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We had another great weekend out eventing with Diaz last weekend, this time back at our most local event Chilham Park. We were having only our second run at the 95cm level and it was nice to get around the majority of the BE90 course at Chilham in the unaffiliated event.
Dressage was first, and after picking up comments about her looking slightly tense at her last event I was determined to get some softer work out of her and have been working very hard on it all at home! She was warming up very well and just as I was thinking we were ready to go over, the steward came and called us to say we could go over.....good timing!! Diaz performed a lovely test and I came away very happy with the work and it was by far the best test we have done together so far! I was even happier when I found out we had a new PB score as we picked up a score of 33.5. There were a few scores in the late 20's so we were about mid field.
I had a bit of a break between dressage and the jumping phases so I headed out to walk the XC course. After Diaz not being too sure of the skinny fences at Bonfleur we have done a bit of work at home on narrow fences so I was keen to see how much she had learnt, and I also took time when walking the course to concentrate on the lines up to the skinny fences, both those as 'B' elements of combinations and those skinny fences on their own.
After having a bite to eat it was time for our show jumping. The course seemed to be jumping well and after Diaz warmed up nicely I was confident and ready to go in. Diaz jumped a super round for me and after a change of bit recently she responded and listened to me the whole way round and jumped a super clear!!
On to the cross country and I knew we had it all to play for now so I was determined to give Diaz another confident boosting round but this time I was also asking her to pick up the pace a bit to get as new to the optimum time as possible. Diaz felt super and kept responding every time I put my leg on and asked for a bit more speed. She was also jumping very confidently, flying through the water at a strong canter and out over the brightly coloured house, wasting no time at all. She grew in confidence the whole way round and I think she wondered why I was steadying her up so much in front of some fences, but I wanted to ensure she was presented correctly at the skinny fences, which she just popped straight over without any hesitation so my work at home as obviously paid off! She flew over the last fence and still felt like there was still plenty in the tank which was very good as it is very hilly at Chilham!
She had jumped a super clear so we had picked up our first double clear and I was even more pleased when I later found out that we were comfortably inside the time! This resulted in us picking up our first placing out eventing together too, on our dressage of 33.5 we finished in 5th place! Diaz had a little support crew of her owners, Janine and Kirstie Leightley along with some of their friends who came to watch her compete and Diaz certainly liked performing in front of a crowd :)
We have a weekend off competing this weekend and then we are out both days next weekend with Diaz eventing on the Saturday and Roxie and Milli out at a local dressage championship show which they have both qualified for on Sunday...wish us luck!
***Keep Calm & Canter On***