My naughty 5yo's were supposed to qualify for the 5yo championships and I entered Upton House in the middle of our annual family holiday to Cornwall, knowing it would have been time well spent because I'd have 2 5yo's to take to the Championships. (I didn't ruin the family holiday, my brothers were sort of coming and going as well(!).
Anyway, off we went to Cornwall, I booked the same train as my brother and planned to leave Cornwall at 6:30am in the middle of the week to be back home in time to get ready for an event and ride all the horses who had been in light work for a couple of days. (Thank you Immy!)
When we got to the train station, I realised the debit card which I had booked the train ticket with (which I needed to collect the ticket) was at home... I know my card number so hadn't thought about it when I booked the ticket... Anyway, after many patronising (but kind!) comments and being asked if it was my first time on a train and at least I had my big brother (who despite being taller, is 2 years younger than me!!) to look after me, the very lovely train steward managed to get me on the train! Lesson learnt...until I got home and realised my card was actually back in the bungalow in Cornwall and I had no card = no money for start fees and diesel at Upton!
And just to clarify, it was NOT my first time on a train!!
Anyway, Upton itself was reasonably uneventful, and a really nice event where we will definitely be returning! We arrived on time?! and didn't really know what to do with ourselves. So we walked the course and plaited everybody's tails and off we went. Leo was first, trying out the new Devoucoux dressage saddle that I currently have on trial.
Let's just say he didn't like it at all... Leo, the calmest horse in the world threw in a massive buck just before I went into my test which caught me by surprise so much that I ended up somewhere near his ears. This soon became a good game and very frustratingly he scored 40, his worst score ever. So much for our qualification.... Maybe more practice required in the dressage saddle...
Tiny did such a lovely test in the new dressage saddle, scoring a slightly disappointing 33, but was in contention for a good placing. The Cool, Calm and Collected working it's magic yet again!
JP also performed well in the new trial saddle, scoring 33, with a number of 8's showing his potential for really competitive scores in this phase. He is now only losing marks through weakness in the transitions, so when they start to come he will be flying!
Tiny had her first BE pole down ever, and then added another one to score a very out of character 8 faults. Since having a lesson, I now know I'd compressed the canter too much for her to be making distances properly, and she is now back on flying form and aiming for Hickstead in September. But needless to say I was gutted as our Championship qualification was quickly slipping out of reach...
JP was a little bit starstruck by a big atmosphere with a ring surrounded by spectators and marquees, but he jumped well for one down; he's improving all the time and doing a good job for his relative lack of competitive experience.
Leo continued his bucking game until I clocked on that he was fine unless he was by the gate. After a whack, he didn't do it again and jumped a nice clear SJ.
I thought the XC was pretty beefy for a BE100 and wasn't sure how JP and Tiny would run, but all three really took it on and attacked it. Leo and Tiny, now on hopeless scores jumped steady clears and I went for it on JP and finished 10th. Katya was thrilled as he has moved up to this level very quickly and very well and there is a lot more to come from him.