Our second ever SJI together

May Day 2017 (01-05-2017) saw Bonnie and I tackle our second ever SJI together. I had taken her around the Eventing Ireland cross country course at Maddybenny the day before and wasn’t expecting much. As I was warming her up, she felt a little sluggish so I originally only entered the 80cm.

As soon as Bonnie went into the ring she just completely woke up. She thrives under the competitive atmosphere and jumped a fantastic, quick double clear. This was only my third time competing Bonnie, and her first time at a “big” show in a while, so I was very pleased with how she went.

As I walked around the show grounds waiting for the 80cm class to finish, I talked to a few fellow competitors and received really nice comments about Bonnie, which is always nice – especially in a new partnership. I was still convinced Bonnie was tired, that was until I asked her to move from the spot I had been standing with her spectating the remainder of the class to go in and collect our rosette (clear round only – however the runners of the show told me she did the fastest round of the day!), she completely came alive. I then had a choice to make.

Do I enter her in her first ever 90cm? Is she too tired? Should I risk it?

I went back to my mum and we both decided that I would retire if I felt like Bonnie was tiring and wouldn’t be able to complete the course. I quickly got the money from mum and literally cantered across the show ground and asked a spectator to enter me – thank you again to the kind lady who did!

Bonnie was 8th to jump in a class of around 20, so that gave me plenty of time to warm up. Well, the warm up was a bit of a disaster – she jumped fantastic – but she was in season and a stallion was in the arena and she tried to kick out at the poor thing (she didn’t get him, though, and he jumped a lovely round). We ended up jumping around 110cm warm up fences, as mum had our dogs and couldn’t put the fences up/down for me so I had to use what other people were warming up over. Bonnie flew them with absolute ease – I felt confident heading into the class.

As we headed in I could feel my poor mum’s nerves from the side of the fence as she was videoing my round. Since my health has been up and down since the end of January she has been even more nervous when I compete. But, precious little Bonnie, the supercob, just went and flew around with absolute ease. I need to work on her flatwork to get her straight between fences, as she tries to drift between them – but that will all come with time and practice.

I just can’t get over how well behaved she was. We had her stabled nearby and took her straight back after prizegiving (again, clear round only – but she produced the fastest double clear again) and she got lots of carrots and cuddles.

She has spent this week in the field having fun and being a horse. Hard work begins again soon getting ready for the completion of his SJI league on May 27th.

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Until next time…

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