Hi everyone! Since I last spoke to you I’ve had some great days, some pretty rubbish days, two falls, three wins and 10 beautiful days in Thailand for my honeymoon! Wow!
My first outing in April was to Tushingham Arena with Elfie, where we hired the arena and had a play over the showjumps. It was his first ever outing over fences and he behaved like a star and was a complete pro about it, cantering a small course of fences between 60cm and 80cm. He just appears to take everything in his stride.
Two days later Elfie had a dressage competition at Reaseheath. We did Intro A and Prelim 7. He is a real pleasure to take out and grows in confidence every time. He scored 65% and 70.25%, receiving some lovely comments from the judges. It’s amazing to think that four months ago to the day I leant over him for the very first time. I have lots of love for this special boy.
The following weekend I headed to Weston Park with Percy for the BE Novice. I was so delighted with him, as in a section of nearly 40 horses he finished 10th. We had a 30.3 dressage, four faults showjumping (in very sticky conditions) and flew round the cross-county course, but picked up 12 time penalties due to the conditions as I was riding with the handbrake on!
Bath time before heading off to Weston Park
I did wonder if I was a little crazy riding at an event the day before I was due to fly out to Thailand for my honeymoon, but I totally did the right thing… I had a fabulous ride round a beautiful estate on a horse that I’m proud to have bred. Then, just 24 hours later, I was off on holiday. Going on holiday is a rare thing for me, but it was lovely to be able to lie in the sun and chill for 10 days.
When I returned from my honeymoon it was straight back to work with the horses. Unfortunately the weather was still being a little unkind, causing us to lose our first event, so we re-routed to Tushingham Arena for the Riding Club dressage.
A successful day at Tushingham Arena
I had originally just entered Elfie, but with Bradwall Horse Trials being cancelled I asked if I could get a spot for Percy and Florence too. Elfie did the Intro A to start and did a sweet test, scoring 71.3%, which was good enough for second place. Elfie then did the Prelim 1 and felt fabulous; he was very confident and forward and scored 74.5%. This was good enough to win by almost 5%!
Percy did the Novice 24 and was a little excitable but contained himself for 71.2% to come second… only to be beaten by his sister Florence in first place with 72.1%.
The following day I was back at Tushingham, but this time for showjumping. Elfie did his first ever class and jumped a double clear finishing 4th, then just lowered a pole in the next class. I was super pleased with him, what a little star.
I then went back in the afternoon for the 1.05m with Florence – she absolutely loved it! We flew round for a double clear and 1st place.
Then Percy jumped the 1.10m. He jumped well until fence 10, where we had a tight turn back on ourselves to a big parallel in the jump-off. He locked on to the wrong fence and got confused when I pulled him off his line to jump the correct fence and consequently got his knickers in a twist, causing us to have a little diversion… however we jumped the last three fences perfectly.
Four days later we were off to Morton Morrell for the BE Novice with Florence and Percy. Let’s just say it wasn’t our day. Florence did quite a nice test, but lacked a bit of sparkle. She finished 11th after the dressage with 33.3, which out of 40 wasn’t a bad start.
Percy did a very nice test, but had a few very obvious mistakes, including a “3” for breaking into a medium trot, which resulted in 36.3. Percy then had a stop at the first fence in the showjumping and went on to have two down because I was chasing him a bit. I withdrew him from the cross-country because he has got some mud fever and I thought that it could be sore on the gritty loose surface.
Florence was properly pinging round the showjumping, over a big course that was causing some trouble. She lowered just one rail in the combination when she lost a bit of ground, however I was thrilled to bits with her. But my luck ran out on the cross-country course where I fell at the 4th fence. Not our day!
My second fall happened when a stupid pheasant got up in front of Elfie while we were cantering round a field… he stopped, I didn’t. Then he jumped to the right, fell over a barbwire fence and down an 8’ ditch! By some miracle he got out with just a few little cuts and was completely unfazed. He let me get straight back on him for the journey home. Such a genuine, sweet boy.
Elfie very pleased with his dressage success
Hopefully I will have some more happy stories to report next time! Don’t forget to check out my other brand ambassador blogs.
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