So amazingly Blue and myself have managed, on our 4th Regional Final attempt, to qualify for the MM Cup 2018!
We qualified at Dauntsey Horse Trials, one of my favourite events. I had missed out by a place twice in my previous Regional Qualifers so this was last chance salon. Before we had even left home Dauntsey’s website had said to leave early so as to leave enough time to be towed in, so I knew it was going to be a wet one !
My son Tristan had come with me, him and his brother had such a great week last year at Badminton that they were desperate for us to go again. He said “I’m coming with you today mum, to make sure you go okay!”
We got towed in the lorry park by Beanie Sturgess, which was exciting for me. We headed for the secretary’s, getting across the lorry park, which resembled a ploughed field was like trying to ice skate with no boots. Dauntsey had tried really hard to keep the event going for us and everyone we bumped into were in good spirits.
After getting my numbers and walking the Xc we went back and tacked Blue up ready for the dressage. I found a tiny spot of grass that was left at the edge of the lorry park which I did my warm up on. I had been really putting the work in on my dressage at home and she was feeling good. We went and did our test and it felt okay Tristan had videoed it and he said it looked pretty good to him (honest critic). We had a bit of a time gap before show jumping so we went over to the ring and watched a few go round the ground was pretty deep but it seem to be jumping okay. My friends and neighbours Neil and Cheryl were there also in the RF qualifiers, I was talking to Neil who is always up to speed with his phone and the BDWP website with the latest scores. He asked if I wanted to know what my dressage score was? I normal try to not find out till I have finished but today I said yes. We had got a great 24.5% !!! I was chuffed with that but with that came the pressure of not screwing the other two parts up.
On our way to winning the Regional Final @ Dauntsey Horse Trials
We navigated the mud to get back to the lorry and sort Blue out for show Jumping, she seemed to know that today I needed her just to pick her feet up and jump and she did just that with a clear round. After another quick change of equipment it was onto the Xc, I knew I would have to kick on as the ground was not going to be a lot heavier than normal. she was an absolute star, jumped everything I asked within the time!!! I wasn’t sure how everyone else dressage had gone but I thought I had to be in with a shout surely!
Blue & Me, Just finished Xc Clear and within the time!
After giving Blue a really good wash down and trying to clean as much tack and boots as we could, I dared to look at the bdwp page on my phone. We had done it! 24.5% double clear to win our section by a good margin, oh the relief and happiness. Blue had no idea what she had just done for me but we gave her extra nuts and big hugs, before our trip home, eating Chocolates and singing to the tunes on the radio!!!
And so now its February and we are 1/4 of the way to Badminton May, Blue had a good couple of months off after Dauntsey and has come back lovely and fresh. Over Xmas she done quite a bit of bombing around on the forest with me and the boys on their ponies. Mid January I started doing some flatwork, which Blue was pretty sure she had never done before! so it took a few weeks to persuade her that actually she could do dressage and we need to get it together sharpish!
This year it feels slightly different to preparing for last years MMCup, I am a lot more relaxed about it (not sure if that’s a good thing really) It’s slightly easier knowing that the prep i did last year was spot on for that day of competition and she was fit enough. However because it all went so well last year that’s probably not going to happen again. So I have got to make sure I put in the same amount of effort and attention to details as I did last year.
Our First Dressage Competition for 2018, British Dressage @ Crofton
We have had an outing to BD which went well, we have stepped up a level and competed at our first Elementary, It went really well in both classes and she gave me the feeling we were back on track with our dressage. I have also been to a couple of arena Xc competition where she was a bit spooky but did go double clear. I only really use these Arena eventing competitions as training as I find that they vary so much from venue to venue, you never know if your riding the proper lines or whether it’s just the fastest one round even though its supposed to be 375 mars per minute. I don’t think you teach your horse anything but going flat-out and cutting all the corners, you may as well go Show Jumping. I’ve been starting with the 80cm classes and then doing the 90cm but after a few cobwebs have now been blown away I need to also step up the jumping and go straight in at 90 and then 100 to get us back to normal. It still always takes me by surprise how rusty you get over the winter when you haven’t been jumping regularly or maybe I’m just getting older!!!!
I have booked into my first couple of BE Events, but I am trying to remain optimistic that they will go ahead with the amount of rain that we have had lately. Last year I didn’t get a run until the beginning of April due to everything being abandoned, but that turned out to be ok in the end and saved her legs doing too much before the big day in May.
Thats all for now
Kate & Blue