Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Grand Prix

Another big event at the Scottsdale Show was Saturday night's Grand Prix, with it's $25,000 prize. The Grand Prix is for Jumpers, who are crazy, rather than Hunters, who are sane. At the Grand Prix, the jumps are BIG, 4'7" in this case, which puts them right about level with Shannon's nose. :) With Jumpers, it's all about speed and accuracy. They have a certain time to get around the course, the faster the better. If they knock down a rail, that's a penalty. It's very exciting to watch, but if any child or horse of mine were to do this, I'd be hiding in a stall back at the barn, crying, unable to watch.

We had good seats, right by the last jump of the course, where riders were desperate to finish quickly. That made of some dramatic pictures!
Some of these horses had serious hang time.
There were a few rails knocked down, but since the rails rest on a perfectly flat supports, they just get pushed out of the way and no one gets hurt. I usually don't/can't press the camera button in any kind of crash, but this time it just happened. Maybe because I wasn't emotionally invested in the horse or rider.
Out of the 15 entries, this guy was the winner. His name is Bjorn and he rode 3 horses in the class. Some of these riders travel from show to show, just to compete in the Grand Prix. Prize amounts go up to $100,000 for the bigger shows, but I'm sure he was happy with the $14,000-ish dollars he took home this week. What a life.

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