What a fabulous week-end it was! Foshay International 2019, the 2nd annual 3-day event held in Jemseg, New Brunswick (Canada) was another utterly amazing time for both competitors and spectators. The weather cooperated for 3 consecutive days – warmth, sunshine and even a light breeze on cross country day to keep horses and spectators comfortable in the bright sunshine.
Originally dressage was going to be held over two days, but torrential rains on Thursday meant that that portion of the dressage was postponed until Friday. The sun came out, helped to dry up the sodden ground (and people) and shone for the rest of the International competition.
The organizers and volunteers for this multi-day, multi-discipline event began working on this year’s extravaganza before last year’s inaugural event ended. It takes more than a village to plan, organize and execute something this huge. NB isn’t a large province. People from all walks of life – horsey types and not – from across the area got involved in one way or another. Fund raising, hospitality, administration, marketing and so much more were all attended to (and notes made of things that went right, or wrong and needed improvement). Dedication was the watchword for all involved!
Spectators started to arrive Saturday morning early for the cross country portion of the event. It wasn’t long before the parking lots were full and people were being directed to the “overflow” areas. Even spots to tie up boats were filling up as people enjoying the river pulled up to see what was happening!
Meanwhile, back on course, last minute checks were taking place as the first horse began to prepare for the gallop and leaping of obstacles ahead.
Spectators came in all ages and sizes (and species) to watch the excitement, catch up with old friends and make new ones!
Behind the scenes safety for all was a major concern and first aid was available for anyone who needed it – riders, horses, spectators. Luckily their services weren’t needed, but it’s always good to be prepared for any eventuality. There is an entire cadre of officials whose jobs are to ensure that the rules are followed and all safety precautions are in place.
The event wrapped up on Sunday with the third phase of 3-day eventing, show jumping. This triathlon of equestrian sport challenges both horse and rider physically and mentally as each phase tests different skills and fitness levels for both.
And then the scores were tallied, placings determined and ribbons and prizes presented in the richest event of its type!
For competitors or viewers interested in even more photographs, check out Joan Davis’ work at https://www.flatlandsfoto.com/!