The crew was setting up the jumps for the Versatile Horse and Rider Competition. I’d never heard of that and watched curiously. I saw the jumps go in and then they were setting out cones and barrels. The barrels I understood but there was a strange contraption in the corner and in another place they left the poles from the jumps on the ground.
Finally the 6 finalists were called into the ring for a walkthrough. The strange contraption in the corner was a “mock” shower. The horse and ride stood under it while the rider dumped confetti from a bucket on them. They had to maneuver through the poles and back up in a Z pattern. They had to race barrels and jump fences, open gates and “shoot” a coyote. At one point the horse had to stand and wait while the rider dismounted to pick up a basket of eggs.
The horse was then led across a “bridge over a brook”. Oh My! I wouldn’t have remembered all of the things if I were the rider. All of the tasks had to be completed in under 6 1/2 minutes or the horse and rider were disqualified.
Even if they completed the course within the time the scores were then calculated on how flawlessly they finished. Points off for a top rail down or for missing an obstacle and so on.
I didn’t think I’d like this being more of a traditionalist but it was fun!
I concentrated on the jumps because a young college student told me to my face that photographing jumpers was too hard for me. ( Such arrogance from one so young) That was about a year ago and I’d been looking for a chance to prove her wrong ever since. I was pretty satisfied with the captures except for the lighting. In the summer those events are outdoors so lighting would not have been as much of an issue.
This was the last even before Fantasia at 7:30. The rest of my time here would be in the stands.