Saturday, June 5, 2010

Rubicon Course Walk Photos

Katchi and I are off to compete at Rubicon tomorrow. This will be my first time trying out their show jumping on a cliff course! Actually, the course sort of sits on two plateaus, separated by a "mini-cliff". Being a bit hyper-sensitive to the flow of courses and use of terrain, I have to say that I am really impressed with David O'Connor's SJ designing! He really tests the rider's ability to hold a line, and if they can't - their mistake will provide a very useful (costly in time, but perfectly safe) lesson as they fade down the hills away from the next jump.

Below is a picture of just one example of this masterful work - jump #5 is a vertical at the edge of the top plateau. Riders then come down the shallowest part of the "mini-cliff" with a left hand turn to a 2 stride in-out on the lower-level plateau, with the second element a Swedish oxer. Wow! No-one ever puts a Swedish oxer in a combination, but it's perfect here. Because it tells the riders, they better not just come down this line, center-to-center, fat dumb and happy! They better be jumping on the left side, or else 1) they'll jump the wrong part of the oxer and likely have the back rail down, and 2) the ground cuts away hard to the right about 2 strides after landing - one does not want to fade right in this combination (thank you Sharon White for drilling us over and over on that detail at my lesson on Thursday!).

Immediately following the combination at #6, we make a left turn and up a steeper part of the "mini-cliff" to a vertical waiting for us at the top. In the picture below, #7 is the vertical to the right side of the picture. Very very clever use of terrain!
And now onto XC - course looks great! I'm super excited that FINALLY someone has put a real corner on a Training level course!

I think the Training bank complex will be in the mind of many Training riders tonight. I think it will ride superb, but the final element table is freaking huge! The picture below does not do it justice. Small table (#11A), 2 strides to bank down (#11B), to a bending 4 stride to aforementioned big freaking table (#12). I think you just kick-on, and it will be great - I'm already imagining telling Katchi "GOOD BOY!" as he leaps over that table!

But the best jump on the course is on the Prelim course. It has its own beer!!! Look carefully at the pictures below - you might just detect a cut out square with a handle in the middle of the log (which I tried quickly to open before the first Prelim horse came through, but then I saw jump judges and photographers with their eye on me, and I lost the nerve to investigate further). However, there was evidence of beer in the pile of beer bottle caps laying below the jump's BUILT-IN beer bottle opener!!! This truly is the best jump ever.

Until tomorrow...

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