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Last Sunday, I spent the day XC jump judging for Flying Cross Farm’s horse trial. Despite the plethora of schooling trials in the area, this farm features the immediate area’s ONLY recognized event, and it features levels ranging from Starter to Prelim. It even features a collegiate challenge for the University of Louisville, so a fun show with local flair! Since I couldn’t ride in it this year, I wanted to support as a volunteer, and I am glad I did.

Let me start by saying, it was a LONG DAY. I probably should have heeded everyone’s advice and done half a day, but I knew the event needed the volunteers AND the weather was going to be pretty good. So, I hopped out of bed at 6AM (and the wonderful husband got up to and packed me a cooler), and I drove the 16 minutes to Flying Cross Farm… in the pitch black.

The event organizers were nice enough to let us bring our cars out on course, which was an absolute godsend given that 1- they weren’t sure if it was going to start raining mid day; 2 – I had to move to a new jumps area every division; 3 – I wanted to have my cooler with me. I have been REALLY in control of my diet for the last month and a half, and I didn’t want to rely on the (totally generous and awesome) volunteer lunches.

First up was Prelim, and I got to sit at a nice, straight forward jump, fairly early in the course (jump 6). It even looked mostly jump-able to me! So you know it was friendly for Prelim. There were (unsurprisingly) no issues at this fence.

[wpvideo V9lHvryn ]

Next up was Training, where one of my barn mates was taking on her First Training Horse Trial!!! (not going to lie, this was part of the reason I was volunteering). She let me share her go-pro video with everyone, so enjoy! You can see how much support she had from the various non-go-pro videos sprinkled throughout. It was truly awesome!

https://www.facebook.com/leah.vasquez.503/videos/2214168505279863/

Needless to say, she did a great job and was clear but not everyone was as lucky at my fence. The longish grass, combined with the downhill approach and even more downhill landing, caused a couple of refusals and one girl to retire. It was a new jump to the course, so I’m not even sure most local people had ridden over it yet. Either way, Training ended up being the SECOND most-interest jump judging division for me.

At both Novice and BN, I had the first jump of a line of jumps that were basically a stretched out coffin question. Novice had zero issues, and BN only saw one refusal at the ditch. I think most horses actually benefited from being able to get their eye on something before and after the ditches.

[wpvideo c56V9faE ]

Starter was just a baby roll top next to the Novice and BN jumps I just judged. It actually caused the most problems out of any of the jumps I judged that day. I saw a couple of run outs and even one poor rider who completely forgot about the jump previously. My day ended up ending right before 6PM, so long, but I got so much out of it.

Overall, it was a great day, where the temps hovered about 80 degrees and the sun stayed mostly behind the clouds. Although, I did get a RIDICULOUS sock tan… so no skirts or dresses for me at work this week. (COME ON FALL – MAMA NEEDS TIGHTS) And… I found that I really didn’t think the Novice XC course was unattainable for me. Show Jumping needs a ton of work for us to get there (or even to get back in the ring at BN), but it really gave me the bug to get out and at least school XC again soon.

How about you? Do you enjoy volunteering/jump judging?

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  1. martidoll123

    sock tan 😉 And no photo of said sock tan. For shame 🙂 HA….glad you had a (long) fun-filled day! 🙂

    1. Emily

      The only person allowed to see my sock tan is my husband 😉 Ran out of work pants last night, actually have makeup around my ankles to hide the shame today!

  2. Karen & Hampton

    I spent all day Fri and Sat volunteering so I had lost motivation by Sunday! lol!! Really makes you appreciate what goes on behind the scenes at these events and I’m not even an eventer! whew!

    1. Emily

      One day our paths will cross! hahaha. It’s so different than the HJ shows when I was younger. At HJ shows you need so fewer people. Are Dressage shows similar in their chaos? I have never been to a straight Dressage competition!

  3. emma

    sounds like a good day!

  4. KC Scott

    I want to see the sock tan!! ?? looks like it was fun!

    1. Emily

      It’s still going strong, so you all might get a picture after all :-/ hahaha

  5. Sounds like you had some interesting jumps to judge. I love jump judging, but when riders have issues, I get pretty stressed out. I rather enjoy being at the straight forward jumps and not worrying as much.

    1. Emily

      It definitely made me all uncomfortable when there were issues. Glad the issues that did happen were super minor.

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