“With just 2 events left this year, my alarm was set for ‘eventing o’clock’ for the penultimate one at Kelsall. I think Kelsall is one of my most favourite events, it’s local, dressage arenas are flat, showjumping arena is large, cross country is big and bold with great viewing, and it’s always so friendly and well run. But, it’s always windy on the hill!
Dougal was on first. Because he is so laid back I have to try hard not to mistake speed for engagement in the dressage, so I felt we were going no where but it was pleasing test. Showjumping – he actually tried quite hard for him, but I buried him on a flat stride to an upright which he couldn’t help but knock down. Onto the XC, he was flying, he feels as at home at Kelsall as I do, even through the water jump which had a jump in and out! Unfortunately after fence 14 I turned left instead of right and got a bit lost in the stringing, I hadn’t considered what a sharp right turn it was. Sadly this resulted in 10 time penalties, dropping us from 1st to 4th.
Onto Beau in the 100. I forgot my schooling whip in the dressage warm up so he did a fairly lacklustre but correct test, which was very harshly marked for 37.5! We got 6 for our straight entry and seemingly never got better, his worst score to date. He then jumped a foot perfect double clear. The XC took me by surprise as we were down on our minute markers the whole way around, which has never happened in all the 100’s we have done, so we had to motor around and finish bang on the optimum. This meant that despite our poor dressage we finished in 10th.
A successful weekend, but I am getting the feeling that my boys are looking forward to a break from eventing, it is a long season!”
Photos by FRW Photography and Vincent Whitehead Photography.