Pictures of the 5yo and Novice courses
Well it was a trip with both the girlies Puzzle & Candy to Bold Heath for the BE 5yo and Novice classes. Candy was up first, and after seeing who was in our 5yo section we knew our chance of qualifying would be very slim! She did a really nice test we guessed around a 34 because it was much more accurate and forward than her last test which scored a 35. I was a bit disappointed with her mark of 39.5 but then I suppose being against Ruth Edge did us no favours!
The showjumping was coursing lots of problems and poles were flying all over. It was extremely twisty and and all sorts of dog leg lines which for a 5yo would certainly unbalance them! Candy jumped a lovely round just catching one pole as I couldn't quite shorten her enough. This is definitely what we need to work on shortening and lengthening so she can get herself out of the difficult strides. The cross country was testing and had 2 waters complexes, doubles on angles and boldly built fences. I came back with a HUGE smile on my face.. Candy was absolutely awesome! She was taking me into fences, no hesitation and kept a forward stride throughout the 5m 18 sec course. It was the longest course she has done and coped so well only 2 seconds over the optimum time. I am so excited about her future and think she will be a really competitive novice horse.... fingers crossed!!
Up next Puzzle! Well she had lots more energy for the dressage then usual.. she was slightly distracted due to Candy being in the next field so I had a fight on my hands! She rushed a few of the moves and I came out say blimey that wasn't great! She still managed to get a 37.5. Its becoming a bit of a joke now.. the last 3 events we have done she has got that exact same score and every test was so different! I really hope it will just drop down to 33 all of a sudden haha.. well I can hope!!
Warming up for SJ was chaos! It was way to small for the amount of people trying to jump so I had a quick jump and went straight in.. she was so up for it and I could hardly hold her off the fences! Pokey is well and truly back!! She was going great until the wall fence 7 when she backed off and totally messed up the stride we were on.. I just kept my leg on and left her to it! She jumped it but knocked it good and proper! After that it felt like a jump off! She was on a right flyer and managed to come out with just 4 faults! I nearly missed the last fence number 10 because it came upon me so quickly! It was a great feeling to have so much power from her and I was buzzing going into the cross country. There was only about 3 clears in my section so I was chuffed with just 4 faults.
I new it was going to be a fast round XC as no one yet had made the time even the professionals were struggling with 5m 22sec. Puzzle was loving it and soon got into her stride. Damn I forgot my watch again!!! We were going a good forward pace so to still get 10.8 time pens I was a bit surprised! What I thought was fence 18 was 3 skinny houses on a very tight curved line.. I was on a complete flyer and new I couldn't make the last house so popped a circle in.. I thought this would result in penalties but when I got back I found out it was fence 18 a b and 19 which meant you were aloud to pop a circle in between the 2nd and 3rd house... PHEW!! In the end Puzzle was still placed 12th even with the time pens only a few managed to make the time and it was shocking how many people got time pens and lots of them! Really pleased with both of them. Tried to book Puzzle into the IU21 at Winkburn however it was full so currently on the wait list and entered into the Novice. Looking for another run for Candy but not to fussed if she doesn't do another until September. Lots of training for her!
Firstly big thanks to the Barlow Pony Club who put Candy & I forward for the level 4 team. Even though we didn't manage to qualify we all had an amazing day!
First up in our team was Hannah Goodman who was very pleased with how calm Kiwi was in the dressage scoring 45. Then I was next, Candy was a bit wobbly and dropped off my leg as soon as we went down the center line (thanks candy!) I was still pleased with her 34 score. Next was Tinky Morris, it was her first ODE and first ever dressage test on her new pony Leo, scoring 46. Last to go in our team was Amy Biggin who did an amazing dressage test of 29, just what our team needed!
Onto the showjumping phase, which was up to height, rammed with fillers and lots of lovely plastic poles everywhere! We were all excited but slightly nervous, Hannah was up first again who jumped a super round just picking up 4 faults. Candy was next, totally missing the stride I was on for the first fence but still managed to jump it clear! She then went disunited and on the wrong leg into number 4 and was too late to change taking off earlier and catching the pole. She jumped the rest of the course spot on so just picked up the 4 faults. Tinky was next and showed us all how to do it jumping a fantastic clear! Amy was last to go and picked up an unlucky 8 faults.
As we headed to the cross country warm up, I felt I couldn't relax like I normally do on Puzzle knowing there were still challenges to come from the xc course! It was a tough course with very uneven ground (imagine how the sea bed looks like under the water then imagine it as grass!) It would be Candy's first jump into water, first jump in the water, first 2 skinnies on angles and lots of going into the darkness (woods!) Hannah flew round but Kiwi was slightly enjoying herself a bit too much and Hannah had to do a few circles but only picked up a few times faults. Next was Candy who started a bit sticky but after fence 3 she was on a roll, she did the skinnies well, although trotted into the second part as she just lost her balance on the turn, she jumped the ditches and coped well with going into the dark woods. Then came the fence two strides from the drop into water she back off slightly having a nosey but with some encouragement popped over it and jumping into the water no problems. She even popped over the jump in the water from trot! She started to tire but we only had 3 fences left so I kicked on and she finished well! I was so pleased! We picked up 6 time faults but id rather her take it all in then scare her half to death! Next was Tinky, who came back with the biggest smile of us all! Completing her first ODE. Last to go was Amy, no problems for Dilana at all, just picking up around 13 time faults.
A really good day for us all, well done team Barlow and to all the other people who represented our branch. Charlotte Heath Smith qualified on Trinny in the Level 5 so we will all be rooting for her at the championships held at Draycott House.
Course pictures below, as well as Show jumping and cross country footage of all our team!
Here you can read Becci's Eventing Diary