Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Eventing Wonderland

Today I finally got home from my trip to watch the Carolina CIC.  From my first minutes in Southern Pines I was immersed in the eventing culture that we all love so much.

After a quick stop in Jacksonville to pick up my mother who was accompanying me on this trip we pulled in to Pinehurst dropped our luggage and immediately headed back out in search of food.   We intended to go to Chili's but accidently wandered in to Bone Fish Grill instead.  And man am I glad that I did.  Not only was it full of eventers, but just as we were being shown to our table Jimmy Wofford walked in! Then I had to try explain to my mother why I was practically bouncing out of my chair and craning my neck like a Justin Beiber fan who has just sighted the object of their obsession.

Ever try to explain to a non-eventer why Jimmy Wofford is a big deal?  It got complicated, but onwards with my story. After a good night's sleep Mom and I availed ourselves of the free hotel breakfast where I smiled over a parent's excitement over bringing their daughter all the way from Texas for their first 1*.

Then we headed over to the horse park.  After pulling out my fancy shmancy camera and some folding chairs Mom and I went over to start the day with show jumping.  As I am settling in to the bleacher seating I glance up and HOLY MOTHER OF EVENTING!  David O'Connor!  Again with the trying to look casual and still watch the eventing God.

Can you tell I've never been to a really big recognized event?  After watching some amazing show jumping Mom and I walked over to check out some cross country action.  Since my Mom's rhumatory arthritis makes it harder for her to walk and I didn't want my Mom witnessing a possible accident I plunked us down near the beginning of the course at the Stone Henge complex.

Loads of talented people flashing by on gleaming horses. I didn't get a whole lot of great photos from that position, too many things between me and the horses and because of the way the course ran it would be almost impossible to stand anywhere safetly.

Sunday dawned colder but the rain was supposed to hold off until the afternoon.  More free breakfast then off to the horse park.  The day before my mother had overhead the announcer talking about a rider who had gotten ditched in to the water jump. "I want to see that!" She exclaimed.  Seriously? I've created a monster.  So Sunday we found ourselves a spot by the water jump.  But I soon realized that the spot for spectators was great for watching but sucked for photos.  Looking around I spotted a couple of professional photographers and being bolder than I normally am made my way over to hang out with them.  Two of the ladies were from Brant Gamma photography, the other was a hobbyist with an awesome camera that I grilled her about.

Again tons of fantastic riders and lovely horses doing their thing and making the water complex look easy.  Not only did I see my most favorite rider Sinead Halpin galloping past but Karen O'Connor and Marilyn Little.  Through out the day I also spotted Ryan Wood, Buck Davidson, Sharon White, Charles Plumb, Doug Payne, Michael Powell, and jeez too many eventing Gods and Goddesses to count.

The whole experience was one I will always remember. The staff were friendly and helpful, the venue was great, the food was excellent and you can't fault the scenery.  Below are some of my favorite shots from the weekend.  Enjoy and keep it between the flags everyone.


  1. Great pictures! Glad you had a good time!

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  3. *gasp* Why oh why didn't you come say hi to us!!!??? *sobs*

    (ps it's just Marilyn Little now. No more Meredith.)

    I'm so glad you enjoyed our playground, I love it so! Now you see where we got our saying in Area II: "Where, if you don't set your parking brake, you'll run over an Olympic medalist." I was between Jimmy and David in the bar line at dinner, hoping that neither of them noticed me slowly suffocating as I held in my fangirling. I have clinic'd with Jimmy, but I hardly wanted to risk him remembering the girl with the orange horse who was a demon and he had to hit on the tail with his baseball cap to go over a xrail. Ah, horses...

    1. I wanted to, I really did. One of the reason I am trying to get out to more events even if my greenie isn't ready is I want to make more friends, contacts, and watch the riders I might like to clinic/train with later. But my mom was with me and walking any kind of a long distance on rougher terrain is really hard for her. Next time for sure. I want to try and volunteer at Carolina next year if I do no other volunteering this year, I want to do that.