Brooksby was the last event of the season for 5yo Flicka and Sue Bown’s 7yo Merlin, which we managed to fit in between Blenheim and Osberton (with Ali). The journey was better than expected for more of a “cross country” route than I normally aim for and it was easy to find. Show jumping was on a surface and cross country round varying terrain and at times a little twisty so a good different test for both horses.
Merlin excelled in all 3 phases. His dressage was the best he had done all season (even though not his best mark) – he felt much stronger and more easily in self carriage. He scored 26.8 for second place after the dressage.
The outdoor arena was quite tight to work in for show jumping so they had us in the indoor school, where Merlin was really well behaved as we’ve not really jumped indoors much. Then I managed to pop a fence in the outdoor just before we entered the arena – he was brilliant and really listened and tried for a clear round! All to play for and I was determined to go for the time but still needed to ensure my control for some of the turns and a few skinny questions. The jump after the step out of the water was on a curve and quite narrow and seemed to be causing a few problems as I listened over the commentary. See course photos here. Merlin performed everything asked of him and is really getting the idea and jumping out of his stride on the straight forward fences so we don’t have to waste time. A clear and well inside the time meant he finished on his dressage score for his first affiliated WIN – so thrilled for his owner Sue, who has let me compete him this year.
Flicka was also doing the BE100 after having her back sorted and feeling loads better and moving much more freely again. She did a good test although was quite harshly marked to score 32.8
Unfortunately she was a little careless in the show jumping rolling 2 poles so we’ll be out doing lots of show jumping this winter as she is still rather inexperienced and if we want to step up to novice next year will need to get out and jump more courses! She was also totally brilliant XC though and coped really well with the bounce of steps up, something she had never seen even schooling before and also the water, which I felt was quite a question for her with a step both in and out. She felt really confident too and enjoyed herself a lot! She finished in 9th so good day all round and brilliant way for them to finish the season 🙂