Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Skipton - Our Best Score Yet!

With a great dressage score at Belsay, but a disappointing show jumping round, and time penalties to add in the cross country, we were looking forward to Skipton.

We'd taken the opportunity to go cross country schooling last Monday (10th June) around a local event, Kirkley Hall, but aiming to have a go at all the next level up fences, BE100. Thomas was brilliant and flew round everything, although a very narrow jump with a tree on top, did cause a slight delay for us. Without the tree, we breezed over it.

The little issue actually made us ride much more positively around the rest of the course, and we were looking forward to Skipton at the weekend.

With a reasonable start (leaving the yard at 7am on Sunday), the three of us headed to Skipton. We'd allowed plenty of time to get there (just in case!), so it was quite nice to enjoy a steadier course walk and watch a few other competitors come through.

Heading over to the dressage, a couple of relatives who were over from America decided to come and watch. It was lovely to see them and to see support even when they were on such a tight schedule. Also joining them was my 84-year old Nana! Don't be fooled by her age though - 2 x 18-holes of golf a week means that she is probably fitter than all of us!!

Thomas was a little fussy in his contact in the warm up, and still a bit stiffer to the left than the right, but we were soon working together well, and it was time to head in. As there had been a gap before us, the judge buzzed us in almost straight away, which really was a good thing - overhanging trees down the outside of one of the arenas meant it was awkward on such a big horse!

The test could have had more lift and impulsion, but overall, Thomas was obedient and it looked a very pleasing test. I was worried that it was no where near the test we put in at Belsay, whereas Andrew thought it looked good.



Putting the dressage behind us, I had a look at the show jumping. A lot seem to be having the same fence down; number 5. It was on a backward bend down to uphill, but didn't look like anything too bad.  Show jumping our weakest phase, so I was starting to think a bit negatively, which is wrong! Thomas warmed up well, it was busy the collecting ring, even though just 4 horses were declared to go in.

We started off with a ropey jump, getting a bit close, but recovered well, and just had the bogey fence down, number 5, which we again just got too close to, and had the front top pole. Again, we recovered well, and Thomas jumped a super round after that!


It was our best show jumping round to date! I was so thrilled to have just one pole down and what felt like a great round.

Now onto the fun part - cross country.

The course was short and with the first 5 fences being in about 300m! This type of course doesn't really suit Thomas & I as there isn't much space for a big horse to make up the time. We flew round clear, but I suspected that we would have a heap of time penalties.

After a bite to eat, we headed to the score boards - I wish Andrew had photoed my face.

We finished on 39.1!! Another fantastic dressage score of 33.5, with 4 penalties to add in the show jumping, and just 1.6 time penalties! I was so happy!

We finished in 17th, but with just 1.6 penalties between 10th and 17th - now I wish I'd gone a bit quicker! No, it was just a great feeling to have finished on such a great score!



And here's a special mention to my Nana!!


We'd like to thank Jan Wood Properties for their ongoing support too.



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