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Sarah Gadd Update

Chris Price

“Just wanted to give you a quick report following the rather busy weekend we had out competing both days last weekend!


Diaz was first out and on Saturday we headed up into Suffolk to compete in the BE100 at Stratford Hills BE Horse Trials. This is a great event, the team behind it make it such a friendly and enjoyable day out! On arrival Diaz had a leg stretch and a drink before I went off to walk the XC course.


After getting Diaz, or us both ‘prettied up’ and ready for dressage I headed over to the warm up. Diaz was nice a quiet at the beginning of the warm up but there was quite a few swallows around the field and they seemed to be getting quite angry and started swooping around all the riders in the field which Diaz didn’t particularly like and she wasn’t the only one! We went in and she performed a nice test, she is getting more consistent each time out which is great. Although she was a little tense due to the birds in the arena, we picked up a new PB mark for our dressage as we scored 31.0. I was right in thinking it was a consistent test, our marks ranged from 6.5 to 7.5 so although no fancy high marks they were consistent which is the main thing so now we just need to work on making those 6’s into 7’s and those 7’s into 8’s and we’ll be picking up scores in the 20’s…..fingers crossed!


We had relatively close times so with a change of tack I headed over to the SJ warm up. We timed it perfectly, popped her over a few jumps and in we went. The SJ course had been causing slight chaos with not many clears and quite a few stops so I went in putting all this out of my mind and Diaz jumped a cracking round! We did unfortunately pic up 4 faults at the first part of the last combination, which was right by the commentator’s trailer so maybe her concentration wandered momentarily as she just tapped the top pole.


On to XC and it was a testing track for Diaz but she has run confidently around the two other BE100’s we have done so I was hoping for a good round. We set of jumping the first few fences very confidently and didn’t mind jumping fence 2 which was light into dark we entered the wood. As we left the wood fence 4a was a decent sized drop down fence (also in the novice!) and fence 4b was a skinny barrel type fence just 2 strides away. Diaz jumped off the step very boldly, perhaps a little too boldly as she pecked as she landed on the stony ground and despite both our  best efforts to continue over the ‘b’ fence, with it being so close we kind of ended up on top of it unfortunately. I checked Diaz over, circled her round and she jumped the fence very confidently on the angle. She absolutely flew the remainder of the course and popped strait off the double steps and over the flower bed fence towards the end of the course without hesitation so she didn’t loose any confidence which is most important. She galloped up the final hill really well to, pulling all the way to the finish line. Despite our issue at fence 4 we only picked up 7.2 time faults so she would have been well inside the time!


I was very pleased with how well she ran and it was just very unfortunate for her stumble on the XC course, getting all three disciplines to go right, on the same day is always a bit of a challenge, but Diaz is one to learn from situations like this so roll on our next event!


After a rather long drive home from Suffolk, Diaz got turned out for a few hours in the field to have a leg stretch which she enjoyed. I on the other had still had some jobs to get done on the yard and horses to ride that evening. Once I was all sorted, horses tucked up in bed and my tack all cleaned ready for the next day,I went to bed myself! “Zzzzz”


The next day I woke up before my alarm despite the long day the day before, might have had something to do with the excitement of taking Milli out competing maybe!? Milli hasn’t been out competing for about 10 months, in fact since Hickstead last year! We headed over to Cobham Manor for a British Showjumping show there as we are going to concentrate on her showjumping for the time being as she appears to be rather good at it!


Although she has been training over rather big fences I entered the 95cm open, just so she could have a play around over a smaller height and also as I wasn’t sure how she was going to behave as she has been known to have the odd excitement overload previously! Not that I needed to worry, she was almost on her best behaviour and jumped a lovely clear around the first round and just had an unlucky fence down so 4 faults in the jump off due to a little buck between fences on a related stride! I was pleased though, as after this pole down I decided to test her turn ability and did a super tight turn to a double of uprights, which she took easily in her stride which was good!


After a little wait between classes we were back in the ring, this time jumping in the Discovery as we are trying to pick up our discovery double clears, before jumping bigger tracks so we are ready for next year’s second rounds! She jumped a faultless round around a track that was causing plenty of faults, in fact we were the only combination to jump a double clear so went on to win the class! I couldn’t have asked for more from her on her first trip back out!


With Diaz and Milli both on great form and Roxie ticking over nicely in the background (she’s next out on the 10th July at a style competition!) I can’t wait for the next competition with each of them!”

Check out the video links below:

Stratford Hills:-





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