Pine Top Farm ran their Spring Advanced Horse Trials over my last weekend in the US. The Friday was actually my day off but I didn’t want to miss out on the action, so I was up at 4am to get the Big 5 – Mr Medicott, Mighty Nice, Atlas, Fernhill Fugitive and William Penn – loaded and on their way over to Georgia.
The weather that morning was pretty miserable, and the start of classes was delayed for an hour by an electrical storm that hit just as Phillip was getting on his first horse of the day. The rain didn’t really let up, but the show must go on, and as such a lot of horses did their dressage tests in some fairly wet and muddy conditions.
Fortunately by mid-morning the rain seemed to have passed, and the rest of the day ran quite smoothly, if not a bit muddily. Mighty Nice posted one of the only clear SJ rounds of the day on quite a slippery course, and Phillip elected to finish the day on a good note and not run him XC. Atlas posted a decent dressage score, but had a couple of uncharacteristic rails and some disagreements on the XC course led to him dropping down the leaderboard.
Mr Medicott, Fernhill Fugitive and William all produced some lovely dressage work, and were due to complete their SJ and XC over the next two days, which luckily were much sunnier than the Friday. I had a blast over the weekend grooming the horses and helping out in the warm-ups – it was very interesting to see the different warm up plans that Phillip had for each horse, according to their individual personalities and behaviours. Mr Medicott most certainly loves his job and gets pretty excited heading to the start-box – that in itself is a multiple person task!
While there was plenty of rushing around to make sure every horse was spotless and ready to be in the right place at the right time, there was also a lot of nice downtime that I got to spend with the boys that I’d grown so fond of over the past 3 months.
The highlight of the weekend was Jack (Fernhill Fugitive) taking out first place in the Intermediate – he was very consistent over the entire weekend and showing plenty of promise for a successful season ahead.
Mr. Medicott isn’t *the* Mr. Medicott, right?
Why wouldn’t he be?
Um, because Mr. Meddicot is an Olympic horse ridden by Ms. O’Conner who’s half brother is none other than *the* Flexible who’s story is absolutely amazing and his jump is just as good!!!
I dream about meeting those horses!!!
Yes, that’s correct. Phillip took over the ride on him in June last year.
Wow. That is my dream, to ride horses like that and compete professionally.
I only jump like 2′ and I *just* moved to an eventing trainer, but I want my life to speak horses. I’m not even 14 yet, so I’m trying to do everything I can to get a good equestrian education while I’m young.
May I ask how you know Mr. Dutton?
Good on you – you’ve got plenty of time to learn, so don’t give up on your dreams!
I spent 3 months working for Phillip as groom/rider, and it was the best experience of my life 🙂
I really wish I could do that. Maybe I will someday.
I’ve gotten the magazine Young Rider for five years, and reading the interviews of Phillip Dutton, Beezie Madden, Reed Kessler, and all of the other greats always inspires me to be the best I can, to get where they have gotten and to make the most of it.
And now, you do too! Thank you for that!!! 🙂
Loving the photos, the expression on Jack looks so soft and this is awesome you got to keep the ribbon! Super momento!
Jack is the biggest sweetheart! I would have brought him home in a flash, even if he did dump me.
He didn’t dump you…it was all part of a valiant effort.