We are thankfully all caught up on the blog posts now, so it is time for our most recent competition. Our second two phase (Bonnie’s third as she did one as a 5 year old), and it went better than I could ever have hoped.
I was first to go on the start list for the 85cm class. We’ve been schooling around at least 1m for a while now so I didn’t want to drop back to the 70 class (which the the one we did in April, but I hadn’t started this blog at that point). We had been schooling the week before around a mixed track of 85cm-1m (which you can read about on my last post here).
I was very pleased at being drawn first as the weather hasn’t been great here so I was expecting the ground to be a bit soggy, and was pleasantly surprised when it was just a little soft. I warmed up for my SJ and we ended up with a double clear, with just one sticky moment when she began spooking at the hedge (she really does hate hedges) but she got over the fence clear without stopping or running out.
Watch our SJ and some of our XC here.
We were straight off to the XC which took a while to start as the stewards had taken a break between the end of the 70cm and the start of the 85cm. We eventually set off and were going really well until jump 8 when she sort of leaped over and my saddle fell around to the right side. We stopped immediately and I started leaning over to the left to try my best to fix it without getting off – I succeeded, and carefully leaning to the left over the next few jumps to ensure it didn’t slip again we were back to business. That was until she started to nap riding up towards the main yard and we were stuck for 32 seconds (the joys of GoPro footage) before slowly trotting towards the next fence and getting over.
We were back in business and to my absolute shock she went into the water – I didn’t even vocally encourage her, use my stick for backup or anything. She literally just went in. I was so shocked I literally couldn’t speak and had to think quickly about my next move. There was a rather large jump out (about 1m) and I really hadn’t thought I would get in so I wouldn’t even need to worry about getting out – I was actually laughing about it to everyone when we were discussing the course before the show. This led us into a very sticky jump up where she caught her back leg and lost a boot. Thankfully, as I write this the day after, she is absolutely fine and not lame in the slightest which I was concerned about because she quite literally dragged herself up the step.
The remainder of the course rode smoothly and with the second competitor hot on my heels (a tad too hot for my liking) we headed in home and cooled the best little supercob down.
You can ride with me around the course by watching my GoPro footage below:
All in all we had a great day, we picked up 11.5 time penalties for being too slow, the total course being 1750m in length and they were wanting a pace of 375m/min making the optimum time 4m40s. We completed it in 5 minutes and 29 seconds – so nearly a minute off the time, meaning if we hadn’t of had our two little incidents we just might have made the pace.
We ended up 14th/86 competitors which I did is a really good result, especially considering the experience of Bonnie in this discipline and at this level.
Until next time…
Subscribe to my main channel and click the bell – @equistoryni.
Subscribe to my second channel and click the bell – @swxtobias.