Today we went to the Show Cross held at Epworth. I had booked Boy & Candy in to give them a run before their British Events start in April. I was admitted into hospital on the Tuesday after being on the verge of hyperthermia so didn't really think id make this event. Luckily I got discharged on the Thursday after my temperature was back to normal.
My friend Rosie volunteered to help out and took Boy round for me. She did the Novice, jumping a fab round just 1.87 seconds over the optimum time, just picking up some faults. They then flew round the cross country giving Rosie a real buzz an going clear finishing middle of the 43 starters. I always find it difficult to gauge the optimum times for SJ as I always take my time aiming for clear instead of quickness! Plus at Epworth they only give you the speed and distance of the round which I don't have a clue how to change into time!
Then it was Candy's turn.. I entered her into the Intermediate as she is going to Stafford 1st April doing the BE90. She had a fantastic clear round SJ just a few wobbly lines into a fence!! She ended up with 4.56 seconds over the optimum... need to work on the speed! We then went XC which made me remember how unfit I was! (trying to practice keeping her forward so she can make the time at Stafford!) Candy finished 13th out of 31 starters. Got some footage for you below.
Well we really didn't think we make it to Epworth Equestrian
after the snow! I managed to convince mum there was no snow once you got out of Sheffield! The ground was fantastic, we got there a bit late so I only had 10 minutes to warm up. I was really pleased with his test, he loves dressage it is definitely his strong point! He managed to get a 36 with 7's for all his trot and walk work. The canter was a bit fresh and not as relaxed as I would of liked but he still got 6's! He was 3rd after dressage and had lovely comments on his test sheet, which I was really chuffed with.
We rushed onto the SJ, quickly warming up and learning the 10 fences! He knocked a few which was a bit disappointing, but as this is the phase he needs work on I wasn't too mad! Think I will experiment with a change of bit.. maybe a Nuschule to encourage him to lower his head coming into the fences.
Onwards to the cross country! After popping the warm up fence a few times we set off on our round not really knowing what to expect. After the first 3 fences I thought to myself wow this feels nice! He flew round the rest of the course, just having a noisy at the water for a few moments until he decided to get his feet wet! I walked him round in it a few times just for more training and to get him used to it. He really suprised me round the XC keeping a fantastic rhythm and meeting all the fences perfectly, a great event for him to practice for hopefully the run up to Stafford BE.
I took pictures of the XC courses for you to look at. You might fancy competing their in the future and gives you an idea of what to expect. (see below)
Epworth Equestrian XC Courses 2011
Today I took Boy to my local trainer Sarah Healy who is a professional 3* event rider. We concentrated on getting him moving forward off the leg as sometimes he can be lazy! He worked fantastically (see pics), so we decided to move onto showjump training. First we practiced getting a forward energetic canter over cavaletti's which really helped to keep a consistent rhythm. Then moved onto a small course incorporating the cavaletti's in between the fences to re-balance the canter. Boy jumped so much better and cleared the fences by using this exercise.
Off to Somerford tomorrow with Puzzle to do the Pre-Season SJ which will be built to height and under BE rules. Classses start from BE80 and go upto Intermediate height.