Friday Media Break (Great Meadow)

Onward! To the weekend!
(Erin Sylvester and Paddy the Caddy in the 2019 Great Meadow International 4*)
I don't know about you guys, but this week has been insanely busy. I know it was a holiday on Monday, but I already feel chewed up and spit out by this week, and can't wait for the break of the weekend. With that in mind (and knowing how many people are gearing up for Burghley action), I thought I'd share some photos nabbed two weeks ago at Great Meadow's 3* and 4* cross country.
Jenny Brannigan and Twilightslastgleam in the 4*
Cross country day was astoundingly beautiful. One of those amazing Virginia summer afternoons where the breeze keeps the heat to a minimum, and the skies are so clear the mountains and clouds seem to sparkle. It was truly a magnificent day to spend spectating an event.
Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection (Winners of the Great Meadow 4*!)
A whole group of us met up at Great Meadow, ready to traipse across the property to see every fence in the 3* and 4*. Thankfully the short format made it feel like not much walking at all. In fact, from almost every angle of the property you could see more than one fence. That made the whole event feel pretty intimate from a spectator standpoint. Definitely different from Kentucky, where you can spend long minutes hiking across a field with nary a fence in sight.
Lauren Kieffer and Landmark's Monte Carlo in the Great Meadow 3*
We succeeded in our goal, catching every fence in both divisions. Thankfully we did, as many issues came up for riders in the 3* shortly after our arrival, and we began to worry we wouldn't get to see many riders make it to the middle of the course. Eventually word must have passed through the riders on how the early questions should be ridden, as more and more riders started to come make it through the difficult questions.
Marley Stone Bourke and LVS Dassett Charisma weren't the only ones to struggle with this extremely difficult line of offset brush fences. They might have given me the most dramatic photo of the day, though.
To some degree, I enjoy watching a course that is full of difficult questions. It's interesting to see how different riders approach the striding or angles. It's also interesting to see how many riders can put a big mistake behind them and move right on to the next question. That takes guts and willpower. My hat is off to them.
Will Coleman and TKS Cooley in the Great Meadow 4* water complex.
Of course, there's just something so magical and inspiring about watching these talented and driven riders pilot their brave steeds around a challenging cross country course. As a spectator, I can't help but be pulled along with every pair that gallop past. It's just plain fun.
Will Coleman again, this time on DonDante, who pinged over this massive and airy oxer.
I can't get enough of running from fence to fence just to watch and cheer. Great Meadow is such a friendly place to do this, plus it's a super dog friendly venue. For this event there was even a "Mars" dog hospitality tent. This location was complete with free treat bags and leashes for fluffy friends. If you can believe it, the tent was actually air conditioned to allow dogs to cool down mid course. What an amazing idea! Obviously Asterid and Lyra enjoyed their time there!
Emily Hamel and Corvett boldly leap into a 4* water complex.
One of the big reasons we end up hitting almost every jump on course is so Emma (y'all know Emma) can nab video footage of trips through the course. She's always putting together these comprehensive video recaps of local events. They are super fun. You almost feel like you see everything a course has to offer just from watching her recaps.
Cornelia Dorr and Sir Patico MH come flying through the 4* corners.
This trip to Great Meadow was no different. Somehow Emma had her video up before I even managed to get my photo card loaded onto my computer for editing. I'm super impressed, and had a blast watching her video as I edited the same riders in those complexes. Since we were often standing next to each other, the angles in the photo and video are really similar, which is pretty cool.
I spy a familiar redhead on the left, taking video of Allison Springer and Business Ben through the main 4* water complex.
You should totally take a look at Emma's video to see the riders and horses in my photos in action. It's really fun to see if the impression given in photos is the same when you watch the corresponding video. (Also, watch for a husky cameo!)

What do you think? Is it more fun to watch the video or to peer at the photos? Which would you prefer if you were riding? Personally, I think I prefer the photos long term. However, video is so useful from a training and preparation standpoint. This is such an individual question, so I'm dying to know all of your feelings.
Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Pick Pocket, winners of the Great Meadow 3*!
In the meantime, I hope everyone enjoys their Friday and has a great weekend. Hope this little media break was just what you needed to kickstart your day and inspire your weekend!


  1. So first I thought that first photo was you and Bast and I was going to say that you two looked adorable as eventers LOL It was not you tho haha!

    I'm with you. I love photos long term to look at, especially when they capture excellent moments when you're having fun. It's a little easier to set up comparison photos as well, rather than videos. I love videos though, especially close after the fact because the ride is fresh in my mind, so while I thought we may have messed up, the video can help me see from the ground if it was actually okay, or if what I was feeling was correct/reflected in the video. If I can, I'll get both every time, but if it comes down to one or the other, I prefer photos.

    1. I use video SO MUCH in training. They're so damn helpful. But photos are just SO PRETTY, haha.

  2. what a fun day ;) i love great meadow so much, and just wish it wasn't such a haul to get down there from baltimore!!! all your pics are gorgeous as always


Post a Comment