Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Day trip eventing to Norfolk!

We had braced ourselves for a tough weekend of early mornings and very long journeys. We worked out that we were going to have to be up at 2am Friday, 4am Saturday and 5am Sunday. But on Thursday Mum who was away on business got a text from Tina asking if we wanted a lift to Norfolk in the morning and considering Mum did not get back till 8pm the night before, it was a good job. However not wanting to wake our neighbours with a Lorry going up and down the drive we arranged to meet Tina at the petrol station at Buck Barn at 3am, you can imagine the manager's face when he saw us unloading and loading on his forecourt, Mum got a few questions about horse smuggling!

Well with me safely snuggled up in the back I got some kip whilst Mum supplied Tina with endless coffee, porridge for breakfast and conversation to keep her awake whilst driving. (They didn't have any trouble in that department). Of course any journey to an event is not complete without a detour and the odd missed turning. The M11 was shut so we made a detour apparently,  which was going well but I woke up when they had missed a turning. Anyway no trouble for Tina turning her 18ft lorry in a cul-de-sac and we were back on our way and we arrived at Great Witchingham in great time thanks to Pippa who phoned to tell us the way that she went, not sure we would have made it otherwise.

The event is lovely, its quiet, ground was good, the course quite old fashioned, it flowed well,  the fences were all solid, well built and educational  and I would definitely go back there. Michael Rogers from MDR photo drove hours just to come and support me, it was actually lovely that we went with Tina as Michael got to spend the day with her too. Danny did a super 29.1 dressage, so much better than last week. We did a clear sj and a cracking clear xc but he did help me out at one combination, if he hadn't of done that we may have been in trouble. I loved spending the day with Tina, having her warm me up for show jumping and then being able to talk over the cross country course, it was just what I needed for my first Intermediate this year.

I am pretty sure most people would think I was making this up if I told them that I went on a day out eventing and Tina Cook was Chauffeur, Pippa Funnell was personal Sat Nav and Lucinda Green.... well she sold us some carrots out of a van. (She did I promise but that's another story)!

We arrived home at 8pm. I have to say a huge thank you to Catherine to did the horses for me and got Boo washed and spruced ready for the next day and to Megan who plaited, it made the turnaround for us so much quicker. We were indoor by 9 ish, Dad had made us steak and chips and in bed for 10pm ready for our 4am start!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Aldon is that in Hampshire or Somerset?!!!

Despite going out and celebrating our friend Marcus Gorman's 50th birthday Mum still managed to get up at 5am to feed the horses. We kind of have a routine show mornings. Mum gets up and goes straight out and feeds and skips out, I get up get ready, go out and get the horses ready, rug up the others and turn out, Mum comes in and gets herself and food for the day ready. Usually that all happens in sequence, occasionally it all goes a bit wrong. This morning owing to a little bit of a hangover from Mum it may have gone a little awry but we were on the road by 6.20am, 20 mins late far better than Tina who was out with Mum and was 50 minutes late leaving! Thankfully I had asked Gary Stevens to drive and help out, so Mum didn't have to drive!! Unfortunately I told Gary that we were going to Hampshire, an hour and half into the journey, Gary asked exactly where we were going and was a little shocked when Mum said Somerset.....whoops! Sorry Kate if you were expecting him back sooner

When we got to Aldon (in Somerset) once again Micheal and Lisa from MDR photo were there to support me, we met Micheal at the cross country and walked it together,

Once again we made it to all three phases in good time, lets hope this continues all season!
Our dressage unfortunately was nothing like our practice with Fiona Bigwood a few days earlier. Danny was tense and on edge, I played it quiet but that meant he didn't go forward enough, I think it may be our worst dressage score to date but I am not worried about that, I know I can get that back with him, he just needs few more outings to relax.

The showjumping went well and he was clear. I was so pleased with this as this is the phase we have been working on in our winter training, it has been our weakest phase as a partnership but today it felt awesome and all that work has paid off.
When we turned up to cross country it was a little overcrowded but Tina was waiting too so we walked and talked to pass the time. When I eventually went it felt so good, we went round in a great rhythm and met everything right. I still got lots of time penalties but I think it will be at least one more outing before I try and be a little more competitive. I know he is fit though, Aldon is really hilly and he was hardly blowing.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Isleham Rocks!

Well the first event of the season beckoned, we chose Isleham as we heard they prepared the ground early, it is flat, the ground is usually good and they always run. All of those things were right. It was the perfect event to kick the season off.

Our journey was straight forward, if a little long but we arrived in bright sunshine. Micheal and Lisa Rogers from MDR photo also came along to support and take photos. (Thank you)

I hope we have started the season as we mean to go on because 1. We did not get lost 2. We arrived in good time 3. I got to all my disciplines on time and with plenty of time to warm up  4. I stayed on  5.Mum stayed upright !!!

I was pretty pleased with the dressage. We got an average score of 32, my centre lines could have been better, the medium canter was in danger of becoming a gallop but actually all in all I played it safe and I was pleased, he wasn't tense and we were quite accurate.

The showjumping caught some people out, luckily I saw Alice Dunsdon and was able to talk through the course, I was pretty ok with most of it but the last double looked tricky and not many people met it on the right stride. Alice told me to square it off and it rode like a dream. We went clear and I was pretty pleased with the round.

By the time we came to XC we were in our stride and it just felt great to be out Danny rode like a dream, we had a slight sticky moment  going into the water, where I nearly got jumped off and I very nearly got wet, but I regained my balance and we carried on to finish the course in style! We had oodles of time penalties but we were not riding for time as it is too early in the season to be pushing him.

We were joint 3rd after showjumping but slipped to 8th on time penalties.

Roll on Aldon Intermediate Novice!!

Many thanks to http://www.mdr-photo.co.uk for the pictures