Our third BE of the year was on Sunday at Auchinleck, another BE90 (intro). We went down and camped to split up the travelling and make a weekend of it. Stabling was down the road at the location of Eglinton Horse Trials and Hopalong was very happy in her stable on arrival enjoying a good nosey at everything going on;
According to the little card on the door, the previous `occupant was one of Ruth Edge's horses- I was hoping she may have left some dressage diva vibes behind for Heidi to soak up! ;)
Went along to Auchinleck and enjoyed watching some of the Novice XC while walking my course. The BE90 XC was very straightforward and not hugely up to height (certainly not compared to Scone!) so I knew any issues would truly be numpty rider error.
We had a nice DR time of 11.30am, so plenty time to pack up the tent and get on site and warmed up. The arenas were near the SJ, but quite quiet and she warmed up quite nicely. For a change, it didn't all go to pot once we went in the arena and we did a fairly nice test with some form of an outline for some of the time, felt a lot better than our Scone attempt!
Turned out we managed to score 36pen (64%) which is our best BE score to date! :D Thrilled with that, hopefully not a one off...!
We had a long wait of about 3hrs until SJ, although when we turned up they were already running a little late and then a poor girl fell off a few horses before me and broke her leg, so long wait for ambulance to rescue her and get the arena cleared. We were third in after the unscheduled break and managed a clear round. Had a panic coming into the double thinking we were getting too fast and flat and hooked her into the bottom of the first part, but she was clever through it and left it up. Saw a long one at no.8 (see piccie below!) and again at no.9, but managed to finish on a clear round! :)
Looking at the scoreboard at the end of the day, there were a lot of cricket scores in the SJ and very few clears, so very pleased with Heidi, she is such a careful SJer, I'm very lucky!
So super-quick change around of tack for horse and rider (thanks to my pal Nic, her Mum and Bob for helping!) and off to XC. Set off and she did not respect the tiny log at no.1 and had a wee spook at the fence judges beside the brush fence at no.2, but flew over the roll tops at 3 and 4 fab, then down to the water at ramp in (no.5) and step out (no.6);
The step out was on a bit of an angle due to where you came in and where you were headed after and she just caught her right toe on the edge, but managed to pull it out in time! Sharp turn left and over a sheep feeder fence at no.7;
And then a sharp right turn to tyres at no.8 where she thought she'd make it more fun by taking a big leap over these!
Then up the hill and over the house at no.9;
And out of sight of our paparrazzi over a roll top at no.10, palisade down hill at no.11, pipe fence at no.12 and then onto the woods section. When course walking, I'd spotted a "short cut" through the wooded section by taking an angle over the rails in (no.13), cutting straight through instead of around the corner and then jumping out over the palisade (no.14) on an angle- thought it would make a good test for us as well as saving precious seconds! She flew through this on a bit more of an angle than I'd planned and made it feel very easy. :D
Then back into the woods and over a little ditch at no.15, she had a wee look but popped over nicely and then back out into the field over a roll top at no.16;
And down the hill to the chair fence at no.17;
Then gallop off down the hill and through the second water (ramp in and out) at no.18, over the wall at no.19 then up the hill and over the roll top at no.20 to finish clear inside the time by 10s. :)
So 3rd time lucky by getting all three phases right in the one day! ;) I was over the moon to find out this was good enough for 4th place and even more excited to realise today that this has qualified us for a regional final (top 10% of normal BE90 sections qualify) where if we can finish in the top 25% of the regional final (held at Turnberry in September) we qualify for the BE90 Grassroots Championships which are held at Badminton! Now there's an incentive to work on our dressage before September...! ;)
Next in the calendar is a XC lesson at Hendersyde Park this weekend to add to this weekend's confidence building run before our first BE100 (Pre Novice) attempt at Scotsburn on 29th May. :)