Llanymynech is an event I haven't been to before taking around 2 hours 30 minutes for us. I had both Lady and Candy competing their with Lady finally getting the chance to get another Lycetts 4yo class under her belt. She performed fantastically and I was delighted with her 6th place against all the professional riders that were in our section. She scored a reasonable 38 dressage, an unlucky pole to due rider error but totally stormed around the BE90 cross country like she had been doing it for years. I came back with such a huge smile on my face, I couldn't stuff enough polos into her mouth quick enough!
It was then Candy's turn who was in the BE100 open after picking up 1 BE novice point early on in the season which I must admit is a disadvantage for her having to compete against horses with lots more points and experience but hey ho thats how it goes. After following in Andrew Downes foot perfect dressage test I wasn't expecting to be anywhere near as competitive as I was with a 30.5 and pretty much straight 7's so I was really pleased. We went onto SJ which did cause a few problems, not for Candy though she jumped a beautiful clear round really showing why that is her favourite phase! Onwards to cross country which was a lovely course and had a fair few questions for a BE100. I wanted her to have lots of fun and most importantly come back with more confidence. She certainly did that, nothing was an issue, she flew round making me the passenger for once! Its the first time I haven't come back out of breath. Thanks go out to Graham for taking her for a spot of field mastering- you can see how much just going once has helped her, having to leave the pack and lead others over fences. We picked up 2 time penalties to come 10th.
The following week it was a new local event to us only 1 hour away Frickley Park. I walked the course the day before and was happy with both courses. Lady was doing her last run of the season another Lycetts 4yo and Candy was doing the BE100 plus. Lady did an event better dressage test to score 36, always a good thing when your moving in the right direction! She then went onto the show jumping which was very twisty, again if you watch the video it wasn't really her fault, she got the striding slightly wrong and took a big leap of faith just coming down on the pole. She learnt from it though, the next fence she jumped huge! Overall it was a lovely round so I was happy. Onto the cross country which had a few testing fences, a tight curving line to a corner, a jump across the road which was very bright and tested the boldness of a lot of horses and a few decent fences in the hedge line. These proved no challenge for my little Lady! She loved it even more than the week before and pinged all the way round for a lovely clear to come 12th.
Candy did what felt like one of her best Novice tests to date, she was extremely accurate and obedient just one little mistaken in the medium canter breaking into trot just before the marker. The judge that day was extremely harsh when I heard Candy got a 47 I was heartbroken and wondered what the hell I did wrong. It was only when I went to look at the score board to find a few girls in tears that she had marked the section the toughest I had ever seen. If you scored in the low 40's you were in her eyes, the best!! Very odd and disheartening for a lot of people even if you did get a 42 and was in the top 6! I just put it behind me, I suppose its all relevant but after speaking to a few other people in the section and asking them what they usually scored it look like you could take 10 marks off your score and thats what a "normal" judge would have given you. So in that case Candy would have scored a 37 which was more reasonable and similar to what she had scored in her 2 other previous tests. I new the show jumping would prove influential with a twisty course using the sloping arena to catch a few out. Candy jumped superb I couldn't fault her, to be one of the only 9 clears in the section. Cross country was fairly simple for a BE100 so I just let Candy cruise round at her usual pace, they had taken out the water fence due to it not holding up well I think was the reason I heard with it being a new course. I can only think this is why I picked up 3 seconds TOO FAST!! Can you believe?! Normally I struggle to make the time, I wasn't the only one with someone picking up 29 seconds to fast! It did cost me a few places though I was lying in 9th and with 3 to add it dropped me to 12th. How strange both my girls were placed 12th that day. I thought I might of been cursed by the number 6 again with Lady being 606 and Candy 660, but luckily I had a great day and the girls really tried their best for me which is all you can ask for.
With Lady's season coming to a close, she will continue some training and BSJA over the winter as well as a few months off to develop into what I hope will be a very stunning 5yo. Candy has another BE100 open run at Moreton Morrell if we manage to get out. Our road is currently have new water pipes and a car is even struggling to get past so I hope its finished by next weekend. I was then thinking of finishing Candy on a Novice and either Oasby or Norton Disney but I am yet to decide! Hoping to get off with Holly and Doug to Horse of the year show to watch them in the final too.