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Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Belsay Horse Trials Report

On Saturday, we headed to our second local event, Belsay Horse Trials, just 30 mins away from the yard!

There was an event in the calendar, Hexham, that I had always wanted to do, but unfortunately, it stopped after 2012, and I was gutted! Belsay came forward to replace this event, so I had everything crossed that it would be a really fab event - I wasn't disappointed! It was excellent, well organised, friendly, well setup, and the ground was almost perfect considering the rain a couple of days before, and the morning I competed!

We set off about 7.15am to allow plenty of time to get sorted and walk the course. It was a bit of a hike from the wagon to the secretary's tent, dressage and SJ, so I'm glad we did. As the SJ hadn't started, I took the opportunity to walk the course. It looked fine, but quite soft in the middle & number 8 was definitely the one that was up to height and width! I headed off to walk the XC, and found it to be bold but inviting, and nothing too technical. There was a fence on a HUGE drop at 15b, which I did worry about, not so much the fence or the drop, but the approach from a was down a short steep hill, then flat stride to the jump, drop, land on flat (hardcore built up) but dropped again and to the steepest hill I've ever cantered down!

Back to the wagon, when it was mizzley rain, but that gets you soaked! Then it rained as I headed down to dressage... My luck!

Thomas warmed up well, a little stiff on each rein, but did some bending exercises that I'd learnt in my mid-week lesson, and he felt much better, although we couldn't nail the strike off in the warm up, without the use of a side guide (i.e. not in the middle of the area). We were meant to be straight in after the coffee break, but someone arrived late and pushed in  While I'm sure one day I'll need this, it is quite frustrating when you've prepared to go in, and have to wait another 6 minutes.

Here's the test:

We scored 31.5!! Not only mine & Thomas' best test, but the best one he has EVER done!!

Onto SJ, without knowing my DR score, and he warmed up well, in the rain again, but flew at the warm up fences! I was pleased so only jumped 3 times. We were straight in after the course walk, so a bit of hanging around unfortunately. He flew at the first and second but took a front slip at number 2, and from then I just rode like a complete fool - had no leg on and just glaked about really. He had every opportunity to stop, and never did, even with the stick ground, so I was really pleased with him. When I was watching later, other who didn't look to have enough leg had plenty of stops... I put 4 down.

Here's the video:

So not our best SJ performance.

I was really disappointed with myself, and suddenly didn't see the point going XC if that's how I was going to ride, but pulled myself together and headed to the warm up. I made sure I put plenty of leg on but I don't really like doing to much and saving his energy for out on course!

Andrew caught us going out and coming home:

And here's the steep hill I was talking about! You'll hear me having a blast, shouting YAAAAAHOOOO THOMAS at the top of my lungs!

We came home clear and safe, but the score showed 11.6 time pens. I was held at the start and didn't feel I was significantly slower than past events this season, all of which I've come home inside the time. Just seems a lot....

We finished on a score of 59.1 and 23rd. Was thrilled with my dressage, but a bad SJ ride from me did dampen it a little.... especially when I saw the number of time pens...

Still thrilled with Tom! As always!

Once again, we'd like to thank our sponsor, Jan Wood Properties, for their continued support!

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