Shelford Manor BE90 Horse Trials

Dressage Test: BE92 (2009) Judge: Sarah Thorpe Dressage Mark: 34
SJ Jumping Penalties: 12 SJ Time Penalties: 0
XC Jumping Penalties: 0 XC Time Penalties: 2 XC Time: 4:17
XC Distance: 1890m XC Optimum Time: 4:12 Placing: 10th

A lovely venue and a fantastically well run event – I will definitely be going back to Shelford Manor – it was a really enjoyable show, with a well marked out XC course and good spots for the spectators to sit and watch the proceedings!  Luckily enough it was a sunny day.

There were concerns before hand about the going as we had so much rain- but the going on the XC was very good, only issue was where the course went into the wood, there was a dip/right turn which was wet and had potential to become a bit boggy.  We walked the XC course with the dogs and there were some nice big jumps, hedges and chase fences, there were also a couple of questions in an offset double of hanging logs, a step down in the woods which could have got slippy, and a very tight right turn from a up-to-height pallasade at 14 to a double step up out of trees.  I was looking forward to it!

Shelford5Finn was coughing a bit during the dressage warm up and I was worried about her and didn’t really arm up well as I was distracted by the coughing!  Finn was therefore not really on the boil before we went into the test arena.  She performed well enough to earn a 34, but I’m sure that could have been better if I had done my job properly and Just rode through it! I was pleased that she was relaxed and didn’t tense during the test too much – but here were a couple of little coughs in the beginning which unbalanced us both a bit.  The Judge’s comments were: “Improved as test went on.  Could produce a little more body bend to help with balance and suppleness, but some good moments shown.”

The show jump warm up was rushed as I just didn’t give my self enough time – she knocked a couple of the warm up fences down (which is not really like her) and I was concerned again about the cough so I rode like a muppet!  I didn’t have enough jump in the canter and lost the balance a couple of times – resulting in 12 faults.  I was obviously disappointed with our performance in the SJ – especially as it was the first trip out for the new saddle.

I was considering not XCing her as I was worried about her wind now.  Chris said why didn’t I just start and then if she was not feeling right I could retire – I thought this good advice so did just that, knowing that if any time I felt she was not loving it then I’d just pull up and walk home.  anyway – she just loved it and ate up the course no problem, I took it steady though as with 12 faults in the SJ I was not on a winning score!  Would have been 8th without the time pens, so no big deal.

All in all a good day, we enjoyed the XC and had a lovely time galloping around the track at Shelford Manor.