We had a very busy week after Firle Place and before I knew it the weekend was upon us and we were back out, this time to Oxfordshire, for mine and Roxie's last run before making our Intermediate debut at South of England at the end of September.
Roxie was competing in what was a very competitive Intermediate Novice section so I felt we had to pull out all the stops to be up there. I asked slightly more of her in the dressage, and although she was a bit tense at times, she worked really well and felt powerfull, however the judge scored us a rather harsh 40.0! Looking at the rest of the scores this put us mid-field so the arena was quite harshly judged we all thought!
We then had a few hours to walk the courses etc before SJ and XC. As always the course at Goring Heath are up to height and technical and the XC was causing many many problems so I couldn't wait to get out there.....! After walking the XC I went over to look at the SJ and watched a few jump what I thought was my course as it was up to height, but I later found out it was only the Novice course, so when they put it up for the Intermediate Novice it was HUGE!! Roxie jumped like a star though and flew round clear in the SJ :)
Then we got ready and went XC, and as always, Roxie flew round clear here too and we took all the direct routes! I was chuffed to bits and couldn't have asked for a better run before we make our Intermediate debut at the end of September. We did pick up a few XC time faults which put us just out of the placings but i'm so pleased to have jumped a double clear!!
After Goring Heath we had a photo shoot with one of my great sponsors, Ultimate Images and the photos were great! Here's a few for you to look at now and check out Ultimate Images sponsorhship page.
Before we were out eventing next we were out competing at a local dressage competition and after being with SGEventing just a few weeks, I felt that Emily was ready to go out to her first competition. I was right, Emily was more than ready and felt awesome! She behaved beautifully and finished in 4th place on a score of more than 60% in Prelim 14.
Well the day was finally upon us! I was out in the sun, busy cleaning all my tack and packing eveything needed for Roxie and I to make our Intermediate debut at South of England International, however the weather did put a dampner on the situation as the rain started early Sunday morning!
The weather wasn't playing ball at all whilst I was warming up for the Dressage so Roxie was a bit tense in the driving rain and made a few mistakes resulting in us scoring 40.9. Turns out this wasn't a really bad score and put us mid-field, which I wasn't too disappointed with as there was a big difference in the competitors when you move up to Intermediate level, we were up against all the 'big guns' and I felt very grown-up, if not a little bit star-struck as I was competing against all the professionals on an ex-racehorse, whom I have retrained to event!
Showjumping was next and the rain was starting to get worse but the course was jumping well.....I watched 8 jump and 7 jumped clear so the pressure was on! Roxie warmed up really well and jumped a great round. We did unfortunately pick up 4 faults, which was my fault, Roxie didn't touch the pole, it was my foot touching the wing on the 'c' part of the combination!! The triple was one stride then a very short two strides out and she dived left to make some more room but I caught the wing.....OUCH! I was so pleased with Roxie as this was the biggest SJ track she has ever jumped and also the biggest I have ever jumped competitively I think!!
We then got Roxie all warm in the trailer and set off, in the rain, to walk the XC course and it was HUGE!!!!! The further I walked round, the bigger and more complex the fences and combinations got, and althoug I was just a little bit scared I couldn't wait to get out there and attack the course as I knew we were both ready and there was nothing that Roxie wouldn't have jumped :)
Unfortunately, as you may well already know, the Intermediate was abandoned before the XC started due to the enormous amounts of rain flooding the course.....as you can from the picture to the left! This was a fence at the bottom of the quarry, not one of te water fences, but as you can see the dogs liked playing in the water! I was gutted that we didn't get to go XC and still am now, but at least we are both safe and ready for another day.....well, next year anyway as this was our last event of the 2012 season!!! I didn't see any point in trying to get a late entry into an event now as there is only Novices in the south east and there is no need for us to do another Novice event so Roxie is now enjoying some time off and eating lots and lots of grass!
Pictures and videos from Goring Heath and South of England Horse Trials are now in Roxie's Gallery page, and I will be doing a Blog in the next few weeks, reviewing how I feel the 2012 event season has gone, and yes despite the horrid weather canceling many events I feel we have all made big progressions ans can't wait for the 2013 season to begin.....
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!