“Last weekend we went arena eventing for our chance to hone our skills before the championships this weekend at Blenheim. Sadly some one upset Mother Nature and Saturday rained and rained and rained. Pleased that I wasn’t stood out in a grass field waiting to go cross country, I walked the course in the outdoor arena and it had turned into one big puddle. Luckily the warm up was indoors, and my times close together so both Beau and Dougal were tacked up and stood in the dry of the indoor. Dougal jumped the 1m first. Luckily the rain had subsided somewhat, but the damage was done and there was a rather large puddle the other side of the last fence. He was jumping very flat and had a show jump down followed by (unsurprisingly) the last fence, although he did manage to go through the puddle. Beau next and he was jumping a super round until the last where I had a good stride and he spotted the water through the jump and somehow snuck another stride in and knocked it down. Beau finished 3rd and Dougal 4th.
Onto the 1.10m, again Beau was jumping a super round, more fired up as we had pushed on in the timed section of the 1m and razzed round. Again I had an even better stride to the last, he then snuck another stride in that really wasn’t there, cat leapt, knocked it down then shot off to the right to avoid the puddle. This dislodged me and as he kept running away from the puddle there was no recovering, landing flat on my back in the puddle. Yuk. Fibre sand in my hair, ears, inside my body protector and number bib, everywhere. I had fallen off after the finish but had to remount to prevent elimination. Sand now on saddle too. Then to get on Dougal to jump him! Soggily piloted Dougal around to have both fences next to ‘the puddle’ down. There were no clears in the 1.10m so we finished 1st and 2nd and Beau also won the 1.10m summer league for a nice big rossie and sash. Not entirely sure it was the best prep for Blenheim, especially now I have to wash sand out of absolutely everything!”