BE100 Horse Trials – Catton Park

Dressage Test BE106 (2012) XC Jump Pens: 0 Total Penalties:


Judge: Sue Woore XC Time Pens: 10.8
Dressage Mark: 31.3 XC Distance: 2280
SJ Jump Pens: 4 XC Optimum: 4:48 Placing:


SJ Time Pens: 0 XC Time Actual: 5:10
Made sure we had plenty of time today for course walks and working in, following our timing disaster at Ascott-Under-Wychwood!
We walked the XC course in the drizzle – the weather forecast did say it was going to be wet today, so we were dressed for the wet weather luckily.  I thought that the course was quite big and technical, and challenging in terms of the terrain: very hilly!  But it was set in such beautiful country, and the course was dressed fabulously with some interesting jumping efforts.  The ground was perfect!
I walked the SJ on the way back to the lorry park, it was quite big and square – but inviting.
It was still raining when we started working in for Dressage, but it soon stopped and the sun made a short appearance! In addition Gus Winterman (Blackheart Imagery) arrived as we were working in – it was lovely to see him as it’s been sooo long – in fact, I don’t think I’ve competed at an event when Gus has been photographing!
I used Claire McCormick’s exercise (The Butterfly) during my working in and it really helped Finn and I to focus on the job in hand – I was really happy with how Finn worked in – she was still doing her little ‘nervous cough’ at the start of the working in – will ask the #twittereventing group if anyone else’s horse has this….  (POST SCRIPT: it’s more common than I thought, quite a few people reported nervous coughs or sneezes – fascinating)!  I had decided to ride the test in sitting trot, as I feel I ride better, and keep a more consistent contact with the hands, also I can get Finn to respond better to the knee and thigh aid (which is working very well).  I was happy with our test, except for a blip in the medium walk after the FWLR. It was hurried, tense and Finn’s quarters swung into the left.   Judge’s comments were: “A generally smooth and flowing test – just needing to curl around the rider’s inside leg a little more on turns”. 
So, onto the Show Jumping.  Finn worked in really very well, I’m so so pleased with how we are progressing – we didn’t miss a beat!  She was going beautifully in the ring until fence 8: a double, a) being a spread and b) an upright. I didn’t ride forward enough off the turn and had the back rail of the first element.  Shame as it was a fantastic round otherwise.
I had forgotten my XC shirt so had to ride in my short sleeved stock shirt – Gus christened it “the summer collection”!  Finn set out of the start box and stormed into the first fence with great confidence, she was feeling very happy and taking me into the fences.  She did have a little look at a couple, but a little more positive riding with from me and she completed a fabulous clear round, including the coffin with a deep ditch with white boards.  Definitely improving with my riding and mindset with ditches.  It didn’t feel like we were hanging around but ended up with 10.8 time pens.  I think I’m setting up too much for the fences and not landing and going quickly enough. So will work on this. We also trotted the water on advice from Vittoria Panizzon (via Gus) as there were a few problems with horses stumbling etc.  Becky Hooley’s horse Randy went down on his knees but managed to complete ok. So I erred on the side of caution and took it steady.
We walked back through the warm up area to get back to the lorry park and Nicola Wilson commented that she saw us ride into the first fence, and had said to her horse ‘Panther’ to “do it just like that”.  She said we looked great!  I was very happy with such a great compliment from one of our top event riders – absolutely chuffed!!
Finn had an hour on the trailer whilst Chris and I had some lunch.  We had a chat with Debi Brady from i-Quip, and ordered some dressage gloves for trailblazers.
Afterwards Chris wanted to practice some ‘depth of field’ shots on his camera, so got Finn back off to have some photos taken by the river.  It was a lovely day now and such a beautiful setting.  The photos Chris took today were very good, and supplemented by a fab album from Gus.  I’ve also now got my Blackheart Imagery team sticker to go on the trailer.  We sat outside the trailer and had a drink before packing up to go home.  A lovely relaxed day out, Finn and I are improving and looking forward to some intensive dressage to prepare for Trailblazers in July.  Chris is loving his new camera and we’re getting some lovely photos into the bargain.
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XC Fence List:
1. The KBIS Flying Start
2. The Excloosive Fan
3. The Bourne & Co Green Roll
4. The Angell Mallinder Step
5 a&b. The Oakfield C-Country Pheasant Feeder and Pallisade
6. The KBIS Post & Rail
7. The New Lake Step 7 Rail
8. The Boulton Contractoss’ Pheasant Feeder
9 ab&c. The Field House Equestrian Centre Double Log & Ditch
10. The Boulton Contractors’ Pallisade
11. The Keepers Choice Feeds Log Pile in the Wood
12. The Excloosive Coop
13. The Bourne & Co Brush Drop
14 a&b. The i-Quip Corner & Arrow Head
15. The Cropwise Water & Log
16. The Cropwise Corner
17. The Angell Malllinder Stick Pile