Brand ambassador Bonnie Fishburn enjoys a spot of arena eventing and updates us on her latest competition results.
Hello! When I last spoke to you all of the horses had had their winter holidays and were back in work getting ready for the 2016 season. I had also backed and ridden away my new three-year-old and he had just gone on a little holiday in order to take in everything that he had learnt.
Well, now we are pretty much flat out here at Dodcott Grange Stables. Frankie is into his eighth week of walking on the roads and is starting to have little trots. Florence has been out ‘dressaging’ three times and out arena eventing twice. Percy has had one dressage outing and been arena eventing twice. Finally, Elfie has had a six-week break and is now back in steady work in the school. Once I have some company he will start having little hacks again. So we’ve all been busy little bees with our first event of 2016 only a matter of weeks away!
Florence and I had our first outing of 2016 to Field House for a British Dressage (BD) competition in the middle of January. The first test was Novice 22 and Florence was golden, but I just gave a few marks away by being half asleep and not on the ball… I think I was still sat at the dinner table filling my face with turkey and still on holiday mode! We scored 68.97% which was just over 2% behind the leader. It was a very close marking section.
In the next test (which was Novice 37) I was a little more switched on, but Florence had a mini explosion when I asked for too much in the medium trot. That was a very expensive mistake because we scored four for the medium trot, but 7.5 for the next one. We were just half a mark off the leader on 66.79% for 2nd place. Overall not a bad start to 2016, especially as she had only been schooled four times since her six week holiday.
For my second outing of the year I took Percy and Florence to Prescott for a BD competition. Percy was chuffed to bits to be out, but perhaps a little disappointed that he didn’t get to jump after his test! Percy isn’t registered with BD so I just went in the unaffiliated class with him. I was actually really pleased with him, there were a few errors but he behaved better than I expected.
We did Novice 22 and 39. He scored 67.07% and 62.41%. I was happy enough with the first percentage, but thought that the judge was very harsh in the second test. Florence did the same tests and scored 70.34% and 67.93%, which was good enough for second in both. Apart from a few neighs to Percy she was a very good girl.
For our first jumping outing at the end of January I headed to Kelsall Hill Equestrian Centre for a little play over their Arena Eventing course with Florence and Percy. As they hadn’t been out jumping for such a long time I entered Florence in the 90cm and Percy the 100cm. Florence absolutely flew round the course until the 15th fence, which was a skinny. I’m not too sure what happened but she took her eye off the game briefly! She popped it fine the next time and finished the course in good time for tenth place out of 50.
Percy was delighted to be out and was a complete pro once he’d finished spooking at everything! There were so many fences in the arena and he’d have jumped everything if I’d have allowed him to. He jumped a great double clear but I didn’t let him go too quickly, so had six time penalties to finish in 14th out of 42. Not a bad first jumping outing of the season.
At the start of February I headed to Field House Equestrian for the BD with Florence. First we did Novice 39. She did a lovely consistent test for 68.28%. In a strong class we were 5th, but that was only 2% off 2nd, so all in all quite close.
Then we had our first attempt at Elementary. We did test E45 and scored 66.55% for 2nd overall, but that was behind a gold section rider and I was only a bronze rider. I was chuffed to pieces, as it was our first attempt. We have lots to work on but it’s a good start. While we were there it was lovely to have a visit from Jodi, who is one of the Equo reps in my area.
Last weekend I had a great day at Field House Equestrian with Florence and Percy, for their British Eventing Arena Eventing competition. The course had water, ditches and steps. It was a 23-fence course in total and my two loved it! Both Percy and Florence jumped a speedy double clear to finish 2nd and 3rd in a class of about 20.
Percy had great pleasure in telling his sister he’d beaten her as we arrived back at ‘Queen Wendy the Wagon’ after the prize giving, which was a rather eventful lap of honour. I’m so pleased that both horses were on such good form and jumped really well. They are both looking and feeling fantastic. Roll on the eventing season.
Out of the five competitions I have been to this year, four of them were entered through Equo. I absolutely love the system. It’s so easy to use and saves me so much time.
Keep up to date with what else Bonnie has been up to in her other brand ambassador blogs.