Friday, August 6, 2010

Montana On Our Minds

The idea of The Event at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, MT had danced in our minds for several years. We had heard all of the glowing reports of the facility, the footing, the jumps and the hospitality. We also knew that it was an event that could draw riders from all over the country, making it the largest competition in the United States. With a spirit of adventure, a small band of Dragonfire riders and four horses made the long trek to the breathtaking beauty of Kalispell.

We were immediately overwhelmed with the scope of the Rebecca Farm Team. Attention to detail was certainly at the top of the list, and this was true for the facility, the management and the fantastic hospitality. There just isn't enough praise for
a show that provides free ice for over 600 horses and their people for an entire week!

We were also treated to top rides from the country's best, including WEG and Olympic Team members. The facility is perfectly laid out for the spectator, so we missed none of the action as Phillip Dutton, Karen O'Connor and Buck Davidson duked it out for the top slots in the Three Star. I was thrilled as Karen and Mandiba (my Baby Jade's big bro) lead all the way from Dressage through Stadium to be pinned the winners. These performances were so fantastic for our team to watch, truly inspirational.

Earl McFall aboard Wrigley, with owner Natalie Jensen

Earl McFall and his ladies: Jenny, Natalie, Christina, Merissa and Devyn. Only thing better would have been a GREEN tractor!

And, as if THAT weren't enough, Team DF had very strong performances that put us at the head of our classes! Unfortunately for Devyn Rau, she was not able to complete on her Mushu the Dragon, as he had some filling in a leg that made her stay out of the cross country competition. A very wise decision, indeed. But out of the remaining three horses, we had two first place finishes and a second.

Earl McFall was focused and accurate in his Dressage test with Natalie Jensen's Wrigley, to score a 27 and slide into second place. Earl's prowess on the tough cross country course really shined through and gained him the first place advantage going into the last day after a fast and clear round. On Stadium day he was well ahead, and even with a rail, he was able to keep his lead to win the Open Training A division.

High Times and Jennifer McFall featuring CWD saddles
My own High Times has been a force to reckon with in the Training Horse division, and in this Open Training D class in Montana, things were no different. His 28 in Dressage had him right at the top of the division in fourth place. After the most challenging cross country course of his career, "Billy" moved up to second with an exhilarating fault-free round. With yet another clear round under the time in Stadium, Billy moved into the first place slot to become the winner.

Merissa Underwood and her new mare, Danny California, make quite the stunning pair as they are both equally thin and feminine. Looks aside, they are both strong competitors who were focused throughout the competition. After an average score in Dressage, the duo focused on moving up. With speed and confidence, they mastered to Training level cross country course and added no more penalties to their score. Neither one crumbled with the pressure of the third day, and were rock solid in the Stadium for a clear round. This was no easy feat, as they were one of the few to do so! After it was all said and done, this new partnership gain the second place ribbon, and all of the great prizes that went with it, in the Junior Training A.

What a fantastic time we had competing our wonderful horses in one of the most picturesque environments imaginable. This destination will be a highlight of our 2010 show season.. and hopefully many more to come!

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Wilton, CA
A full service equestrian facility offering lessons for all ages, training, showing, breeding and sales.

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