We’ve had a positive start to the season with solid first events and both improving for their second event. Ali started her season at Gatcombe in the Open Novice with the main aim for the start of her season to ensure she felt confident going cross country again. At Gatcombe, she did a solid dressage test with a little mistake (plus one from me…) and scored 33 then did a good clear show jumping despite me over checking at times! See a video of our SJ round here.
She felt fantastic XC, if not a little too keen but I was just thrilled she was enjoying herself so much to jump a brilliant clear. Slightly more brakes needed for next time to go a bit faster for less time faults but excited to have a double clear under our belts at our first event! See a video of us over the first 3 fences here.
Merlin did his first event at Goring Heath in the BE 100 Plus. He did a good dressage although after being quite excited working in then went a little too relaxed in the ring but scored a good 28.5! Onto show jumping – he jumped really well but got a bit, shall we say “stuck” in one corner causing us to pick up 4 penalties and quite few time faults. He did however redeem himself, skipping round the XC making everything feel very easy! See some clips of his XC here.
Onto Sapey this week for both of them. As this is one of over more local events, I managed to pop over to walk the XC the evening before as we had rather early and fairly close times with them both doing the Novice. Merlin did a lovely test and felt much softer and forward scoring 28.3 to lie 5th after dressage. See a video of his test here. We did a quick swap onto Ali for her dressage – she just about managed to contain her hormones to score 29.8! Onto the SJ with Ali first up – now hormones do not affect her show jumping!! – she jumped a beautiful clear round, soft and forwards all the way giving everything plenty of room with no silly over checking from me! See the video of her round here.
I wanted to ensure Merlin was well in front of my leg before I went into show jumping with him so I could keep him flowing forward all the way. He was a little cheeky in the warm up, testing the boundaries (and depositing my bottom on the floor at one point…) but we worked through it and he jumped a good clear! See his round here.
Merlin went XC next for his first Novice XC of the season and there were plenty of questions, the ground was a bit variable too so I didn’t set out too fast. He felt brilliant and coped brilliantly with the first tricky combination of a roll top to angled ditch to offset hedge.
He jumped well over the corner combination, through the water and the woods. At the 3rd last – a log down a hill back up to a skinny brush – he left a leg at the log, it was fairly small and I think I was concentrating on the line to the brush and didn’t quite tell him to “jump” enough. This caused us to go slightly off course having to loop back to get to the brush, we stayed clear but picked up a few more time faults than we would have otherwise! See clips of his round here. We were delighted with how he jumped XC, his double clear and even more so that he picked up 8th as well!!
Ali then flew round XC feeling fantastic again, I just need to rediscover my speedy pants!! – 4.4 time faults meant we finished 2nd… See clips of her round here. I was still thrilled – 2 double clears and both placed, what a day!!