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11 March 2010

Saturday, 27 February: JAS Finals

So, no personal pictures today, as I forgot the camera again, but I thought I'd share a little bit about Indoor Eventing since it received such poor reviews in the US after the Express Eventing disaster a few years ago when Mary King lost her beloved Call Again Cavalier. The “Jump and Style” aka JAS series, is a winter indoor eventing activity that starts at BE90, a 90 cm level approximately equivalent to the Novice level of eventing in the US, through the Intermediate level. It is usually hosted in an indoor arena with a mixture of show jumps and cross country jumps. The first 8 or so fences are show jumps which are given a “style” mark by a judge, lower being better, with the remaining fences as cross country types.

 Only the cross country portion is timed, but all faults are awarded as for show jumping (i.e. 4 faults for a knockdown, 4 faults for the first disobedience, 8 for the second, and elimination for the third). Jumps for Joy sponsors the series, so many of the cross country jumps are from their collection of polyethylene corners, chevrons, roll tops, and fake brush steeplechase type fences that are readily available in the states. There are multiple combinations, skinnies, and even faux ditches.

I found the finals course walked quite challenging in the indoor arena as it was very forward and twisting and turning. Much like the hunters in the US, the style marks are subjective and I never really got a handle on how they were calculated. However, at the end of each round, a judge's card was returned to the competitors, much like a dressage test, so that the activity is both competitive and educational.

Mike and Emma each competed in the finals and had good trips. Each finished in the top halves of their respective divisions and both horses came away with positive attitudes. Perhaps Tate will get to play at this series next winter!

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