Great Meadow International Part 1: Stadium & Trade Fair

Friday night I was sitting around moaning about how I didn't have anything to do this weekend and I wasn't looking forward to spending it doing boring adult things like cleaning, doing laundry and grocery shopping. So instead of doing all that, I went to Virginia.

I had been planning to go to Great Meadow, and then it kinda fell off my radar. But when I realized I had nothing else going on I figured eh, why not, I'll go anyway.

So go I did!

After riding Saturday morning I loaded up and started driving south. I hit all kinds of traffic but still made it for the 5pm start of the stadium test. It's been sweltering all week but Saturday was slightly more bearable. The arena is huge and gorgeous with the most wonderful footing I've ever seen. The course was challenging, including an option and a triple combination that was a triple bar to two upright verticals.

General 'seating' for the peons and the sponsor tent.
The way the arena is situated makes it really easy for everyone to have an excellent view. I had my camp chair parked on the hillside below the VIP tent (which hosted a SWEET dance party after jumping??? I need me some VIP tickets next year). The hillside meant everyone had an unobstructed view of the arena. There were also private 'box' areas where the sundress and seersucker wearing sort drank bubbly and shared exaggerated hugs. At times I felt severely under dressed.

Arena with private 'boxes' for owners and people in sundresses.
Each rider filed in and gave their shot at the course. Of course Phillip Dutton went first with Fernhill Fugitive and went double clear making it look like a piece of cake. Several people had rails or time penalties but for the most part the courses went smoothly. Have a small percentage of the about a billion pictures I took. Some of the rider's I'm not sure who they were/who they were riding but if I knew I posted it!

This horse could've been a successful working hunter.
Just a classically good jumper.

Emily Beshear & Shame on the Moon

Welcome Shadow and Boyd. I am so into this horse. So, so into this horse.

Buck Davidson & Copper Beach

Marilyn Little & RF Demeter

A couple of other thoughts, in no particular order:
  • They totally needed a scoreboard. They had a timer showing the current person's time but not the time allowed or the person in first. Or the name of whoever was in the ring because everyone was wearing pinks and riding a bay horse and I could not keep them all straight.
  • Santino can jump like a motherfucker. Pardon my French but seriously that horse is an explosive jumping force.
  • Marilyn Little & RF Demeter won most sparkly of the night. Marilyn had a sparkly helmet, and her coat had sparkly buttons on the sleeves that were absolutely entrancing. Add a sparkly bonnet and really they could've crashed through every jump and I would've been like OOOH PRETTY!!!
  • There was a 'fist pump' competition. The rider with the best post clear round fist pump won $500. I forget who won - I think it was the Canadian rider Colleen Loach - but Phillip and Buck both had hilarious double fist pumps where they dropped their reins and punched the air with both hands while their horses took off. Colleen did a bit of a Cotton Eye Joe which was really hilarious.
  • It was kind of funny to me because I actually saw most of these people compete last weekend at HPNJ when I was jump judging. Not on their A++ horses, but still. And no one was watching at HPNJ.
  • Clark Montgomery is going to be the breakout star of these Olympics. I've never seen him compete before but he has such a partnership with his horse,
After the jumping test concluded I wandered around the trade fair for an hour. I do wish there was a better spread of vendors. I wanted to buy something just because horse shows are typically known for their excellent shopping, but everything was just too pricey. Or it was stuff like grain or four wheelers that ... I mean I want a four wheeler but what the hell am I going to do with it. Drive it to work??

I did take advantage of the fact that there were four different saddlers there and sat in a bunch of saddles. Eventually I want a new jump saddle, thinking 2017 or 2018. I hate saddle shopping SO much that I basically always keep my ear to the ground. Unfortunately sitting in saddles that actually fit me just made me want one right now. I sat in a cross country Butet (I used to have a Butet when I did the jumpers), Schleese, Custom Saddlery and a Devoucoux that actually fit me. Both my current saddles are Devoucoux's, and while I love my dressage saddle a LOT my jump saddle leaves a fair amount to be desired. Sigh. Mo money mo problems.

The other cool (pun intended) thing I saw was the Equicool Down booth. Since it was so hot people were swarming this one buying those little neck wraps. I still don't fully understand how this product works; the founder was trying to explain the science of it to me and it just wasn't processing. All I know is, it was cool. Really cool. With lukewarm water spritzed on it. I'd love the leg wraps because it would negate the whole cold hosing fandango. And when I'm competing more than the never I'm competing right now I'd love the body wrap. Just a really neat product.

Saturday wrapped up for me, though not for all because I could hear bass thumping from the VIP tent. I went home and crashed at the nicest chain hotel I've ever stayed at to prep for a long day of cross country on Saturday!


  1. omg i was not aware of the fist bump competition!! also yea Clark Montgomery was incredible to watch on xc - you're spot on about the partnership! so awesome that stadium was such a fun day - if we go again we'll definitely need to figure out how to break into the seersucker and sundress and bubbly crowd!! (must practice my exaggerated hugging skills lol....)

    1. it's a lot of "OH MY GAWWDDDD HOW ARE YOUUUUU" while holding a bottle of white wine

      i'm sure we could sort it out.

    2. I couldn't do that with a straight face...and I really hate white wine. I need beer or red wine.
      PS I'm getting strange looks because that made me LOL oops

    3. yeah i cant drink white anymore because i had a bit too much of the pinot grigio as a college student. but champagne... champagne is always good.

  2. The fist pump competition explains so much. I caught some of the rounds here and there but couldn't figure out why there was so much celebration.

    1. HAHA oh man that must've looked so funny on the live stream. people were probably like "... the f... why are they acting like its the olympics...:

      sometimes it was hilariously awkward because brian was straight up calling people out for not doing it. like the poor uk riders who were probably wondering wtf was wrong with us.

  3. Oh my gawd, I'm in your pictures! lol
    Bubbly makes everything more fun. Sadly I did not have any myself. I'm always jealous of the VIP tents. But it was really fun to watch, I loved it when they were fist pumping. Although it did seem unfair that he was encouraging people to do it for some riders and not others...

    1. hah are you?? where!

      also the fist pump thing they had to be double clear (time and jumping faults) which at the end of the day eliminated alot of people..

  4. This looks like such a fun show to go to. I have an emergency leg wrap made with that cooling stuff and it really does work. I also have little people towel versions that I wrap around my head and neck at endurance rides.


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