British Eventing – Baileys Jump Training @ Rodbaston

Style Round 1 Round 2
Horse’s balance & Rhythm 6.5 7.5
Horse’s pace & quality of the jump 6.5 7.5
Rider’s ability to present the horse correctly to the fence and ride   accurate lines 7.5 7.5
Rider’s position, balance and ability to follow the horse’s movement   over the fence 14 17
Jumping Penalties 4 faults – Fence 5 Clear
Total style Marks Style Penalties Total Jumping Faults Score
74/100 26 4 30

A great finish to a lovely weekend!

Have never done this type of competition before, so was  unsure as to what to expect.  The format works as follows:

Phase 1 involves a course walk in small groups with a Coach
Phase 2 is where riders receive a guided warming up session
Phase 3 the first part of the competition, whereby combinations jump their first round
Phase 4 this is where riders get feedback from the coach on their round
Phase 5 riders then get to jump again taking on board the feedback from their first round

For the guided course walk, my group had former New Zealand Olympic team representative Andrew Bennie to walk the course with.  We then had a working in session outside with Sylvia Farmer (BE Accredited Coach).  I nearly got jumped off in the work in session, but managed to cling on as Finn took two strides out before the upright: she’s feeling very well…..  I think that she believed that she was still on the hunting field – and was jumping out of her skin!

We then went into the arena for our round(s), Andrew Bennie was the judge for the main event.  I trotted Finn around and got her used to the arena and let her have a look at the gallery etc.  Andrew sent us off to start; Finn started boldly and became stronger throughout the round – she made a few enormous leaps – but I stayed with her and managed to get her back on the aids.  I over-rode fence 5 and consequently knocked it resulting in 4 faults, but regained my composure to finish on just the 4 faults.  I went into the middle to have a chat with Andrew Bennie and Fiona Saxby (the organiser), Andrew said that he thought Finn sounded like she was thundering around a bit, and I should aim to have her lighter on her feet.  He said that he liked the fact that I was able to go with her when she leapt over the fences and took strides out, not many today had been able to get this right he said!  He also said that I rode nice accurate lines and presented Finn well to the fences, however, he said that I should sit back more and use my seat and weight aids to get her back onto her hocks (he noted she was a big, long horse), whilst not backing off the forward movement.

The second round was much better, more controlled and clear.  It felt a bit quieter too!

I got my score sheet and was pleased with the marks and the comments – Andrew Bennie’s comments were: “Aim to have the canter quality more compressible without strangling her.  If the hind leg is more under her, the canter will be lighter on her feet, and the jump will have more technique.  Use your upper body to get the hind leg under her.  Second round didn’t sound so heavy on the ground.”

Just the wait then to see if we had finished in the top 25% to qualify for the JT Championships on 9 March.

WE DID IT!  Moreton Morrell here we come!

Lynsey also qualified with second place: two clear rounds and a style result of 28.5 – good old Jasper!

BE Press ReleaseI sent emails to both Baileys Horse Feeds and British Eventing – to thank them for the sponsorship and support of the JT series.   The BE Press officer got back to me today (28 Jan) to ask if she could use my quote in the BE press release.  My quote was:

“… Nicci Cook who took fourth place in the BE90 level class contacted British Eventing to say: “Rodbaston College on Sunday was my first time at one of BE’s Jump Training events. I found it a really useful format; it was a great pre-season focuser and has given me the kick-start I need to get myself into gear for the coming season. I can’t wait for the Championships at Moreton Morrell!”

In the press release Andrew Bennie commented that:

“…  some of the common areas of improvement seen across the day: “There were a lot of instances where I was helping riders to think about straightness in their approach but there were also a lot of riders who appreciated the advice we gave on ‘horse and rider responsibility’. Setting the horse up to the fence with a strong and rhythmic canter is the rider’s job; jumping the fence is the horse’s responsibility.”…

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