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The team from Warrumbungle Eventing promised the bushfires that devastated the area in January were not going to hold them back as far as hosting this year’s ODE, and they certainly delivered on their promise. Seriously, Coonabarabran has a reputation for hosting fantastic events, putting 600+ kids through the XC at the NorthWest Expo in June, so putting 130 through this weekend was never going to be a challenge.
The dressage started at a quite gentlemanly 10.30 on Saturday morning and as a judge it was really pleasing to see some really nice tests that could have been quite at home at an open dressage competition. A few that I judged I have seen about a few times this year, and the tests are improving a little each time they go around.
Only a couple of little dramas, with a child eliminated for riding their test in an illegal bit. Apparently it had been through a couple of gear checks prior to this event, but after some very serious phone calls to FEI Eventing and Dressage Officials and iPad searching for EA rules… our TD had to make a call. So a special point to remember, even if you go through a gear check, the onus is on the rider to present in legal equipment, because you may still be eliminated by the Ground Jury.
The traditional happy hour made Saturday evening most enjoyable, and thanks to the team for organising this. The social aspect of eventing is something that really makes it stand out from other sports.
The lower grades SJ’ed on Saturday afternoon, and from all accounts this was pretty uneventful, so onto XC day.
I managed to find myself a camera position at the water jump, with the hope of getting a good shot for the major sponsor, PAAL Homes, and it very nearly ended in tears for the first rider on course… a great recovery by the lone 1* Rider, Megan Nolan to still be on the horse as she exited the water, and completely regrouped by the time she hit the next fence, just a few strides away.
I’ve set up a quick Facebook competition to add a caption to this photo if you are interested. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=223886484446720&set=a.158826270952742.1073741828.158160454352657&type=1&theater
Totally done and dusted by 12.20 pm, with presentations about 1 pm. Yet another great weekend. If you are ever asked to be an official at Coonabarabran grab the opportunity with both arms. They are a really friendly bunch with great facilities and catering to die for.
I have uploaded almost 1000 photos from XC day, so go and have a look. http://sixtybytwenty.com.au/#/gallery/warrumbungle-1-star/dsc-38341/