A group of volunteers zigzagged through the arena, dragging standards and carrying poles to be decorated with streamers, flags, and even a Charmander for Woodland’s second installment of the Just Jump It series. Thunder rolled ominously overhead just as they put the finishing touches on the last fences and the sky darkened. After comparing a dozen weather forecasts they decided to go ahead with the show and hope the rain held off.
Two classes managed to make it through the ring before lightning forced Coach Ashley to postpone the event until the next evening. On Sunday, July 31, Just Jump It part II took place under stormy skies. The horses and riders didn’t let the poor weather stop them from putting forth great rides.
This show featured newcomers and returning competitors from the last show, which you can read about here.
One of the returning riders was Aubrie. Aubrie completed one of her first full courses with the help of her instructor, Erica. She and Carl maneuvered a ring full of eye-catching jumps like Christmas in July and two Pokemon themed fences. The audience helped cheer this young rider on and she finished strong despite some initial nervousness. Great job Aubrie!
Lily braved the rain to complete several courses on newcomer Prince. Neither the weather nor the challenging courses could break their focus and Lily won two firsts and a second place ribbon. We hope we’ll see more from this talented team in the future.
Julie returned on her horse, Vegas. The duo had one course with stops and shaky distances but they persevered, schooled, and came back with a new game plan. (Spoiler: the game plan was ‘more leg!’) The rest of their courses were hugely improved and Julie left the ring with her characteristic exclamations of “Good boy!!” and lots of pats for Vegas.
Julie was also vocal in cheering on her daughter, Natalie, who piloted Johnny through some of the only clear rounds of the night. For those of you who know Johnny, you may have been surprised to see him moving so quickly. This guy definitely feels at home flying over fences!
Sydney was another popular return. She rode Howdy in the lower levels but switched to trusty pony Bruno for the higher jumps. She was extra careful not to pull any rails and Bruno sailed through the tight turns with the ease of a seasoned jumper.
Columbia Horse Center, one of Woodland’s sister barns, sent riders on the first day but unfortunately they could not return for the rain date. Rain is something that competitors of all levels deal with and although it makes the ground slick and the riders grumpy it also brings out the best in people. Everyone at the show worked extra hard to make it run smoothly, especially Coach Ashley, who designed the courses and judged the show. (You can also thank her for this majestic Squirtle decoration.)
The last Just Jump It show is August 20. We encourage interested riders to talk to their instructors about which classes to sign up for. Non-riders are always welcome to watch, photograph, and join in the family spirit as we all cheer our riders on rain or shine.
Just in case you’re still on the fence about attending, here’s a clip of Sydney and Bruno jumping with the usual amount of Woodland encouragement.