I am still on a bit of a high! Our little homebred is just unbelievable… we had our second 5:30am departure of the bank holiday weekend on Monday travelling in the pouring rain down to Wellington Horse Trials for the Intermediate. The venue and course were fantastic and made to feel quite an occasion because of the CIC*** run there over the weekend, it is great to get Ali used to having lots of marquees around the SJ arena plus interesting and well dressed XC fences. I was very pleased with how she behaved in the dressage as it had got a little muddy – I worked in over the muddy areas so she would be used to it and not strop at the mud once in the arena!! This obviously paid off as she scored a great 28.4 to lie in 4th place after dressage. She show jumped well but had our bit of luck for the day in the treble where she touched the middle spread but it stayed put… phew!
Onto XC where the ground was brilliant despite all the rain – there were plenty of combinations and questions over a full length course of more than 6 minutes. The water consisted of a 1 stride combination in then a curving line to a decent sized “jetty” in the water, as you can see below she flew through with me managing to steer over the second part!! We stormed home for just 2.8 time faults!
We had a long wait for confirmation and with the last few scores to go up only Izzy Taylor could beat us but I know she goes quick XC… and she did but her 2 time was just enough to keep us just ahead for the win!! Ali’s second British Eventing win (the first at Goring Novice last year) taking her over 50 BE points and my first win at Intermediate too. I am just so proud of how amazing she is and so exciting!! Also brilliant prep run for my next event… I have had confirmation today that our entry has been accepted for the CIC*** 8/9yo class at Blenheim Horse Trials! I have no great expectations with it being my first 3 star as well as hers but would love to complete with us both happy and just soak up the atmosphere!! I have always loved visiting Blenheim since a child and I’m not sure it has really sunk in that I am going to be there as a competitor…
On Saturday Merlin and Flicka went to Llanymynech for the BE100. Merlin was the star of the day and felt the best he had yet round the XC. He did a lovely calm test, settling well to dressage again after his Mum Sue started hound exercise with him the weekend before! He scored 27.5 then did a good clear SJ with just one slightly nasty moment where we disagreed on take off point! I am still getting used to the correct amount of jump in his canter with good rhythm at his size of over 17hh (a bit different to the little mares!) I was thrilled with his XC round, which he made feel so very easy and well within the time to finish 3rd!
Unfortunately Flicka wasn’t on such good form with a disappointing mid-30s dressage. She jumped a good clear SJ managing to clear the last despite almost dropping back to trot after slipping on the turn before. XC though she wasn’t quite as genuine, a huge jump over the fence before the ditch, which was probably my fault for being too bold having already jumped it with Merlin caused a big ditch spook despite her having never been ditch-shy. Later on course though she was cheeky again – so back to some schooling with her at just 5yo and she will probably have another run before the end of the season. The new XC course layout at Llanymynech was great with a brilliant new water complex. It was also nice to leave Llanymynech safe and sound too as my last visit ended on the floor and with a broken collar bone!!