Our first win – SJI CCCS Final

Our first competitive outing with our new mascot Schuberry and he certainly proved lucky..

We were originally intending to skip the final of the SJI league we have been competing in, when on Friday night mum received a text notifying her we had qualified for the final. She was working until 7pm.

We then discussed it and left for the yard at 8pm, pulled Bonnie in from the field (where she has been living and got ridden twice for 5 minutes since the last show on May 1st) and quickly packed the trailer and headed up on the Friday night. We booked into the lovely Maddybenny stables at very late notice and ended up arriving at 10.30pm!

We settled Bonnie in (now her second home we’ve brought her up there so much recently…whooops!), fed her for the evening and headed to get ourselves settled for the night.

The next morning, we arrived at Maddybenny to get ready for the show. The forecast was for a day of torrential rain and temperatures of around 12 degrees. We quickly got Bonnie ready and onto the trailer, arriving after the short 10 minute journey to the show at 9.20am – my class began at 10. I left mum to open the window for Bonnie whilst I rushed off to enter, paid for the temporary SJI ticket and as always then put myself down to jump first. I then quickly skimmed over the course (1-8) then quickly tacked up and hopped on. I warmed up Bonnie then took her to walk around the perimeters of the arena, going over the course again and again in my head to make sure I knew it – no room for mistakes today!

In the rest of the league, you just jumped clear and got =1 placings if you went clear. This time, however, you first had to jump 1-8 clear and if you did so you got entered into the draw for the jump off. There ended up being 8 clears in total as the course had some tricky lines. We where then drawn for jump off and I was drawn 4/8.

Once the jump off order was announced I warmed up Bonnie again (as she had jumped first and had been standing about for a long time), and did some practice of turning only 1 or 2 strides away from the fence then jumping and felt confident going into the arena.

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On her way over the final fence for a confident clear to secure our place in the jump off.

I watched one round before I went into the arena – jumps 9-13 clearly in my head with my turns mapped out – but of course it didn’t go to plan at all. We got off to a good start but after turning slightly too sharp to the double we almost had the fence down, knocking me off track and therefore ended up in my forgetting to turn on time – oops! I attempted to gather up the lost speed then couldn’t collect her quite in time (taking off a stride early probably didn’t help matters) to an absolute flyer over number 12.

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My bad – collect a little earlier next time!

The next two turns were quick and snappy and to be honest I can’t even remember half the round. We managed to make it around in 41.30s with 4 combinations to go, but little Bonnie the loon managed to take the lead in the end by 2 seconds. What a champ!

So proud of this little horse and how far we’ve come together having only been a partnership since I bought her in February. We’ve only done 4 shows together, of which this league made up 3!

To say it was surreal to win the Norrie Roulston trophy as the winning combination of 2017 is an understatement – it took 2 hours to sink in we’d actually done it. A small achievement for some but after the beginning of this year I didn’t think it would be possible..I owe so much to this little horse!

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I’ve attached a few links below – be sure to check them out, including my new Facebook ‘like’ page to stay up to date a little more often than on here.

Until next time …

Facebook – @equistoryni 
Instagram – @equistoryni 
Twitter – @equistoryni

Watch Bonnie’s qualifying round here..

Watch Bonnie’s Jump Off round here..

Watch the 80cm prizegiving here..

Watch the 80cm lap of honour here..

My latest main channel video:

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