Friday, September 15, 2006

Friday Flickr Blogging: Grand Prix Show Jumping


Today after work, I am going to pick up Tom and we will brave the Friday afternoon traffic in order to make our way down to Orange County for a Grand Prix show jumping competition.

I have mentioned it before, and my family/friends know it all too well, but I used to ride horses. I was way into it, and I was actually quite good at it. I may not be able to kick a ball or run around a track faster than anyone, but damn if I can't do some impressive things on the back of a horse. One of my youthful aspirations was to make it to the Olympics as a stadium jumper. (That was after I grew too tall to be a jockey.)

Stadium/show jumping is a competition in which a horse and rider combination must successfully maneuver over a course of fences of various types. At the Grand Prix level, there are between 10 and 16 jumps ranging in height from 5' to 5'6". That's right...some of the fences are taller than I am.* I love watching this event on TV, and in person it's even more impressive. Needless to say, I am way stoked about going to tonight's competition! :)

Pictured above is Margie Goldstein-Engle, one of my childhood idols. She is 5'1" tall (so pretty much everything she's jumping is over her head) and one of the best riders the sport has ever seen. Props to you, Margie!

*There's another type of competition called Puissance, which is basically a high-jump contest. There's a short course, the final jump of which keeps getting raised every time it is cleared. It usually ends up over 7 feet high. Click on this link to see the current record holders (from 1949!) clearing 8+ feet. Ho-lee crap.

4 comments:

Tom's Dad said...

When I was about 10 years old one of my grandparents rich neighbors in Carmel took me and my siblings to one of these competitions at Pebble Beach. It is quite exciting to see it up close and personal- to see the rider guiding his or her mount through the course to actually feel the hooffalls on the ground ...

susan said...

It really is very exciting. :) I'm hoping Tom will enjoy it. He's a good sport for indulging his horse-crazy wife. ;)

Lord Chimmy said...

You blew my mind with Grand Prix and horse jumping. I imagined horses and race cars and all sorts of sordid things happening.

Momentary Academic said...

Wow. I'm always impressed by these horse competitions. I'd be too nervous to compete.