I find it slightly odd having such late times for an event and you never quite feel like you are actually going! So after mucking out and turning out a few of the livery horses, I hacked Donovan. Then Ali had her bath, which I would normally do the day before an event! I did all her plaits and spruced her up ready to leave at 12. The journey down was good and we got to Chepstow Horse Trials in plenty of time to walk the cross country – it is a lovely setting and the ground was great. The Novice was a good flowing course but had plenty of questions so I was excited to ride it later. But for now, back to the lorry to get the studs in and get over to the dressage warm up.
Apart from being rather spritely to start with Ali warmed up well for the dressage and did a fairly good test despite the annoying horse flies, she was a little more tense in the second half of the test to score a respectable 31.
From this it was onto the show jumping, which was up to height, quite twisty and contained a double and a treble. It flowed well though and Ali jumped fabulously, really pinging over everything for a great clear!
Onto the “2nd half” of our event…. We went over to cross country and it was still warm although it was after 6pm by this time. She felt great in the warm up, keen but concentrating and jumping well. This continued out of the start box and she was concentrating much better over the earlier fences than at her last event so I felt we were able to push on a bit quicker. She gave me a fantastic jump at the third, a big square brush oxer.
However after making nothing of an oxer on a curved line to corner at 6, she “planted” herself at the top of the step 8b and nothing I did would get her to move – I think it was more the pale sand a the bottom of the step than the step itself, similar to which she has done before. Just such a disappointing end to the day and she isn’t normally spooky cross country, I was so looking forward to riding her through the later combinations on the rest of the course too. So it’s time to find a similar step (or build one…?) and have a practice.
I will upload Novice course photos shortly to the Vet Gone Eventing Facebook Page
Off to Hilltop XC in Ledbury tomorrow to do the scoring for the Malvern Pony Club One Day Event