Jordan Wilson and Little Boy Blue over the bonus fence for team Quarter Horse. -Photo by Keara

Jordan Wilson and Little Boy Blue over the bonus fence for team Quarter Horse. -Photo by Keara

The Telus Battle of the Breeds saw it’s first day of competition on Thursday, with two events on the cards- Compulsory Skills (think dressage) and Jeopardy Jumping. Since it is a bit of a juggling act trying to keep up with everything at the Masters, I was only able to make it to the Jeopardy Jumping, and since it was so fun to watch, I’m very glad that I did.

Basically, there is a course of jumps with a high and low option for each obstacle. The high one is worth more points, the low one is worth less. The horse/rider pairs have to try and jump the course within the time allowed, scoring points for the obstacles that they clear successfully. If they have not completed the course when the buzzer goes, they have to gallop to the finish line, skipping the rest of the fences. After they have completed the course, the rider has to decide whether or not to contest the bonus fence, a white Telus vertical that is worth 100 points. The tricky part is that if they don’t clear it, they have the 100 points deducted from their score.

Now, although the Battle of the Breeds is meant to be a show of versatility, for something like jumping, some breeds are going to be at an obvious disadvantage. Can you imagine how high those jumps seem to a Shetland Pony?! Also, those little legs have to be flying in order to make the time allowed. With that said, those little guys are sure game to give it a try!

Team Shetland Pony!!! -Photo by Keara

Team Shetland Pony!!! -Photo by Keara

Overall, I was very impressed with every breed. You can tell that a lot of the pairs don’t generally jump at home, but when in battle, they put on their bravest faces and give it a solid go.

If I had to bet on a team to win the jumping before the class (and I’m not just saying this because I’m writing this after I know the results- promise!), I would have went with either Team Appaloosa or Team Arabian. Both of those teams are historically very strong, and I know that they have lots of good jumping horses. In fact, did you catch the Battle of the Breeds preview done by Team Arabians Sarah Ingram? Sebastion can really jump!

Sarah Ingram and PA Sebastion over a high option. -Photo by Keara

Sarah Ingram and PA Sebastion over a high option. -Photo by Keara

Well, I already gave it away, but Team Appaloosa and Team Arabian very much met my expectations, producing two great rounds each, and finishing first and second respectively in the Jeopardy Jumping component. Unfortunately, Team Saddlebred didn’t fare so well (Traveller is a Saddlebred so I am admittedly biased), but I’m hoping that they can rebound in other events.

After the first day of competition, this is what the team standings look like:

So far, Team Appaloosa is on top!

So far, Team Appaloosa is on top!

The remaining events are Precision Driving and Barrel Racing on Friday, with Trail Riding wrapping things up on Saturday morning.

How is your favourite team doing? Who do you think will come out on top?

You can keep up with the results and schedule here.

Keara
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