Eventing – Wiener Neustadt Military Academy – Austria – 6 and 7 May 2017

I found out about the event at Wiener Neustadt Military Academy from Patrik Eibner – he told me that there was a class equivalent to a BE Novice which I should enter. I connected with the Military Academy and was put in touch with Major Roland Pulsinger, who was organising the event. After a couple of emails and a telephone conversation I was entered for the competition on 6 and 7 May! Been a while since I’ve been to a ‘proper’ event – yikes!!

Chris and I were booked into a nearby hotel, and I got Finn organised into one of the larger permanent stables on site. We set off on Friday afternoon after work, to make sure we were settled and ready for the competition starting on Saturday morning.

We drove the 2.5 hours or so, across the Slovak/Austria border and found the Military Academy straight away! We were greeted by Major Pulsinger and escorted to our stable – a nice sized wooden fronted brick stable away from the temporary stable blocks. Lovely and cool, with a nice thick bed. Perfect! We got Finn settled and went off in search of our hotel – and supper!

There was some confusion over the correct dressage test, however, I got the correct test from Major Roland Pulsinger. A very kind person from #twittereventing translated it for me. I managed to get the translated test on Saturday morning so set about learning it in double time!

Here’s the translation:

A – Enter at working trot down the centre line

X – halt, salute, proceed in working trot

C – Track left

E – Turn left

B – turn right

K-M – change the rein, show some medium trot strides

M – Working trot

C – Halt for 3 seconds, proceed in medium walk

H-F – change rein in medium walk

F- Working trot

A – working canter, commence 20m circle at A

K-H – show some lengthening of strides down long side

H – working canter

C – working trot

M-E – change rein in working trot

E – Working canter

E-B half 20m circle

H-K – lengthen canter strides

K – working canter

A-  working trot

B-E – half 20m circle, give with the reins 

E – continue along long side

Before K – retake the reins, sitting trot

A – Down centre line

X – halt, salute

Finn worked in very nicely and was calm and rideable. However, getting closer to my allocated time I found out that I was in the wrong warm up arena – and nearly missed my ride, but was redirected by the Military Academy team to the right place! The test rode well, I made one mistake, but given the lack of prep I was ok with that.  It normally takes me an age to learn a dressage test, so quite happy with myself!

16th after dressage. Having gone wrong and started in the wrong arena, being a bit flustered, I was quite satisfied being in the top quarter of the class, with the scores not being miles apart on marks.

Chris took lots of lovely photos of the dressage, I found it hard to choose just a couple – so a good selection below!

The afternoon saw us walking the XC course and then getting ready to jump. One element we’ve not practiced for a very long time was jumping into water – over a small log with a little drop into the water – everything else I was really happy with…. XC scheduled 5:42pm CET – it felt like a long afternoon!!

We got ready for XC, worked in and went down to the start box for our time – strange being counted down in German!! Finn was awesome, she galloped well and felt really fit and well. I could kick myself though as I didn;t ride well enough at the drop log into the water. She’s already got her feet wet earlier in the course and I was a bit relaxed coming in. We had a stop – but Chris had been at the water complex all afternoon and said it had “caused carnage” Finn finished full of running and we had a good walk back to teh stable. Nice warm bath for her and settled her for the evening! We went beck to the hotel really pleased and looking forward to the Show Jumping on the following day, having made up 8 places and lying in 8th overnight.

No showjumping photos – as there was no show jumping for us!

Very sad not to have completed, but we presented for the trot up on Sunday morning (with Finn feeling VERY well)! However, we were advised by the vet that we were unable to go forward to the SJ as Finn was missing a blood test result particular to competing in Austria. This was the first we’d heard of it, it had not been mentioned previously in all my interactions with the Slovak or Austrian Equestrian Federations….. I even had email confirmation from AUT NF that we had all the credentials to compete in Austria.

In any event – there was nothing to be done and we had to live with a disappointing finish to our competition. I decided to take Finn for a nice hack around the grounds before packing up and heading home.

I really enjoyed our experience of competing at the Military Academy, and hope to return soon – with the correct blood tests in place!

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