The First 2 phases – Sunday 12th September 2021
The first day of this 3-phase event took place in Glengarriff on a rainy Sunday 12th of September, and comprised of the MA (occasionally referred to as Control of Paces) and the PTV (Obstacle) course.
The first rider set out for the MA phase of this event just after 10am, when it looked like there was no hope of the rain stopping. Each rider completed the timed and marked 150m long x 2m wide corridor first one way, in as slow and controlled a canter as they could manage without breaking stride or stepping out of the narrow corridor, and then back the other way, trying to get their steeds to walk as quickly as possible, again not stepping out/or changing gait. It was our first time using electronic timing equipment in a competition. With the timing equipment beeping merrily away as the rider passed between the flags, we were also manually timing the rider with a stop watches (our backup system should the electronic sensors and wet weather not be compatible after all!)
There were 20 riders entered for the day and after completing the MA, it was time for the PTV (obstacle) phase. This was to be no ordinary PTV phase. Designed by the Chef de Piste - Bastian - to allow riders to experience a greater variety of obstacles on the same day this phase would consist of not just one PTV course of 16 obstacles but two separate courses giving a total of 32 obstacles in all – thus, the PTV XL.
With the help of the volunteers and some of the riders (who would be judging levels other than their own), the first course of the PTV got under way. Thankfully the rain had started to clear just as the PTV started. Level 3 and Level 1 riders rode Course 1 first while the Level 2 riders helped judge. The horses and their riders had to negotiate jumps, water crossing, inclines, a footbridge and to duck under low branches without touching them. After breaking for lunch and a quick swap over of judges, we then saw our Level 2 riders complete Course 1. There was a brief changeover of the course transitioning from Course 1 to Course 2. This time we began the course with our Level 2 riders before the last short break to change parts of the course, and riders and judges changed over, with Level 1 and then Level 3 getting their chance to do Course 2 obstacles. It was a wonderful day out and everyone got to experience a wide range of obstacles. We completed the day with a group photo of the riders that had been able to stay until the end.
The day was an overall success, but we couldn’t have done it without Bastian letting us use his land for the venue or creating the wonderful courses, our TD Gwen - handling all sorts of queries, Jill our scorer, and all our judges and all the riders not only gave us competitors to judge but were also there to help with judging.
Looking forward to Sunday the 19th for the final phase – the POR!
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