After our 2:30am school in the show ring we went back to the hotel to retire to bed at around 4am. Then back up at 5am to get to the show for a 6am course walk. Hannah and Leslie arrived early as well so Hannah could walk the course with us. The back gate was a mob of riders all looking for their copy of the course. After the walk we retired to the stands to watch the first horse go at 6:30am. Dave was kind enough to make our Starbucks round for us. Thank goodness for Starbucks!! We needed the caffeine after practically pulling an all nighter. After the first 15 horses went I headed to the barn to get on Parker for a hack. When I felt confident that he was quiet enough for his class we headed back to wash legs and clean him up. Coach/rider/professional groom all in one. :) I got the call from Clare giving me an update where they were in the order and that it was time for Amanda to get on. Amanda and I got Parker ready and walked down the parking garage ramps to the 1st floor. (We were on the 3rd). Out to the sidewalk in the stormy weather and into the warm-up ring.
After a very good school we headed over to the next building where the show ring is. At the backgate we patiently await for the blue curtains to open before entering the ring. Amanda was very calm and cool, if she was nervous you could not tell. I think being on Parker, her reliable mount for 3 years, gave her the confidence she needed to go in and get the job done the best she could. Parker went into the ring impressed and ears perked but went right to work. He was late to get his eye on jump 3 and a little rough at the oxer in front of the judge but was solid every where else. He boldly jumped the big ASPCA wall jump away from the gate. Amanda was very pleased coming out of the ring and proud of her horse for doing the job she needed him to do.
We finished watching the rest of the class and then stayed to watch the World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix. That didn't start till 7pm and eventhough we were all exhausted we were very excited to watch this class. After watching the the Grand Prix we went back to the hotel at around 9:30pm. A little late night room service and packing our suitcases we retired to bed at around 11pm. Back up at 3:30am to get to the airport for a 5:30am flight. Parker got on the van to head to the airport at 4am and he arrived in Seattle on his flight at 6pm. We arrived in Seattle at 10:30 am and looked forward to a little R & R.
As always a crazy schedule and not much sleep but an adventure that is well worth it. So the question is "who is going next year?"