Last Sunday we took a few hour drive with the ponies to Sleepy Hollow, NY for the Friends of the Rockefeller hunter pace. Friends of the Rockefeller is a great conservation organization that works to protect the Rockefeller State Park Preserve’s wildlife and habitat, sustain its historical and archeological features, and maintain its unique system of carriage roads. We got to ride on the beautiful carriage roads up and down the mountain. People that live in the area get to ride this park all year ’round, as it is open to the public. (Lucky people)
The scenery was absolutely beautiful! It was pretty chilly and breezy, but thank goodness no rain in sight. You could see the water (I think the Hudson river but I may be WAY off). There were a few jumps, not as many as last weekend, but we got a few nice log and hay bale jumps in. When we first got there I was freezing and was going to wear a show shirt, sweater, down vest and down jacket, but thank goodness trainer convinced me to take the down jacket off as after about 15 minutes of riding I was sweating.
Now for the ribbons…. for those of you who may not have participated in a hunter pace, the objective is to ride the closest to the “optimal time”. Optimal time is set by someone selected by the organizers of the hunter pace who rides the course at the pace for your division ahead of time (either the day before or the morning of usually), for example, pleasure pace is a slower, leisurely pace, while hunt pace is supposed to simulate a fox hunt, with mostly cantering and trotting where necessary due to footing. Whatever time that person clocks in at riding the hunter pace course, that becomes the optimal time for each division, setting the standard by which the ribbons are decided.
Our pace was 1 hour 1 minute. I guess we had a little too much fun galloping the wide carriage roads because the optimal pace turned out to be 1 hour 23 minutes, effectively shutting us out of the ribbons. Whoops…. I have an OTTB with a big stride what is a girl to do?!
Mabou wore his new Rambo Newmarket cooler…. fit great and it is really nice quality! (Sure got lucky here as I brought the threw the brand new cooler in the trailer to bring without even trying it on him first) I was pleasantly surprised that the neck was cut a little higher, which fit great on his narrow shoulders.
I don’t have any action shots at the moment to post, but my trainer’s sister was nice enough to come to the pace and take photos for us! So I will post those when I get them, hopefully later this week. For now I will just post the “hanging out waiting to ride” pics!
We got home around 6:30 p.m., making for a very long day, but it was worth it!