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March 21, 2013

Checking Off The Boxes, Counting Down The Days

Jennie Brannigan planted a big one on her new mount I Bella, who's placed well in her first eventing outings since transitioning from the West Coast show jumping world.

Greetings, everyone, from the passenger’s seat of my truck, which is on the way to yet again another fun-filled weekend of eventing! I hope everyone’s doing well. While we’ve been cracking away at the events down south, I’ve heard that those who are still up north are preparing for the events up there... Which sounds like it means riding in the snow at the moment.

I must say that I’ve been really happy with how the horses have been going at all levels so far this season. My young horses, Cassie and Carter, have done well at Sporting Days and Pine Top, with highlights being Beth Battel’s Cassie wining the novice wire to wire at Sporting Days, and Nina and Tim Gardner’s Right Above It being third at his first training level. Cheryl Gamboney’s Gambado also picked up back-to-back training level wins at both events.

The Gardners’ little mare I Bella’s switch to being an event horse (she was a jumper out on the West Coast with Ashlee Bond up until this year) has gone very well. She came second and sixth, ending on nice dressage scores at both events at training level. I’m very excited about her, and while she was eventing last weekend, her former rider was busy coming ninth in a huge field in Thermal in the Million Dollar Grand Prix. Pretty cool!

Indie and Ping have also had their first FEI starts this season, which went incredibly well at Red Hills two weeks ago. Ping won the three-star dressage and then jumped well to come in fourth while Indie has really stepped up to the plate this season, winning the CIC** there. While his results have been quite good, I’m far more happy with the amount of confidence the horse seems to have at the level, and I feel like keeping him aimed at another two-star was the right decision for this nice young horse.

Ping seems to be getting fit and strong, and I’m tentatively letting myself get just a little excited for Kentucky. The training sessions have been quite helpful, and it’s also been great to get some specialized help with Scott Keach in the show jumping and Mara Depuy in the dressage. I feel like, fingers crossed, so far the season is going well, and I’m sure hoping it stays that way!

Hard to believe we soon head up north and that Aiken is almost over. Jim and Sarah Wildasin have been amazing to put me up in a lovely apartment at their place, and I have to say I really enjoyed Aiken this year, which is a very nice surprise! The Wildasins have been there for me through some tough times with Cooper and when I broke my collarbone while living at their place two years ago. So a big thank you to them for being supportive and also letting me stay with them again!

Fingers crossed for a good weekend with my young ones this weekend at Southern Pines, and I hope everyone else has a good, safe weekend as well.

All the best, and thanks for taking the time to read!

Jennie

Brannigan Eventing

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