Thursday, March 3, 2011

Badminton Qualifications, new sponsors, Aiken update...

So today marks the close of entries to Badminton Horse Trials. With only 48 days left to start of competition, let's just say things are moving pretty quickly!! Let me start with an explanation of the new qualifications to enter this prestigious event!

Badminton CCI **** has put into place another level of qualification for horse and rider. On top of the standard requirements for a 4* under FEI rules, all horses and riders will be required to have finished in the top 25% at CCI *** or the top 50% at a CCI **** during some stage in their career.

straight from Badminton: "The objective is to ensure that Badminton entry is confined to those who have proved themselves capable of being competitive at the highest levels of the sport; and is against the background of considerably more entries being received in recent years than can be accommodated."

So once all entries have been received, which would be by today, they will all be ranked according to points won in FEI 3 and 4 star competitions over the two years preceding the event. The 85 horses with the highest points accumulated will be accepted and all others placed on a numbered waiting list. As withdrawals come in leading up to the event, riders will be placed onto the starting list from the wait list, in order.

As you can see, there are many, many steps trying to even be accepted into this event. These new qualification are on top of the FEI rules (which I stated previously), and that is on top of the fact that one still has to get the 'OK' from their National Federation (USEF) to even apply and send an entry in. That is all besides the fact that it is one of the hardest events in the world, and its in England (so still have to find the $$ to get there), and well, we all know how hard it is to even get to a 4* soundly and truly ready from all aspects of the sport! So sleeping is getting a bit harder at night!!!

Since my entry is officially in, I am happy to say that the USEF has given me permission to ride at Badminton, which in itself is a huge honor because I will be representing the USA! That is a wonderful feeling! Hopefully Badminton will have the list out quickly after the close today, so at least I can realistically see if I am in contention to head over the pond.

I will definitely keep everyone posted as I learn more and hopefully will be making plans to travel!!

Since Rolex is after Badminton this year on the schedule, I will also be entering at KY just in case things do not pan out to head over seas (for reasons that would still enable us to still compete of course).

In other news :) We have a new supplement sponsorship with a wonderful company, Mushroom Matrix!! I tried one of their supplements, ECP Matrix, earlier this year on a young horse that has quite a lot of anxiety, especially while showing. There was an immediate change to his demeanor and work ethic, he all of a sudden could relax and focus more on the work at hand. Even on the ground the 'edge' was just softer, he was not so up tight. So the incredibly generous, Kim at Mushroom Matrix agreed to send me more products to try on my upper level horses. What amazes me is that my whole team has noticed improvements very quickly in all of the horses! They Advanced horses are greatly benefiting from the ECP Matrix as well now. All of the boys are on the Immune Matrix, and George is the healthiest he has ever been!! (Anyone that knows George knows that he usually spend most of Aiken on antibiotics or has something health related going on!)

Rox has finally developed muscling that he has struggled with in the past. He has been able to truly step up his game and the strength he has developed makes me very pleased to have him on the Muscle Matrix!

As you can see, I can't praise this company enough!! My absolute favorite part to this company is that it is all natural, completely organic, no additives! Healthy healthy healthy!! They have a line of products for small animals and humans as well. I have been taking the Immune, daily, and energy supplements and have been healthy, more alert and sharp, and not getting 'worn out' at the end of our long days! That certainly says something!! Check them out, these products are worth trying!!

So I need to update everyone on the Aiken happenings...

First, Rox will be fine, sorry it has taken me so long to post this, but I wanted to have a clearer picture on what happened. We are incredibly lucky in an incredibly unfortunate situation. Rox took a bad step while giving me a very exuberant flying change on landing side of a warm up fence. In the process he managed to get a minor strain in his LF, no damage (that is the lucky part), just swelling, which still requires time to heal. So he is sound, very cranky and stall bound for a little while longer. I am going to be very careful and conservative bringing him back, he is truly a special horse for me and he has lots ahead of him still :)

George is in fine form and will be starting out next weekend at Full Gallop in the prelim. Ray makes his 2011 debut at novice level this weekend at Sporting Days (home to KSEventing south)! Both horses had a wonderful jump school with Phillip yesterday and are feeling great going into their first events!

Also Joey did his first event of the season at PineTop and I am quite pleased with him. He is feeling fresh and fit....and ready for much bigger jumps!!

Thank you everyone for following along!!