Got up at 6am to feed the ponies, then I ran off to put our numbers down at 7 to make sure we were in the ring by 8am. We had 7 rounds to jump and one of them was drawn order, so the earlier the better.
There were some keen beans waiting and we could only put our number down about 8th to go!
Immy had started studding up while I was away putting numbers down and had had a disaster...Leo had trodden on the tap and broken it in his shoe... we had no tap (and no time to get to a shop to buy a new one), Tiny wasn't studded up (thank god Acco already was) and Leo couldn't be ridden with half a tap sticking out his shoe. The lovely staff from Tim Davies' team lent us their tap to get Leo's other studs in and we took Acco and Leo down together.
Luckily the onsite farrier managed to get the remainder of the tap out without taking the shoe off, so we were back on track! Immy ran Leo back and helped me warm Acco up. He felt amazing and jumped a very convincing, fast double clear to go into the lead 8th to go out of 148 in the Newcomers first round (8 to qualify for the championships in the main arena). After a quick pony swap, Leo jumped an amazing double clear which, unbelievably, was notably faster than Acco's! In fairness, the ground was quite slippy with the dew and Leo definitely had the better going. Lesson learnt. He went into 3rd and we found out Acco was in 6th after about 25 gone. So pleased with both of them!
I kept an eye on the 1.00m Open warm up, as that was the only drawn order we had to stick to, and there were still well over two hours until Tiny jumped. We put our numbers down for Leo's 5yo class, Tiny and Acco's 1m qualifier and Acco's 1.10m qualifier. An hour later I returned to Tiny's arena to find that there were 5 horses left to jump and the class was about to be closed! And I had no phone. Get eliminated and waste £25 or RUN! I chose run!
Anyone who knows how far it is from Ring 4 (the all-weather) to the stable block at Hickstead will not believe how quickly I got from one to the other, reaching near Usain Bolt speed! Immy and I groomed and tacked up Tiny in record speed and trotted her all the way to the arena, jumped a few fences and went in last to go! She rocketed round and jumped exceptionally cleanly, to finish 5th out of 124 against open horses. Very pleased with her :)
Acco was first to jump in the 1.10m open and had a pole in the jump off. Never mind, 3 out of the first 3 double clears was pretty good :)
So thrilled with today can't believe how well it went and hope it continues! Both Tiny and Leo felt literally 'Cool, calm and collected' on their brilliant supplement from Equifeast and performed way beyond expectations, and Acco was brilliant as usual.
Day 1 - Results
7th/104 - Lion King - 5yo Qualifier (Q)
10th/174 - Accolino 2 - 1.00m Qualifier (Q)
15th/148 - Lion King - Newcomers Qualifier
19th/148 - Accolino 2 - Newcomers Qualifier