|Dressage Test: BE92 (2009)||Judge: Sarah Gathercole||Dressage Mark: 33.5|
|SJ Jumping Penalties: 4||SJ Time Penalties: 0|
|XC Jumping Penalties: 0||XC Time Penalties: 0||XC Time: 4min 51secs|
|XC Distance: 2320m||XC Optimum Time: 5m 10secs||Placing: 8th|
Finn was like a coiled spring this morning – jumping about and really wound up before we left the yard – it took her a while to settle, but by the time we had warmed up for dressage she was on an even keel. Chris was groom for the day so I was very pleased she settled relatively quickly, we also had 3 helpers in the shape of Minnie, Tasha and Fletcher! We walked the XC course with the dogs – it was very twisty and turny – but not overly big or technical, there were a few jumps in and out of the woods and the water was like a swamp accessed by a steep-ish bank and a hard left turn as you rode through. Chris thought it looked tricky, I was a bit concerned about the tight turns etc. but felt OK with the course.
The dressage was in an arena next to the main thoroughfare, and I was pleased with how Finn concentrated with so many distractions around her. Sarah Gathercole judged the dressage at Llanymynech and appears to be quite strict – we improved on our Llanymynech score (36.0), so I’m really pleased about that. The Judge’s comments were: “Nice horse – could have a bit more power at times but lots to like”. I may have been just trying to contain her too much – perhaps I should really just go for it next time?!?
As I was un-tacking from the dressage, Charlotte Cartwright came past and asked if I had heard the announcement about the XC course change – I hadn’t! Apparently there was a bees nest in the fallen log/drop fence coming out of the wood at fence 11, and they had therefore decided to re-route by jumping out of the wood over another fence meaning you had to double back on yourself. I raced across to fence 11 to make sure I knew where I was going – it was a VERY tight turn.
I was a little behind my time for the showjumping due to the emergency extra course walk – the stewards were very understanding and everyone was in the same boat. The showjumping was on the grass in a slightly sloping arena. I was very pleased with Finn and the 4 faults was down to pilot error – I got her in too close for the first part of the double at number 5 , but the jump I was concerned about (number 6 – a white upright gate going downhill) we cleared beautifully. I can feel that we are getting better, more bouncy but relaxed with it – I’m getting a good feel and keep practicing what I have been taught – especially from the lesson with Jonquil – that really helped.
The XC phase was going really well – until fence 11 (where the course had changed due to the bees nest). I jumped 9: the house with the fuscia flowers, then 10: the step – rail – drop in the wood and then doubled back and jumped 11 per the course change – I was then held on course due to someone falling at 12. We were held on course for what seemed like ages but was only 3 minutes 21 seconds, meaning I was on course for a total of 8 minutes 12 seconds, finishing well inside the optimum time. The rest of the course went well – although it didn’t flow due to all the sharp twists and turns – but we enjoyed it and finished clear (lots didn’t).
We received another 2 foundation points for being placed today – that takes us to a grand total of 5 now! It was another lovely sunny day, but the ground is getting harder as a result.
P.S. Finn was a little stiff in front when we hacked out on the Tuesday following Malpas (9 July) – will see how she goes but think she may be jarred due to the hard ground.