Ending cross country day in last place, while not exactly my goal, definitely takes the pressure off on stadium day. I felt surprisingly zen and stress-free on Sunday morning, and treated myself to a breakfast burrito with my coffee (which I immediately regretted, because I suck at eating breakfast).
Murray was feeling footloose and fancy free on Sunday himself, and he attacked the warm up fences. Seriously, he felt amazing.
The course was a typical Camelot stadium course — twisty, turny, and full of fucking terrifying jump standards. The standards and fill were what I worried about on course, since Murray is not exactly known for his bravery in the face of new filler.
The course didn’t feel amazing like cross country had, but we went forward to every fence and had no stops. After fences 1 and 2 Murray spooked fairly hard left away from the shark standards, so I jammed my feet a little deeper into my stirrups and gave Murray a little smack coming in to fence 3, the knights. I felt a tiny bit of that hesitation again after the rollback to fence 5 — red white and blue — and got it together for a proper booty smack. We put six in the five stride line, and when we finally came around to the sharks Murray slowed to a trot… but he trotted forward and over the fence no problem!
I was pretty stoked coming out of the round, even though it didn’t feel all that smooth. Trainer was like “that was great!!!” and I was like “err really?!” But watching the video, I realised, it really wasn’t that bad! It was far from Rolex, but I wasn’t fighting for every fence the way I sometimes feel like I am. For the most part, Murray needed just a little bit of reassurance to move up to the fences, and I was right there for him.
I moved up one spot after stadium due to someone else’s misfortune, but it didn’t matter to me. Murray went in the ring and did the thing — there was nothing more I could ask from either of us. I jumped off and we stood around watching the other rides and chatting with Alyssa (Murray didn’t speak too much, mostly just nibbled dead grass).
I have some more thoughts to sum up Camelot, but I think it’s pretty clear that I’m deliriously happy with how everything turned out.