I had walked the course the day before. I had the pattern down in my mind. Or so I thought. It looked easy enough, the cones were wide enough and never gave us a problem. The footing was less than ideal, but we would manage. If we had to slow down between 12 & 13 for the hairpin turn, so be it. We made our way over to the field. Kat walked sedately the entire way. He knew what was coming...
We saluted the judge and listened as he told us the start /finish were the same direction. The wind had been knocking balls down all morning. If the balls were down before we got to it, just go thru it anyways and keep going. Unless the wind blew down the number, then they would reset things, but otherwise just do your course. When we were ready, I asked Kat to move out and pick up the canter. I wasn't going to push him, I wasn't in the mood for excessive speed and the footing was iffy so however fast (or slow) he wanted to go, that was fine with me.
We set out thru #1, #2 and #3 which were a relatively straight-ish line. Wove our way thru #4 the multiple. On thru #5 and ran to the other end of the field for #6 & #7, looped around and lined up for #8 & #9... coming up on #9, we were lined up, dead on for the middle of the cones and it happened. Out of nowhere, Kat ditched out on me to the right. In one stride he jumped sideways and was about to mow down the cone, the ball, the number and anything else in the way. There was no correcting it before it happened, but I tried anyways as I swore at him under my breath asking "What the Hell was THAT all about?"
Honestly the rest of the course was a blur. I know we lined up for #10, #11, #12, dropped down to a trot to make #13, went thru the multiple of #14 and thru the finish line. Because of his stunt, I didn't let Kat have his little 'victory lap' to slow down. We hadn't been going very fast anyways, he didn't need it and quickly brought it down to a halt as it was. Jim was off the tailgate to meet me and he asked if I knew what we had done?
"Besides wiping out #9???"
I looked at him and blinked. I had no idea.
"Did you forget to go thru a cone?"
I stared at the course. My mind was totally blank.
Apparently we lined up for 14 on the wrong side, going thru it the wrong direction. As we came out of the last part of it, we were on the wrong side and not lined up for #15 at. all. and we completely skipped it.
"I've been sick all week, can I blame it on that?"
"We E'ed out, didn't we?"
We had done the course, with all of our errors included in 2:15 or something. We weren't the fastest of the day, that was one of the gals with a mini that did it in 1:54 and was double clear. It didn't bother me though, because I wasn't out to be the fastest this time around. I just hoped to stay on the cart, keep both wheels on the ground and get thru it.