Once again we were blessed with great weather during our spring event. It did rain on Sunday but the footing held up beautifully in all phases.
We were slightly down in numbers this year due to a few reasons. Pine Top entered a new Prelim division to it's calender that I think took a few horses from our event. Also heard via the grapevine that there were a few more snowbirds that headed to Ocala for various reasons this year.These are not criticisms just observations.
Running events is very hard ,even when one is in good shape. Pulling the event together this time was dome by the most amazing group of people.I am so grateful to have so many dear friends to stay over and paint and rake and do EVERYTHING!
So the event itself went smoothly except for a few scheduling surprises. In reading the return event evaluations one trys to pay attention to the requests of the riders but sometimes they're pretty hard.There were a lot of comments about dead footing in the dressage ring and how deep it was and hard to accommodate from grass to sand. If anyone really looks at the low scores and the few faults in show jumping I do not think low scares can be attributed to footing. Sorry guys....You just have to ride better. No matter what.
We will work on trying to water and drag the rings,but this will mean spending time making the days longer and more costly.So be careful what you ask for.We are looking into water trucks and better harrows.These do not come cheap.
We ADORE you comeing to Paradise and believe me we are doing the best we can on a shoe string.Every year at least a minimum or @20,000.00 is put into the event.We are working on a second level area,last estimate $25,000.00.We are thinking about stabling......
What we want is a quality experience for you and your horses. WE do think jumping in the sand is a better prep for the next big boy weekend.Even those that are not going advanced at Pine top deserve to jump in a big boy atmosphere.
The cross country courses were great. They flowed nicely and had wonderful training questions.Our new sunken road (built by my long time friend Chris Owens) was very well received. There were many compliments,including Phillip Dutton saying he thought the prelim course was one of the best on the east coast. We are happy with that.
This is NOT to discourage lower level people from coming to Paradise. Paradise Farm is a place for learning.SOMEHOW we must abolish the complete untruths that Paradise is too big for the average bear.
We have jumps that start at 2 feet and go all the way up. NO ONE is EVER EVER asked to jump past ones level and confidence is key. There is no yelling or forcing here ever. It is all about the horse. If there is a problem,one simply steps down a level. No shame in that,only HORSEMANSHIP!
There is a jumping derby the following Wednesday with 5 completely different courses established. This year only 30 horses came after 2 straight days of changing course. Very discouraging.The jumping derbies are an incredibly useful and fun way to give your horses mileage.We do thank those that did come however.
So the next one is October 21-22. We WILL have tent stabling. I'm telling you now IT WILL NOT BE CANCELLED SO PLEASE SHOOT ANYONE IN THE NOSE FOR US THAT PASSES THAT RUMOUR AGAIN!!Truly that is such a bore.
Good luck to all that are off to their new respective seasons. Wish I could join you but I'm still on the back burner for now. Thank you all for your help Love Lellie