|Dressage Test: BE92 (2009)
|Judge: Frances Sheffield
|Dressage Mark: 37.0
|SJ Jumping Penalties: 0
|SJ Time Penalties: 0
|XC Jumping Penalties: 0
|XC Time Penalties: 1 (TOO FAST)
|XC Time: 4min 22secs
|XC Distance: 2272m
|XC Optimum Time: 5m 03secs
|XC FT 4m 23secs
The very final event of the season – and what a fabulous venue!!
Norton Disney is 2 hours away from Bridgnorth, so Chris and I decided to think ahead and take the stress out of the weekend by going down the day before – so I booked the B&B and stable well in advance.
Good job we did, the weather warnings for Sunday and Monday were looking pretty blustery. As it happens, the trip down on Saturday afternoon was lovely, we arrived at Brills Farm and got Finn settled into her stable. We then headed off with the dogs to walk the Cross Country course. It was a lovely evening and we really enjoyed the walk….. The XC course was the toughest course to date: some big, full up fences, some technical bits and some new challenges. I felt confident though, and decided to take the straight line options rather than the black flags – we had might as well go for it!!
We got up and had a good full English breakfast to set us up for the day ahead. I managed to talk one of our fellow B&Bers into plaiting Finn for me – the plaits were sewn in and she had a French plait in her forelock – she looked beautiful and was quite chilled and relaxed.
We drove the 10 minutes to the show ground and started to get ready. The wind was certainly getting up and working in was interesting! We were asked to go in early before our alloted time, I agreed but in hindsight probably needed the extra 15 minutes – the dressage was rather lacklustre: I didn’t ride as positively as I sholuld have and we ended up with a 37.0 – disappointing, but my aim for today was to finish on my dressage score (despite it being poor).
Showjumping was amazing – we got it absolutely perfect and Finn felt fab – she really listened and tried. Both Chris and I were actually quite emotional after the round because it was so lovely, the best showjumping round to date…… A beautiful clear round and we were fired up and ready for the XC.
I was feeling confident for the XC and rode positively – the going for the first couple of fences was a bit heavy so we set off steady, but Finn picked up the pace by fence 3…… Fences 4 and 5 were bogey “rider-frightener” fences: an open croquet set and a big skinny table off a left-handed corner. I set her up and rode positively – Finn just flew them both! The rest of the round was awesome and really enjoyed it – the double step up was a breeze and the ditch didn’t bother her at all. She was a bit sticky at the brightly coloured barrells before the water but I was determined and she complied, got herself over it and bounded through the water. I rode the line I walked at the double of offset Pig Arcs and it rode really well for 2 strides. We crossed the finish clear – I was so excited as I thought I had finished the season on my goal – finshing on my dressage score.
We got Finn back to the trailer and made her comfortable – her legs looked good and the idea of putting lint and vet-wrap under her boots seemed to have helped prevent any rubs. We went to get ourselves some lunch and looked in at the score tent on the way – I was devastated to find that we had a time fault – FOR GOING TOO FAST!!! We were 1 second under the Fastest Time allowed of 4m 23secs – unheard of for us………………..
I soon got over my disappointment and concentrated on the fantastic show jumping and XC rounds – it really was a great finish to the season.