I hope you are well :) Just wanted to give you a quick report following the rather busy weekend we had out competing both days last weekend!
Diaz was first out and on Saturday we headed up into Suffolk to compete in the BE100 at Stratford Hills BE Horse Trials. This is a great event, the team behind it make it such a friendly and enjoyable day out! On arrival Diaz had a leg stretch and a drink before I went off to walk the XC course
ter getting Diaz, or us both 'prettied up' and ready for dressage I headed over to the warm up. Diaz was nice a quiet at the beginning of the warm up but there was quite a few swallows around the field and they seemed to be getting quite angry and started swooping around all the riders in the field which Diaz didn't particularly like and she wasn't the only one! We went in and she performed a nice test, she is getting more consistent each time out which is great. Although she was a little tense due to the birds in the arena, we picked up a new PB mark for our dressage as we scored 31.0. I was right in thinking it was a consistent test, our marks ranged from 6.5 to 7.5 so although no fancy high marks they were consistent which is the main thing so now we just need to work on making those 6's into 7's and those 7's into 8's and we'll be picking up scores in the 20's.....fingers crossed!
We had relatively close times so with a change of tack I headed over to the SJ warm up. We timed it perfectly, popped her over a few jumps and in we went. The SJ course had been causing slight chaos with not many clears and quite a few stops so I went in putting all this out of my mind and Diaz jumped a cracking round! We did unfortunately pic up 4 faults at the first part of the last combination, which was right by the commentator's trailer so maybe her concentration wandered momentarily as she just tapped the top pole.
On to XC and it was a testing track for Diaz but she has run confidently around the two over BE100's we have done so I was hoping for a good round. We set of jumping the first few fences very confidently and didn't mind jumping fence 2 which was light into dark we entered the wood. As we left the wood fence 4a was a decent sized drop down fence (also in the novice!) and fence 4b was a skinny barrel type fence just 2 strides away. Diaz jumped off the step very boldly, perhaps a little too boldly as she pecked as she landed on the stony ground and despite both our best efforts to continue over the 'b' fence, with it being so close we kind of ended up on top of it unfortunately. I checked Diaz over, circled her round and she jumped the fence very confidently on the angle. She absolutely flew the remainder of the course and popped strait off the double steps and over the flower bed fence towards the end of the course without hesitation so she didn't loose any confidence which is most important. She galloped up the final hill really well to, pulling all the way to the finish line. Despite our issue at fence 4 we only picked up 7.2 time faults so she would have been well inside the time! To view more s of Diaz and I along with a video please Click Here!
I was very pleased with how well she ran and it was just very unfortunate for her stumble on the XC course, getting all three disciplines to go right, on the same day is always a bit of a challenge, but Diaz is one to learn from situations like this so roll on our next event!
After a rather long drive home from Suffolk, Diaz got turned out for a few hours in the field to have a leg stretch which she enjoyed. I on the other had still had some jobs to get done on the yard and horses to ride that evening. Once I was all sorted, horses tucked up in bed and my tack all cleaned ready for the next day, I went to bed myself! "Zzzzz"
The next day I woke up before my alarm despite the long day the day before, might have had something to do with the excitement of taking Milli out competing maybe!? Milli hasn't been out competing for about 10 months, in fact since Hickstead last year! We headed over to Cobham Manor for a British Showjumping show there as we are going to concentrate on her showjumping for the time being as she appears to be rather good at it!
Although she has been training over rather big fences I entered the 95cm open, just so she could have a play around over a smaller height and also as I wasn't sure how she was going to behave as she has been known to have the odd excitement overload previously! Not that I needed to worry, she was almost on her best behaviour and jumped a lovely clear around the first round and just had an unlucky fence down so 4 faults in the jump off due to a little buck between fences on a related stride! I was pleased though, as after this pole down I decided to test her turn ability and did a super tight turn to a double of uprights, which she took easily in her stride which was good!
After a little wait between classes we were back in the ring, this time jumping in the Discovery as we are trying to pick up our discovery double clears, before jumping bigger tracks so we are ready for next year's second rounds! She jumped a faultless round around a track that was causing plenty of faults, in fact we were the only combination to jump a double clear so went on to win the class! I couldn't have asked for more from her on her first trip back out! To view more pictures of Milli and I out jumping along with videos of each round please Click Here!
With Diaz and Milli both on great form and Roxie ticking over nicely (she's next out on the 10th July at a style competition!) I can't wait for the next competition with each of them!
Until next time,
***Keep Calm & Canter On***
Just wanted to give you all a bit of an update after we have had quiet few weeks on the competition front but have been busy training and I have also been doing a few non horsey things which makes a nice change.
All the girls are going very well at the moment.....long may it continue! Diaz, Milli and Roxie have all been out for some jump training over the last few weeks. All of them jumped very well in my lessons with David Pearson-Smith as you can see from the pictures :)
Weekend before last we had a non-horsey morning as I was invited down to the Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance site in Marden, which I was quite nervous about. I saw the air ambulance land at a horse competition held at Chilham Park a few years after my accident and it was a very emotional yet un-explainable experience. As we arrived I started feeling a little bit shaky and then when I went round and saw the helicopter I started crying.....not something I do very often! The doctor and paramedics said that this is completely normal. The sight of the helicopter brings back memories to your brain, even if you don't remember what actually happened that day, your brain does apparently! It was a very interesting day and we were chatting to the doctor and paramedics working there that day for about an hour. I was being quizzed well and truly and they found it very interesting finding out what I could and couldn't remember from the day of my accident and also how my recovery has been since. As we were talking about my accident, the pilot came over and he asked when it was, February 2010 was my response and he looked in the book and said, "17th February?" Turns out he was the pilot that flew me to the Royal London Hospital and from what we had said he remembered the day. He was part of the amazing team that saved my life!!! Just as we were about to go out and see inside the helicopter they were called out, so as they like to be up in the air within 4 minutes of receiving each call, they were very quickly up in the air and off they went!
Last Sunday I took part in a 5KM colour run which was organised by the KM Charity Group and we could choose the charity to raise funds for. I obviously chose to run for the Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance and managed to raise a whopping £640 which I'm so pleased about! HUGE thank you to everyone who very kindly donated as this charity means a lot to me!
I completed the run in just over 22 minutes and was first lady to cross the finish line out of the 600 starters (500 adults and 100 children). I was chuffed with my self and although I know 5KM isn't a huge distance to run, when I think back over 6 years ago and with my injuries it was unsure if i'd ever walk again let alone run and do all the riding I do I gave myself a good pat on the back for completing it! I'm actually enjoying doing a bit of running again and despite damage done to my back and pelvis I'm coping better than I thought so who knows I may even do some more....10KM next maybe :) As you can see from the pictures there was definitely a lot of colour during the day and I think all runner were very grateful for the glasses provided before the race began! I love the action shot of me running through the colour dust!
We have a very busy weekend ahead as I am planning on being out competing both days! Saturday we are off to Stratford Hills Horse Trials with Diaz for another BE100 run and then Sunday I'm hoping to take Milli to Cobham for the British Showjumping show that is on.....wish us luck! Hopefully I will have a good report for you next week :)
***Keep Calm & Canter On***
You'll find regular updates on this page with all the very latest news on everything that we have been up too!