramped oxer. The oxer is the judged fence. Horses are judges both on 3 gaits on the flat and given three attempts through the chute while the oxer is raised to it’s final height for age group. I can hardly wait to get the video and photos.
There were several inquiries about shipping semen, including Chris Gould, National Canadian Warmblood president and Marie (?) from Quebec who is new CW national vice president.
Illusion was a bit hollow over all the fences, but he still has a lot of growing and muscling in the back end to do. I think if I had to ride that much power off the back end, I’d thank God for hollow; with a bascule, I’d be catapulted into space. So even if that’s the way he jumps, it’s ok with me if he throws that, all it means is his babies will be good equitation candidates as well.
My heart was in my mouth the whole two hour drive to Olds. If he was bad, it was going to be a disaster, and we were never going to talk about it again. If he was good, well, for the entry fee, I couldn’t buy that kind of publicity for promoting him as a stallion. The “powers that be” smile on us on Saturday. Brian Denehey had his 6 year old Connemara stallion in the 5/6 year old class. What a wonderful pony! He was also fourth in his class. They were jumping much bigger. They were tweaking the rules and making the oxer bigger for the horses that could do it. In the end it was 1.5m with a 2m spread. The stallion jumped it easily, demonstrating economy by not using more effort than he needed, showing he has brains as well as scope to go higher.
The ponies definitely stole the show.The Free Jump supports the Olds Agricultural Society while providing the International Young Breeders’ team candidates to get their necessary judging hours in. For $10 Family admission it is good entertainment. The stands were full mid afternoon when Illusion performed and I think that also motivated the little ham. The little brat adores crowds; he gets so high on himself. After ribbon pinning ceremony, he demonstrated a fluid extended trot going by the stands. He just about had me waterskiing on my face. He needed a bigger brow band before, but now I think I have to get “horse”, not “cob”. It’s a little scary having a pony smarter than you.
Both ponies also were competing against CW stallions and European imports. Yahoo!!! It’s hard to be humble.