Show Report Part 12: Listen to the Caller...

September, 20 - there it was – the last two day show weekend of this season. At least, that is what we thought. We drove again to Styria, about a 100kms drive from here. There was a beautiful stable located right in the mountains. I hadn’t been there before but I have to admit the view was stunning.

This show was supposed to be the last part of the Austrian Haflinger Challenge, a series especially for the blondes in dressage and show jumping up all levels. As you might remember, we had been in another qualifier in this series as well, back then in May, in Wels, Upper Austria (read here and watch here: http://www.dressagehafl.com/2014/06/show-report-part-5-fairy-tale.html).

Some might even remember that the qualification tests did not go that well on that weekend. Thus, I had no hope whatsoever that we would still qualify for the finals (you needed at least two out of four results to be eligible for the finals and you needed to be among the six best riders in your class). I was pretty relaxed as I had nothing to lose – surprisingly, we did not lose but in the end win and even qualified with two very good results for the finals in first and second level in late October in Lower Austria. Wow! How did we do that?

Well, here is what the judges said:

On Saturday, we rode two tests. The first was a first level test we finished second out of five with a 6.70. The final remark said that it was an accurate tests but some of the transitions need improvement. Extensions were ok, especially those in canter, walk was good, canter was good! Unfortunately, he was not immobile in the halt. The best finished with a 7.2, the last got a 5.8.

The second was a in between second/third (remember, the so called LM test in Austria), that we finished last (major mistake when you can hear the caller but do not listen…) with still a 60.784%. I was proud anyway. We got 7s for the canter, even an 8 for the medium canter (yes, you did read 8! can you imagine how proud I am about this improvement?!), half pass, walk and the walk pirouettes were not compelling. I was placed last with the first getting a 68.824%. We got a ribbon anyway.


On Sunday, as well we entered two tests. The first was a first level we won out of five with a 6.90 and the second a second level we finished 3rd out of 4, with a 6.40.



Pictures from the show venue FB page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.790471754328678.1073741843.194403527268840&type=1


In the first test, the final remark said that we need to work on the extensions, transitions were smooth, there was a lack of upwards tendency in the extended canter. The last pair in this test got a 5.8.

In the second test, the final remark said that we need to work on collection, especially canter walk transitions. In the walk pirouettes there needs to be more forward, walk was a bit tense, trot extensions were hurried, serpentines were good, rein back as well. First got a 7.2, last a 6.2.


On this weekend, we got four ribbons out of 4 entries – could not have been much better. Still, these good results are the reason why our show season now lasts longer than expected – but I am proud to be part of the finals in the Haflinger Challenge now.



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