I haven't done too much since the last update, but what I have done has gone very well. Not that there is so much of a rush now, seeing as both Moreton and Tweseldown (which we were hoping we could run at one of) have both cancelled which is a real shame. None the less, hopefully we will run at Aldon, with Coco in the OIU21. We may hold off entering Lily now, as she is not on any time scale and doesn't enjoy slippery ground so there doesn't seem much point!
However we headed to Solihull for the first JAS, and after Lily did so well this year I went with high hopes - which is all well and good until I rode like a numpty and ended up standing next to her at fence 7, with a nice crowd of people watching! None the less, I got back on, reminded myself how to ride and finished clear! Surprisingly we managed not to get the lowest style mark despite this (I clearly fell off with style!!) We decided to enter her in the Open to see if I could manage to ride properly the whole way round - which I did! She jumped an awesome double clear with a style mark of 12 for 3rd place! Meanwhile Coco tried really hard and was unlucky to have 8 faults, but still his gorgeous attitude helped him to a style mark of 13 and 7th place - so qualification for the final!
Then we had a bit of a quiet time, I jetted off to Spain for a week on a university field trip - which was much better than I thought it would be and even got a bit of a tan! But back to reality and planning for the season and headed to Merrist Wood for unaffiliated dressage last weekend with Punch and Lily. Lily did a good test in the Prelim but still mistakes crept in (not helped by the fact I had learnt the wrong test!) so finished just outside the placings. In the Novice I can describe her as nothing less than angelic – which doesn’t happen with Lily very often! She was pretty much on the button the whole way through – proved when the judge leant out the box at the end and told me to affiliate her as she was really lovely!! Anyway she won the class by 11 marks on 75.5%, I have got this dressage malarkey nailed (I wish.) Meanwhile I worked out it was my first test on Punch since Badminton Grassroots last year and his first outing since last July! Despite being a bit tense, he settled more as the test went on and got a fair mark of 67% to finish 6th in the same class, not bad considering there were 26 in it! You can see Lilys winning test here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zC-Zn80Rxas
Then Wednesday was the next uni riding competition, and Royal Holloway nailed it again coming away with a team win! I also won individually and we also had individual fourth and fifth. Out of the three competitions we have had two team wins and a team third, and I have finished on a score of 0 every time and had two wins and a second, so not bad at all!
Then Saturday was time to head off to Merrist Wood for the JAS with Lily. Coco was entered but bruised a heel mucking about in the field so was banned from going to the party (he was rather upset at this judgement call, but hopefully he will get to the final next weekend!) In the Novice she had three down, two in the show jumping and the in of the bounce cross country, I think in my attempts to keep a soft hand I just didn’t support her enough, so she flattened a bit. However, I was the fastest cross country for 4 time faults and a style mark of 13 was good enough to leave us 7th and more importantly in a qualifying spot. I then jumped her in the open, and being Lily and trying to keep me on my toes, she ground to a halt at the first fence, but a quick reminder that we were to jump the fences and she jumped a near faultless round after that, just dislodging the planks for 4 faults. The second fastest time in that class left us in 6th place, so Bury Farm here we come!! You can see her Open JAS round here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaGCV_h8jKI
I have also been having a bit of fun playing with the horses at home. I have jumped Lily 1.25m without a bridle (eventually I am going to jump her without tack, just a neck strap - but I may get bucked off!) You can see her jumping without a bridle here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7elOde4stw
I then played with Pickles in the school yesterday - and at 31 he is still as happy as ever, see the pictures below!
Fingers crossed for the JAS Final next weekend. There is an upside to eventing being cancelled - I will get to play hockey instead! I try to juggle competing round hockey throughout the winter as I absolutely love playing hockey and the team have had a relatively good season this year, but ended up with some rather disappointing and undeserved results which has been a shame. We have 3 more league matches left - so lets go girls and finish the season on a high as we are definitely good enough to!
That's all for now - to the people who are going to get to go eventing soon, good luck! Hopefully I will get to go eventing before too long!