Apr 22, 2012

The International

Last night, John and I went out of our eclectic-semi-western element and attended The International in Omaha with friends, Brenda and Tom.  What is it?  I tried to find a good description on their website to share with you, but there really wasn't one.  Simply put, "a premier indoor equestrian show jumping sporting competition."  

Beautiful horses of European decent (many I have heard of but hadn't seen until now) and their top notch riders were asked to complete a course of 13 jumps in 79 seconds.  I believe the highest jump was 5'-something; many having only a stride or two between jumps.  I found myself rocking on the heels of my feet and holding my breath every time the horse sprang up to clear the jump.

You all know how fond I am of bays so when this beautiful horse came into the arena, I decided to shoot some video with this blog in mind.  It was that much more exciting when this horse cleared all of the jumps.  I think only 5 in the whole competition cleared them all.  This will give you a good idea of what it was all about.

I forgot my good camera so had to rely on the iphone.  The still shots weren't so good, most having Baldy in the left hand corner in my picture.  I swear I tried to move away from him but his big ol' head just kept migrating into my shots.  But I was happy with this video clip.  

After the preliminary rounds, the top eight horses came back in for the finals.  The jumps were re-positioned and the time reduced to 45 (?) seconds.  The horses were asked to move faster and it really changed the tone of the competition.  The winner, a pretty gray, had a perfect run.  The purse was $50,000.  This same rider won the competition on Friday night which was another $30,000 - so not a bad pay day.  I am curious what the split is between horse owner and rider?  One newspaper article said some of the horses were valued close to $1 million.  

This type of riding was out of my world but fun to watch.  I could certainly appreciate the hard work that must go in to making these horses top notch competitors.  



  1. Wonderful video. Thanks for sharing. I love watching jumping. I just can't imagine jumping that high!

    Are you planning the Mother's Day Trail ride this year?

  2. Val, yes - the 12th Annual ride! It will be held the Friday AFTER Mother's Day this year as my son graduates High School the weekend before. Figured it was kind of hard to plan a graduation and a trail ride that same weekend! :))

  3. Sounds like May is going to be busy for you! I sure wish I could come out there again.

  4. Well if you get a hankering for the midwest, come on up! We can set you up with Fancy or Butter; spend a few days riding some of our local haunts. It would be fun to have you!

  5. Horses are kind of like people. They all have the same basic parts, but totally different athletic abilities. I can barely stand to watch jumping - it's nerve wracking! On the plus side, it's the one 4-H event where they require helmets.

  6. I love these competitions and have been to many. My daughter used to do the jumpers with her Trakehner,(Mellon)or her Dutch Warmblood (Nate) and my horse Erik,it was always interesting to say the least. Can't tell you how many shows I was to with her and different horses. One of my favorite shows was the Hampton Classic each year. Great to watch all the top competitors.

    I never did the high jumps because I was too chicken and I'd never remember the sequence of all those jumps and jump offs. Once in a while the spirit hits me to jump again but then I come to my senses.Glad you had such a good time. Great video.

  7. I tend to be sore after watching these kind of competitions, my muscles are so tensed up with every jump. So amazing!

  8. Baldy, lol.

    Mindee, all the kids have to wear helmets at any 4-H function here in Jersey, the land of rules and regulations. This one is a good one.

    That's incredible, all those jumps in 79 seconds. I thought barrel racing was nerve-wracking!

  9. I do the very same thing when I watch horses jump like this. I love it but it makes me nervous at the same time. If I was only younger...

    I read the part about baldy as the video was loading. Then I found myself looking for baldy. Nearly missed the horse's first jump. LOL


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