Thursday, July 26, 2012

Montana Madness

After a hiatus last year from the annual West Coast Eventer's pilgrimage to Rebecca Farms, the DF Team was determined not to miss out on all of the wonderful things that Kalispell, Montana has to offer this year in July. Of course, the main reason for going is the second-to-none International Three Day Event at Rebecca Farms. This venue is basically Disneyland for event riders where the only thing missing is possibly speakers at each jump playing your favorite music as you pass by. If you can forgo the music, then you will be delighted with the grounds, attention to detail in every jump from 3*** to Novice, and the unbelievable hospitality. If you have missed this show in the past....Shame on you!

The DF Crew rented a fabulous house for the week and made sure to fit in plenty of sightseeing in between horsie activities. The entertainment in Kalispell and its surrounding areas is endless this time of year, and we had no problem finding something for everyone to enjoy, as well as making a very long list of things to do next year! And after a long day of riding and playing, there is nothing better than a home-cooked meal with friends back at "the cabin".

Camp DF for the week

One of the many beautiful sights on our trip to Glacier Park
Aside from having a wonderful time enjoying Montana, we also had an amazing show!

High Times and Jennifer McFall were unstoppable in the CCI*. Leading from start to finish, "Billy" was completely professional and dominated the division with strong performances in all three phases. This was High Times' first International win, but with a performance like that, he promises much more.

High Times is focused and elegant with Jennifer McFall to lead after Dressage

High Times produces a double clear round cross country to maintain his lead
High Times clinches the CCI* win after a stylish round

Natalie Jensen was also successful in the FEI divisions with her longtime partner, Wrigley. She and Wrigley finished 8th in CIC* with their personal best performance over this tough track. Of course, in Eventing looks aren't everything, but this pair presents a wonderful polish over their tough center which is a delight to watch and icing on an already great cake.

Natalie Jensen and Wrigley are ready to make a splash on the jog lane
Natalie and Wrigley showing their US pride on their way to a great finish
Merissa Underwood and her mare, Danny California, really put it together for this show and gave an incredible performance in the Young Rifer Preliminary. Merissa's focus was determined and steadfast upon a confident but soft ride and Danny responded with a gorgeous clear round cross country. In the end, the two were rewarded with an impressive seventh place ribbon to add to their collection.

Merissa Underwood and Danny California gave a beautiful performance in Dressage
Danny and Merissa exhibiting their trademark boldness 
Claire Jan and her adorable, high-flying Artistic Flaire, ended in fifth in a very competitive Junior Open Training division. Claire has been busy in the Dressage court and it showed with a solid test performed here in Kalispell. In her jumping phases, Claire is much more in command and with her stronger and more positive ride, Ace has responded with faster and cleaner rounds!

Claire Jan and Artistic Flaire fly over the steeplechase fence on cross country
Artistic Flaire stays tidy off the more forward distance
Caroline Dein tackled her first ever long format in the Training Three Day at Rebecca Farms. There's nothing quite like the long format, and your first one is certainly overwhelming with all of the jogs, mandatory gates, and steeplechase to contend with. Not to mention that the Dressage test is harder and there a million people in your class. But Caroline and her lovely mare, Lucid Opposition, came through it like champs and will most certainly carry this great experience forward as they continue to move through the levels.

Caroline Dein and Lucid Opposition are the picture of class in the jog lane
Lucid Opposition shows her heart over the big ditch brush with a good ride from Caroline

Natalie Jensen had a fantastic weekend on her younger mount as well, garnering the tenth place ribbon in the Sr. Open Novice D with Art In Motion. "Spencer" is a top prospect over fences and has really been making progress in the boring sandbox without any jumps in it. He will most certainly continue to improve as he moves up the levels and it becomes less of a Dressage show for him.

Art In Motion is aptly named with Natalie Jensen
The young Rouge et Blanc DF has been the definition of consistency in the Young Event Horse Four Year Old Series. He has scored in the 80's in all three of his YEH competitions with Jennifer McFall while amassing tons of admirers along the way. At Rebecca Farms, he tied for third with a very solid performance over fences. This flashy Morgan/TB cross has upper levels written all over him with his classic form and very trainable temperament.

Rouge et Blanc DF
Rouge et Blanc DF had a fantastic run on the green grass of Rebecca Farms
Rouge et Blanc DF has classic form and great style in his Frilly Fillies Bonnet

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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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