We had a fantastic weekend at the beautiful Osberton Estate in Nottinghamshire for the British Eventing Young Horse Championships with Ali. It was my aim for the season to qualify for and compete at these championships – so it was brilliant just competing here!
I didn’t have the best preparation as in the week leading up to it I got a horrendous cold so was snuffling and coughing everywhere, fortunately I felt much better by the weekend, although I didn’t sound it! Luckily I managed to swap and get the Friday afternoon off work and it wasn’t too early start on Saturday – we left at 8:30am for the 3 hour journey up north.
Our dressage was early afternoon so we had plenty of time to get our bearings and collect our things. We were in the second arena but even this had trade stands all the way round with a Christmas crafts fair down 1 side. It was by far the most atmospheric arena she had been in with plenty of flowers to spook at. She worked in well and was moving nicely and being quite co-operative! I was correct in thinking she would be better in this type of arena where she could see everything than next to a hedge (where something could of course be hiding haha) and she only spooked once unfortunately spoiling a lovely correct rein back – as I asked her to step forward again something behind her spooked her and she tensed at shot forward just a couple of steps. The rest of the test went well though and she scored several 8’s and a 9 for her extended walk! I was really happy with a great score of 45.6 for 9th place out of 80 starters after the dressage, especially in the company of so many professionals.
We show jumped on Saturday late afternoon and despite her dressage test earlier in the day she was rather fresh to start with working in so I was relieved I had left myself plenty of time and did plenty of cantering to settle her. She jumped a fantastic round and was jumping so big at the start of the course! We had a unlucky 1 down, which she just tapped coming down the hill but I was still pleased with her round as it was the biggest course we have jumped eventing. There were quite a lot of faults in the show jumping but no so many in the top few so we dropped a few places and went to the cross country on 49.6 in 15th place.
On Sunday they ran the last 15 or so horses mainly in reverse order so we didn’t go until 12:30 – this meant having to try to keep busy so fill in the wait!! We drove back to Osberton from our stabling for the night at 8:30am, I took her for a 30 minute ride hacking round to one of the schooling areas and working her round for 15mins and she felt good – forward but not too fresh. I walked the course again and then got her ready to work in. The facilities for working in were excellent with a large field to get a good gallop and lots of different types of fences to get your eye in over. It was a great track but there were a few tricky combinations, including a step to brush out of the water, coffin with big ditch and angled brush out and 2 skinny houses on a turn in the woods, as well as some big “kick-on” fences! See the course photos here.
Ali was fabulous taking all the direct routes with just one hiccup with a slight “miss” out of the water (totally my fault) but she was amazing and picked herself up to jump the hedge then popped straight through the coffin foot perfect! She came home with just 2.8 time faults to finish an overall 14th!! Such an amazing end to her season.
See photos of us in all 3 phases here!
It was great to see 2 other horses by Take It 2 The Limit (owned by Hartpury College and standing at Glenwood Stud) competing in the 6yo Championships – Hartpury Sky Is The Limit finished a fantastic 2nd and Hartpury Take It 2 The Top completed clear cross country at his first international event. We are hoping to put Ali’s dam in foal to him again next year!