It was the adrenaline rush that hooked Sally Rumph. The feeling the rider got when going cross country with her horse as he demonstrated a natural balance at all paces, gliding over fixed, solid and imposing jumping efforts, providing Rumph with an irresistable sensation, one that’s endemic to the sport of eventing. Rumph is at the Paradise Farm Horse Trials this weekend with her 11-year-old gelding Hang Time, or Oliver as he’s known around the barn, and the rider/horse combination did their dressage test and went stadium jumping Saturday.

The adult amateur went novice with the horse she’s been riding since last September. Rumph is relatively new to the sport, and has brought Oliver up from beginner novice. The rider/horse combination had first come out at beginner novice at Chattahoochee Hills, but they’ve continued to evolve under the watchful eye of coach/trainer Christy Mackaness.

“We did a fabulous beginner novice, went a little fast on cross country, and got a speeding ticket,” said Rumph.

“She found this wonderful little horse. He knows his job well.“

Saturday morning’s wind and rain provided somewhat of a challenge for rider and horse, but that didn’t seem to act as much of a deterrent for Rumph and Oliver as their intrepid spirit carried them seamlessly through the transitions and changes during their dressage test.

Rumph returned to the saddle after a protracted layoff, having previoulsy exhibited show hunter/jumpers.

“They’re a lovely pair,” said Mackannes. “They’re perfect for each other. He loves his new job as a novice horse. Sally rides him well, and she’s learning a lot about the sport of eventing on him. I love watching them. Sally’s very capable, and they have many fun years of riding ahead of them.”

Mackaness went novice Friday with Escape Appeal, and the Charleston-based professional always welcomes the opportunity to compete at Paradise.

“It’s a fantastic facility,” said Mackaness. “The horse trials are always well run, and it’s a beautiful track.”