Moreton Morrell – BE90 Horse Trials

Dressage Test: BE92 (2009) Judge: Z Feeney Dressage Mark: 32.5
SJ Jumping Penalties: 0 SJ Time Penalties: 0
XC Jumping Penalties: 0 XC Time Penalties: 0 XC Time: 5:25
XC Distance: TBC XC Optimum Time: 5:31 Placing: 4th (x5 FP)

Our first BE of the season, and a fairly early start – leaving the yard at 06.30.  Finn walked straight into the trailer first time with no arguments – she’s never done this before – so a promising start to the day!!!

MoretonMorrell8We walked the course and it looked quite testing for the first 6 fences, then eased off on height and difficulty, but had a couple of steep climbs which would certainly test fitness levels.

Finn was an absolute angel all day today – she was quiet and relaxed – so much so that I was a bit concerned at one stage!!  The dressage went well – if a little lacklustre – I know Finn can ‘sparkle’ mush more but it’s a fine line between relaxation and ticking bomb!!  I was pleased with her obedience and fluency.  There were a couple of little spooks but nothing too serious and the walk work was much improved from Trailblazers 2nd round Qualifiers.  The judge’s comments were: “A pleasing partnership, but needs to work more over the back to improve quality of work” .

The showjumping was amazing – Finn was really trying and she listened to what I was asking her.  There had been quite a few issues with previous rounds – with the horse just in front of me racking up 26 faults, there were only 12 clear rounds for the whole section!  In the photo it looks like she’s giving it everything!MoretonMorrell1

We went across to the XC early, and Finn wore her new Ecogold XC boots (which performed brilliantly, her legs looked amazing afterwards – so I think we’ve finally cracked the XC boot problem thank goodness).  She was a little bit sticky to fences 2 and 3 – but I was prepared for this and sat up and encouraged her over, she did knock the 3rd fence but regained her composure quickly to continue with the rest of the course.  Fence 5 was a fairly
big hanging log , which Finn jumped cleanly then off to the steep steps down to a right handed turn.  I lost my balance on the first step as Finn jumped big, but re-balanced and jumped the second step well.  Fence 14 was an open ditch – yikes – I thought of Nigel Taylor, sat up, and kicked on (my legs even moved), and Finn didn’t even take a second look.  A different story at the water (17) however, it was only a splash in and out but Finn tried to duck right, almost unbalancing me – I caught hold of her and really rode the final few fences – I wasn’t getting this close to a clear XC round again to have a problem.

We finished on our dressage score with a fab double clear for the second time this season!  We finished in 4th place and received a nice rosette and £30 cash – Result!!  We were also awarded 5 Foundation Points – well on the way to one of the 2014 objectives of doubling my FPs.

Chris is coming on well as a groom too: he helped to wash her down after the XC as she was blowing and a bit hot & sweaty – we’re getting there, he’ll be wanting to ride next!