Natasha and I did the dash to Ipoh for the Mitavite Horse Show over the weekend. We got there on Friday afternoon as I wanted to scout the derby area for Sunday’s Fun In The Garden, as it was being called. It was really nice to get out into the derby area for a walk around so that I could work out some ideas and measure some distances. I know Natasha, who was a very successful Eventing chair of EAM in her time, was a little nostalgic about walking around what used to be an eventing course.
I then booted up my PPD program and plotted the courses. For the first time in my 40 years of going to horse shows, I was given a lychee martini, as I worked in the derby designs. It was genuinely a new experience that I thoroughly enjoyed.
I had a few of the national course designer trainees that I had started off at the National Horse Show 2017 at this show too. Joseph Chong Soon, Adrian Tu, Greg McLaren and Cassandra Ch’ng joined Neduchalian and myself in Ipoh. It was interesting for them as we would be designing Sunday’s derbies as well as Saturday’s A2 speed classes.
Saturday’s jumping went about as I expected it. The 1.00 m class riders did a better job. They have been the height class that lacked technique, but this time they handled the questions posed by my course quite well. I was pleased with them.
Not such much the 1.15 m class jumpers. With the exception of Sydney Maynard and Urgola, they all went backwards. Some of them looked like they were going in slow motion.
It came as no surprise when they got out onto the derby course, they didn’t know what to do. If all you ever do is a maximum of 300 m/m in training, you are going to find a 400 m/m course much more than you can handle. Those of you who can only ride with the handbrake locked on are missing out on so much fun.
The other observation I made was that as soon a fillers are added to jumps, everyone freaks out and can’t jump anymore. It isn’t about the heights. It is about the fillers.
For goodness sake everyone, planks and gates and ladders don’t make the jumps any higher. Get over it already. If fillers are an issue, confront the issue every day. Make sure you jump fillers in training every day till your horses get used to them.
Watching the 1.10 m horses go around the derby course, I needed a lychee martini refill.
It was a fun show, not just because it was in Ipoh. Mitavite, ENA and the Perak Turf Club Equestrian Centre did a great job in hosting it.