Monday, March 4, 2013

Fourteen Carrots Visits HITS Thermal - Part 1: Grand Prix

It was a somewhat-hot-for-February-but-gorgeous day in Southern California yesterday. On 3/3/2013, Mr. Carrots and I found ourselves 150 miles east of Los Angeles on our journey to our new home in Austin, Texas. How tickled were we to find ourselves in Thermal during the HITS (Horseshows in the Sun) winter run? We were like kids in a candy shop, like miniature horses in a football field of hay. This was like finding ourselves at horsey-Disneyland or the Burning Man for horse enthusiasts.

We stumbled around for about an hour initially, gawking at the phenomenal number of massive rings running in one place at one time. I dropped some serious cash in the Diagon Alley of horse world - more on that in Part 2. Then, we settled down for the Grand Prix!

Mr. Carrots and I situated ourselves near jumps 1, 2 and 3. Most of the photos I am going to share our from jump 1.
Axl Rose and Paris Sellon

Axl Rose and Paris Sellon

Eleanora and Jenn Serek

Jump 3 was the stickiest jump for everyone that day.  I think because there was not that many strides between 2 and 3 and the distance to turn left to set yourself up straight for the middle of the skinny jump was precise. This was certainly the most common jump to fault on.

Jump 3
Jump 3

Mr. Carrots and I are total groupies for Flexible and Rich Fellers. We love their easy yet focused riding style. They are so comfortable together they are....almost sloppy. While we were walking behind the warm up ring heading over to the Grand Prix course, I had a total fan-girl moment taking photos of them warming up.
Flexible and Fellers Paparazzi shot

We were thrilled to see the pair together for the Grand Prix. And they did win. Below is the footage that I took of their qualifying round for the jump off.

Going back to the whole Burning Man for horsey people analogy, we even found a sign for a camp at HITS. Really? Who in PR thought that "Horze" was a good spelling?

Lastly, I discovered the lamest jump of all time. I can just hear an Olympic horse's inner commentary (if they had inner commentary) going over this one: "I am a chiseled, multi-million dollar specimen of Equus ferus caballus and could jump a Hummer and you want me to go over this?"

Sorry Farnham, I think you could do better than this.

Stay tuned for Part 2 - The Shopping Haul

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