After unhitching Kat and putting him in the stall so he could relax, drink, pee and catch his second wind, I walked back over to the cones arena for the news. Had I completely blow it or did we manage to save our butts by going through #12 the right way and correcting it before going on?
It turns out Jim, the course designer and judge, checked with 2 other judges to be sure. I had been Eliminated or as it is known in the driving world- E'ed out. In the obstacles it is okay to rearrange the alphabet (which I did at the CDE if you remember), but in cones it is one time through them and only in the right order, right direction or forget it, you're done.
Kat got a decent break between the cones and obstacles. For him it was a much needed rest and even though we were eliminated, we still complete the course and have fun. And fun we had!
It was a good thing I had walked the course on obstacle #1 earlier in the day. Once horses are 'on course', you cannot walk them for obvious reasons.
As it was, I planned to make all left hand turns. After coming through C, if I had whipped around to the right? It would have been Game on! There was a nice, big, brightly colored tent not too far from where we might have gone around a stump heading back to the "In/Out" gate. I'm not sure how many drivers attempted aiming their horses at it and how many of those that said "Oh Hell NO!", but I was just not risking it. Another day- maybe, but we can wait for it until that day comes.
We went through all of the obstacles clean and whipped out some amazing times even though they wouldn't count for us that day. I still like to look at the next level up and compare notes to see where we will stand when we move up next year. Comparing them to all of the horses competing, we were pretty much smack dab in the middle. Some horses were fast than we were, others were slower. Some E'ed out in the obstacles, a few of us did it in the cones.
One thing fellow blogger Nuzzling Muzzles noticed was that as each competitor exited an obstacle, we all verbally thanked the volunteers. Upon exiting the cones arena, same thing. You salute the judge on the way in, the way out and thanked him before you leave. As I mentioned before, our volunteers are well recieved and highly appreciated. Without them- we wouldn't have our ADT's. They are fed, given drinks and at some of the bigger events (CDE's) they are given T-shirts. I still have mine from volunteering at the CDE several years ago, long before I got to compete there.
And for having 40 some entries in the ADT, we were started in dressage at 9 am and done with the obstacles by around 2:30 or 3pm. This included a break for lunch in there as well. After unhitching, packing everything up, cleaning up, loading the pony, checking in at the office/table to make sure there was no outstanding class fees to clear up, I was on the road and headed home at 3:45. Not bad for two days competing.