Oasby – BE90 Horse Trials

Dressage Test BE92 (2009) XC Jump Pens: 40 Total Penalties:


Judge: L Humphrey XC Time Pens: 28.4
Dressage Mark: 42.5 XC Distance: 1900
SJ Jump Pens: 0 XC Optimum: 4:13 Placing:


SJ Time Pens: 0 XC Time Actual: 5:24

Quite sensible times today, pleased not to have another 07.30 dressage! Times were quite spaced out due to Oasby holding the Pony Trials today: 2 hrs 45 between dressage and SJ, so I planned to walk the XC course after the dressage – perhaps I’d remember the route then!

The ground felt quite hard, so I put her little sharp studs in all round.  She was quite fidgety to get ready so I thought I’d need extra time to warm up.  We jogged across the the dressage arenas……

I rode Finn in her micklem and the neue schule eggbutt for dressage today; she settled quite quickly and produced some nice work.  I trotted around the arena and Finn was unusually calm!  I thought the test was ok – except for me forgetting the first walk, but we ended up on 42.5 – I think that may be our WORST dressage score yet!  Chris had taken a video of the test and it didn’t look THAT bad on watching it back – but it’s what the judge saw that counts, so that’s that.  Judge’s comments were: “An attractive horse but needs to take more weight behind to lighten the forehand”.

We put Finn back onto the trailer and went to walk the XC course with Fletcher in tow.  It flowed well and I didn’t feel worried about anything in particular – there was a log drop fence at fence 6 and then a very steep downhill run to fence 7 – I was thinking “sit back and look up”!  The only other one which made me think was a hanging log trakehner type jump at fence 13.  We got back to the SJ arena, had a cup of tea and cake and watched some of the show jumping for a bit.  As we were spectating the commentator said that there were some top class Olympic judges at Oasby today, hence the harsh marking perhaps…

IMG_0557image3We got ready for the show jumping and walked across to be told there were 2 to go then me!  They were running early and luckily there were others there ready to go so I managed to warm up and jump the x-pole upright and spread once before I went in.  Finn felt great – really light and supple, and she produced a lovely clear round.  I was very happy with her and we walked quietly back to the lorry park to get ready for XC.

I felt quite confident about the XC and rode happily out of the start box to meet the first few fences spot on.

The photo is taken by Chris on the landing side of the drop – I remembered to sit back and she jumped it like a pro.  We were getting into our stride as we approached the corner at fence 10 – when she took off she spooked to the left – dodging her front end outside the white flag – I lost my left stirrup and almost came a cropper, hanging on and managing to right myself by some fluke.  I re-presented her and she jumped it well.  We got back into our stride over the chase fence at 11 and then she stopped at element a of the water, there was no excuse, I guess I just wan’t committed enough.  I gave her a smack and she cleared it on second attempt.  I gave her a reminder of the job between 12 and 13 – and she flew the hanging log with the hollow underneath.  I rode the last 4 fences much more positively and she finished well.


Drop at fence 6


Downhill run to fence 7

We went back to the lorry park and Chris had got her some carrots – which she enjoyed!  On paper I should be really disappointed with the result today – but I had a lovely day.  I was really pleased with how she settled to work in for the dressage, super happy with the show jumping and I think she’s getting much bolder with the XC and her galloping in between fences has really improved when I compare to the start of last season.

Post Script:

I played the video to Claire McCormick at our lesson following Oasby. She said that she was not too disappointed with the test and that the judge was not unfair: that she had picked up the issues we have been working on (according to Claire most judges don’t notice)! So – keep on keeping on!