After the engine on my lorry blew up and I have been lorryless for a couple of months now, I managed to borrow from friends and had 3 horses going to an event 2 hours away in 3 different lorries. It was a nice day though as we were all parked together so it was fairly straightforward.... in theory!
Jess and I arrived with Jethro Wheeler 'Armani' and Olly first thing to walk the course. Pauldary's Bobby's Girl 'Tiny' and Olly's dressage's were at 10:30.. but at 9:40 there was still no sign of Tiny. On discovering that Immy (who was bringing Tiny) was still 40 minutes away I started to panic.
Miranda Collett at West Buckland was amazing - she swapped all my dressage times round so Armani ended up going first, and Tiny having enough time to settle in before being tacked up. Stress over, we got on with our day!
Armani did a nice test, but has done better, and we now need to work on getting him more consistently 'through' to get these consistent low 30's into the 20's.
Tiny was a nightmare. She has been improving all the time and has been AMAZING at home. At our final attempt at a 5yo Championship Qualifier, I genuinely thought we were on for about 28. After a beautiful warm up, she did a lovely centre line and cantered on the turn. Deep breath. You can still rescue it from here. Nice 10m loop, jumped out of the arena at the end!! Landed back in the arena halfway through the trot-walk-trot movement and then halted instead of walked. Deep breath number two. If everything is 8 from now on you can still bring this back....
Nice canter...hopeless transition back to trot and then jogged THREE times in the walk. Ok now I'm getting angry.... Her good work was SO good but she managed to deliberately add a naughty moment into every movement, meaning we weren't even getting 8's and 3's or 4's, but more consistent 5's and 6's with 'shame as nice start' or 'whoops..' She ended it with another canter in her trot and a hopeless halt, in fairness by this point I knew our score was beyond rescuing and was not quite as calm as normal.
39 was a generous score but no way was it good enough for 5yo championships qualification. Bad mood was an understatement. However, I had to put it behind me very quickly as we had clients coming to watch Craughwell Patch 'JP' and it would be unfair on him to continue my bad mood. So... a very fortunate Tiny got off very lightly but definitely got no polos!
We left her in the sin bin and went to focus on JP. He was such a good boy considering a swarm of flies descended on him just before his test by his arena. He was so sweet, getting really annoyed and shaking his head outside the arena, but only did it once in the arena in the walk where they were all over his head. He scored 35 and I was quite disappointed as I thought he did well. On the way home I found a -2 penalties on the score sheet for walking a letter too early which was highlighted on the sheet... I rewatched the video, and didn't trot early?!? Really annoyed I didn't check this and say while we were still at the event, but I had caused enough trouble with parking and dressage times to moan about 2 penalties which cost me one minor placing. So, really he scored 33!!
JP too jumped a careful clear round a decent and spooky BE100 track and I was thrilled for Katya and for the clients who had come to see him that he is proving he is very comfortable at this level.
Armani jumped a good round which the score doesn't reflect. It would be the biggest track he'd done and he jumped a confident round, just tapping a few. The bell didn't go for ages and I'd had to turn off my line to the first and bring him back to walk which unsettled him a bit, but I was pleased with his first attempt at BE100.
JP flew round the XC inside the time to finish 10th, with a really nice round. Tiny felt incredible; she was well out of the top 5 so I just let her lollop round on a loose rein; so slowly that I heard all the commentary which included 'and very steady to fence 3...' 'and a nice steady round here'... etc, only to find she got 1 time fault, despite pulling up before the finish. I was delighted with this as she obviously travels in a very good forward flowing rhythm and covers the ground more than I estimated her little legs could!
Armani went a little bit green at fence 4, which was a tricky combination that he wouldn't have seen before, but he came straight back round and jumped it second time, and gave me the nicest ride I've had on him round a decent track.