It was after 5 in the evening when we got out on the cross country course to see the first half of it, that I hadn’t seen on the first day. If you recall, Jay had walked that while I was watching one of the reining sessions, so he was a little giddy in explaining what was coming up for each fence we were approaching. Sort of like seeing a movie with someone who has already seen it and can’t help but add hints throughout to their hapless friend: “oh, here comes a good part” or “you’ll never guess what happens next.” I know what happens next to me anyway, it makes me want to ditch the tour guide and walk the course alone. But, alas, I signed the “’til do us part” contract, so walk it with Mr. Information Please Almanac it was.
On the way out to the course we passed lots of European riders out grazing their horses. Almost all of them were smoking, so we had to conclude that this was actually a cigarette break disguised as grazing. The back 40 at KHP are about the only place on the park they could get away with lighting up. Too funny.
As I mentioned the other day, it has been dry in Kentucky. The park staff have been watering the galloping lanes, which have been roped off for over a year, to maintain the integrity of the footing. I took this picture to help you see how much of a difference it has made in the grass. You can see it in the background of several upcoming pictures too. Though I did walk right on the galloping lane, up to the Hollow for the blog earlier this week, I didn’t do that for other pictures because I recognize that the less human traffic on the galloping lanes the better for the horses. Also, if other people see us staying outside the ropes, they may decide to too. However, we had to cross over the galloping lane several times in our course walk today. We did so at designated crossings, and when we did so, we could definitely feel a spring to the turf that does not exist where the drought has been allowed to run its course. All the dragging hoses and sprinklers and watering and care has worked wonders.
This area was an oasis of green. This is the first water. The stouter log on the right is the AB, the option is to jump the frog going away from the water, take a right and drop into the water over the ascending rails.
As we were walking, we saw one of the 4-in-hands out for a hack in the back of the park. Their spare horse apparently has to pull his own carriage for the trip.
Here is fence two. I love its shape. Seems pretty jumpable.
On any horse who believes he can fly.
Through the miracle that is the Kentucky Horse Park, the jump that I showed you on Sunday that was a wee bit airy got a bit less airy.
They must really have good fertilizer to grow little shrubs that quickly.
Next we came across the coffin complex.
This shot is showing 7A, direct route. Seven B is the ditch that you can’t see, and the C element is one of the pair of corners that forms a diamond on the right side. The jump on the left is the longer route A element, B is the ditch and it shares the same diamond corner option for the C.
Marathon hazard with sprinklers going
After this very pretty A element near the stone wall wishing well complex,riders had a choice of taking a quick right over an immense concrete and stone, 90 degree corner or taking the longer route of jumping a stone wall, quick right and back over the wall at another place. I didn’t take a picture of the wall because I would have had to march right over the turf for full effect. You will have to trust me that it was HUGE.
Speaking of huge, here is another diamond shaped corner option,
Marathon obstacle with a water splash.
This is the third water.
Those hedges are big and the second fence is eyebrow shaped, encouraging a run-out. This particular fence is late on course and horses and riders are tired, so it will be a challenge for some.
How about some downhill, angled, related-distance FEMA-housing-sized obstacles as 23 and 24? Why yes, thank you, I’ll take two.
This little chalet at 25 looks friendly enough
Until you see how wide it is
Warning: If jumping over ditches keeps you awake on Friday night before XC day, so not look at the next several pictures. Here is the in, right or left, you choose.
Here is the direct route out.
The indirect route is on the other side and somewhat less impressive but also less convenient to the track.
Here is a look at the ditch complex so that you can see how they are related.
Sorry this bridge over a ditch is a little fuzzy. D’oh!
What I think is hysterical is that somebody, if not all the major players, are going to come down to this fence during the course walk and consider it a “let up” fence. For them, it is.
The signs say “Do not mess with the apples or our volunteers will cry because they had to make 3 trips to Kroger for the right number of each color of apples” or something similar, in 4 languages.
Thus ended our trip to the WEG 2010. It was a lovely trip and I am grateful to Purina for providing it. Purina can also provide the best nutrition for your horses. My horses have been running beautifully on it for years. Their research and product line are unsurpassed.
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Thanks for playing along!