Team FLAIR’s Melissa Miller takes a whack at the Red Hills Horse Trials…
A few days have passed since the Red Hills International Horse Trials which has given me time to reflect on how things went. Luckily for me, never having been to Red Hills before, I was able to get a great view of “The Red Hills Experience”. We were blessed this year with wonderful weather all weekend long which lead to many spectators coming and showing their support during the competition!
It’s always funny to look back on an event at how many things you may or may not change about the weekend; the best part about our sport is we don’t have to do well in one phase….. We have to do well in three phases. Dressage had it scores all over the map, with a few people in the CIC* being near the 80% mark and with people being in the low-mid 20’s in other divisions. So needless to say I was happy with the Intermediate horse keeping his brain inside of his head (which wasn’t easy with so many people there to watch) and bringing home a score in the mid 30’s.
Cross Country day was much of a waiting game as the Intermediate group didn’t start until nearly 4pm. So after plenty of time to walk the course, and watch, I was finally getting to go…. Just as I was about ready to head out of the start box we had a hold (just for a jump repair, no one was hurt thankfully) so another short wait and we were finally off. The intermediate course jumped beautifully, was decorated to no end, and my horse was eating up every jump and combination like it was nothing. That is, until I had a minor brain melt down near the end of the course….. so a circle around and off he galloped again finishing the course in great rhythm and absolutely FULL of running thanks to the wonderful FLAIR strips that kept him feeling fresh and alive the entire way around the course.
Sunday came and finally after another extremely long waiting game we were able to Show Jump, with them finishing our division around 5pm. Show jumping is held on grass on a fairly angled area that was causing several issues in all divisions. The course itself rode well with my horse and I just having minor disagreements on how we were supposed to jump (think my horse still had slight cross country fever in his head). But none the less it gave us excellent ideas to bring back home to the drawing board. And look forward to the Ocala CCI** in a few short weeks.
Overall the ‘Red Hills Experience’ was a good one and we will be looking forward to heading back there next year. As I hope FLAIR will be there as well since it’s great to see such an excellent product that supports the horses while sponsoring and supporting what we all love to do, Eventing!