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Sarah Gadd Update

Chris Price

“Just wanted to give you an update following our trip to Tweseldown last weekend to compete in the BE100 class. It was Diaz’s second affiliated run at BE100 level so I was keen to see how she went and after such a positive run at Chilham I was hoping for a good run!

We had relatively early start times and with my alarm going off at 3:30am, by the time I had got up and dressed I have to admit, it was slightly depressing that it was still dark outside, and raining!! Thankfully after getting the stables mucked out and Diaz loaded it started to look a little brighter and when we were on our way to Tweseldown there even looked like there were some breaks in the clouds, which later went on to give us a lovely sunny day at Tweseldown.

On arrival Diaz came off the lorry for a leg stretch and I then went to walk the XC course, which I have to say is the best course I have ever seen at Tweseldown and the new water looks fantastic!! I couldn’t wait to get out there with Diaz and although there were quite a few questions I felt she was more than ready for the challenge!

Dressage first and she was warming up very well, she got a bit excited when she saw some of the horses jumping XC fences right by the fence line over the other side of the road but she knuckled down and produced what I thought was a lovely test other than the slight fright of the dressage boards to start with! It later turned out that the judge didn’t agree with the way I thought she went and scored us 34.3 which in fairness isn’t a bad score but the comments on the dressage sheet don’t match up with our test! I have sat and watched the dressage test and looked at the comments and really can’t see the connection between the too! The judge felt she was tight and tense throughout the test which she felt far from, but I guess you win some, you loose some and this is the first judge that hasn’t liked her way of going!

Putting this behind us we went got changed and headed down to the showjumping, she was warming up nicely and jumping well so we went in. She started jumping the course well but was backing off my leg a little, I have been riding her in small spurs recently which have been helping but she clearly didn’t like them too much in the ring for some reason. As we came round the corner to fence 6 a helicopter flew over quite low and this coupled with the spurs made her have a slight temper tantrum putting the line I was on to fence 6 very wrong so with a quick cirlce round to re-approach she went on to jump the rest of the round clear. I do love my mares but they do have the odd temper tantrum which can be frustrating! With cutting the corners to the last fences we ended up with 2 time faults which wasn’t bad as I heard quite a few competitors got time faults as the course designer had been rather clever!

On to the XC and Diaz felt great warming up and was very excited walking around the start box waiting to go. The starter counted us down and as we left the start box, with a slight “leap of joy” from Diaz we were off! She absolutely flew round, making nothing of the combinations what so ever, taking all the direct routes and she jumped an awesome clear! We finished well inside the time and Diaz was still full of running too which was a good sign of her fitness! Our round at Tweseldown has to be up there with one of the best XC rounds I had the pleasure of riding, she felt like a true XC machine!!

All in all a very positive day out, and although we didn’t come home with any prizes I was very pleased with how well she went and more importantly how easy she found the XC! The other two disciplines we can put plenty of work in and train hard ready for our next event which will be at Stratford Hills mid June. Here is a video link to our dressage and SJ:- (unfortunately we didn’t manage to get any of my XC round videoed)

With regards to the other two girls, Roxie is loving doing a bit more fast work now and we went for our first canter / gallop since she has been back in work the other day and although I wished I had muscles like poop-eye it did feel great to be back out doing fast work with her. Milli and I had a SJ lesson with David Pearson-Smith last Saturday afternoon and David got very excited when he saw me unload the “good one” off the lorry…..think he quite likes Milli! All I can say about our lesson is WOW! We had a great lesson and Milli was on fire, pinging over a short course of 1.40m / 1.45m fences like it was a 75cm course! I can’t wait to get her back out competing in the near future! I went on my own to the lesson and then left my phone in the lorry so haven’t got any pictures or videos to show… time I will I promise!

We have a relatively quite weekend ahead of us which will make a bit of a change and with it being the bank holiday weekend too it will be nice to have a few days at home to catch up on all the little jobs that get ‘forgotten’ about when I’m busy out competing! I have a few lessons planned over the next few weeks with my girls so will let you know how these go with plenty of pictures too :)”



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