“This week signalled the week we’ve all been waiting for… the start of the eventing season. I felt tremendously under prepared, having spent the last few weeks entirely caught up in our house sale, the boys have been to no lessons, no canter work and only been XC by way of the farm ride. Oh well, they should be old enough to know what they are doing now! Friday I went to Stafford Horse Trials to dressage write again, which I always do at Stafford as my local event. Always an interesting insight, and always great to give back to my sport, see lots of friends compete and get a bottle of wine for my troubles!
Then, after a week of lovely weather, poor Stafford suffered with a fairly rainy Saturday leaving the ground a bit sticky and the team moving all the dressage arenas, show jumps and a few cross country fences!
For Beau this was not ideal. He all but refused to trot properly in the dressage and pottered around his test, skipping over the muddy bits, to get 31. The showjumping was equally muddy, but pointing him at a jump made him totally forget about his feet. He jumped beautifully, but a combination of the holding ground and strong wind just took a pole off which he truly didn’t deserve! He went cross country green as grass until about fence 10 when he suddenly remembered what he was supposed to do. Not helped by losing a shoe at fence 7, but finished clear and inside the time. Sadly the pole down dropped us to 10th place.
Onto Dougal. His dressage judge didn’t turn up, so we started our test an hour late, by which time Dougal was quite annoyed! It didn’t do him any harm and he scored a very nice 26.8, including a 9 for his entry. This took us in to showjumping in a great position, but I tried hard not to expect anything as Dougal’s showjumping is very hit and miss. A bit of a pep talk from a friend who advised hunting around in the sticky going and off we hunted for a clear round! A rarity! Off cross country and although he cantered along in his usual leisurely manner, he flew through the water and onto the finish within the time to win! Absolutely thrilled to win at my local event, which we also won 12 months ago. Great start to our eventing season, winning lots of lovely goodies!”