Sunday, 11 July 2010

Eglinton BE100 (10th July)

A bit quicker to update this time! ;)

Yesterday, we were at Eglinton Horse Trials for our third crack at BE100. Hoping to definitely better the dressage from last time out, avoid cheeky run outs in the SJ and keep up the clear XC.

Went down on Friday and stabled overnight to split up the travelling and walk the course to save having to do it on the day. Glad I walked the XC the day before as one word summed it up- BIG! At least overnight I could shrink them in my head and just kick on when on course the next day! ;) Course pics here-

A little plea with the weather to stay dry didn't really work. On off drizzle/rain most of the morning, but luckily the worst only arrived as we were leaving. As it had been so dry recently, the ground soaked up lots of the rain, but it was rather squidgy in the SJ.

Dressage went ok. She warmed up lovely (as always!) and then enjoyed a good nosey and some pokey-nose moments in the test itself. Felt like we had more moments of nice outline than last time though and at least the judge and I were working off the same test sheet! ;) Ended up with 43. At least not bottom this time!

Can you believe that when I picked up my test sheet later we only got a 5 for the halt, saying "not square"?! Hmph! Should have sent Bob along with photo evidence!

Onto the SJ and with some help from a SJ-er friend (who couldn't understand the worry over knock-down fences and the excitement over solid ones!) warmed up nicely, not being too daft about the muddy take offs which was good! It was a very twisty course and I hadn't been able to walk it, so was worried I might get lost!

Over no.1;
Remembered to turn right after it, but couldn't quite see no.2 as quick as I would have liked! Ended up with a little squiggle to it, Heidi had a wee think about spooking but legs on and she went! Down to no.3;
Then up to no.4;

And down to the double at 5 where we managed to squeeze two strides in where there should have been one. Clever pony kept the upright at part b up though.
Up over no.6 and no.7;
Then back down over no.8 (told you it was twisty!) and round to the last line of two fences. Got a big jump over no.9;
Which got us a little close to the last fence at no.10, thought we may have got lucky, but as 2nd picture shows, not quite! Just tipped it behind for 4 faults at the last fence, grrr!

Very quick change of clothing for both of us and off to the XC. Quick whizz round the warm up (literally, she was very keen!) and then we were off. Jumped the big hedge at no.1 well and then jumped the wee log pile/step up at no.2 as if it wasn't there. Zig zag through the gateway and on to the helsinki steps at no.3, did her little trick of jinking on the last stride to jump a bigger part than planned! Onto 4ab (a step up with BIG ditch in front to a skinny house) that I was quite nervous about, but she popped up really nicely, big pat and good girl for her.

Then over a wee palsade fence with raised ground on landing which was a definite let up fence compared to the others;
And onto no.6- a rather large hedge with drop on landing which was the next fence I was worried about. However, she flew over and it felt fab! The next picture is my favourite- may even be the first to be printed up and put on the wall!

We then crossed the road, over some rails filled with lots of flowers and another big hedge at 8. 180 degree turn back on ourselves to little palisade fence then over trakhener at 10. Another BIG ditch at 11 which she went over lovely (maybe I can stop worrying about them?!) and out over little log pile with raised landing at 12;

Then onto a palisade with brush at 13, down the hill to a step up and ski jump off a bank at 14 and through the water at 15 (rail before the water then splash through), got a little close to the rail at the top of the hill after the water, but careful jump and gallop on to no.17;

Then a zig zag across the field to no.18;

And onto a chair/drop fence at 19 and 20. There wasn't much time to recover from slipping the reins for the drop and 20 and getting them gathere up for a log before a steep ramp/splash through burn at 21ab. She really backed off the log (having spotted the ramp/water) but clambered over it when kicked. This meant I slipped the reins to let her balance after having a sticky jump and ske took advantage by diving left on landing away from the water. Managed to pull her up, get reins/stirrup sorted and wiggle back round to the burn without crossing our tracks, but wasted lots of time here, grrr! Video evidence of this below!

Got back into a nice canter and jumped the veggie box fence at 22 lovely, then back into last field and over log and gallop over the finish line clear! :D 12.8 time pens (expected thanks to wiggle at 21, plus the ones we'd have probably clocked up anyway!) but very happy to have got round a very up to height course.

Ended up 13th out of 27 starters, nice and consistent with our middle of the pack finishing position! Next event is Strathallan on 1st August, would really love to improve the dressage a little more and get that elusive DC at PN level nailed. Will let you know! :)

A couple videos thanks to a friend of the XC. 1st one- fences 3 and 4ab, then off up the hill towards 5;

And fences 17-22, including our "oopsie" at 21. Typical that we do that right in front of the video camera! ;) Although could have come in handy for disputing any penalties...!

Hopetoun BE100 (3rd July)

A very late update! Was a hugely busy weekend last weekend including a trip to the safari park to feed meerkats on Friday, competing and volunteering on Saturday and then cheerleading other's at an event on Sunday. So, excuses for not updating quicker out of the way...

... Hopetoun House ODE is our most local event, literally across the road from Hopalong's yard. I made the mistake of mentioning this on my entry form and so was listed as no.1! Which meant being the first to SJ and XC on the day, eeek!

Very early start, even with so little travelling to do. Got there in plenty of time to get organised and have plenty time to warm up for dressage. Was very lucky to have a borrowed dressage saddle from a friend and was hoping to scrape a few extra marks due to it. Sadly not! It didn't start well... a very distracted Hopalong didn't do a great centreline, then got beeped by the judge for error of course after turning right off it!

Went over and discovered the judge had the wrong test. Great! She dug out the right one and we restarted. Slightly better centreline second time around although Heidi was most distracted and it wasn't great. :( Felt like a mid-40s test, but ended up with 51 from the judge and bottom of our section. :( Maybe a little grudge being held for me being right and her being wrong?!

So onto SJ. Several of the spread fences looked a decent width and with no prior knowledge of how tight the time was (being first to go!) just had to get on and ride positively round it. Heidi warmed up lovely, really pinging and was feeling quite positive about it.

Had a little look at no.1, but big jump over and we were off;

After this fence was a line of two uprights on a related distance. Jumped the first fine and was on what felt like an ok stride to the second when she nipped out to the left! Very surprised as run outs with Hopalong and few and far between. Popped over fine second time around and then very determined riding through the double to make sure we finished on just the 4 faults;

My friend was kind enough to video the round, so after many repeat viewings I can only put it down to cheekiness! Normally if she finds something spooky she will back off a few strides away to give me time to be more assertive and kick on, but there was no warning this time. Just keeping me on my toes I reckon. ;)

Quick turnaround for XC and a little nervous about being first to go! Course was plenty technical enough so lots to think about and quite a few skinny/accuracy fences, so was determined to be very positive at these to prevent any more cheekiness! (course pics can be found here- )

Set out over no.1 and 2 a little spooky, but jumping fab;

Then over rails at 3, down hill to two angled hedges. We took a bit of a squiggle here to make the angle slightly less and play it safe since it was so early on in the course. She got a little close to the second hedge, but no problems;

And some more video!

Then over the corner fine, through the double of skinnies and a big gallop to the rolltop. Had to steady up to jump parallel rails which had a big tree in the way of the approach, making the fence effectively a skinny. Down the hill to a trakhener, thought she might be a little spooky at the ditch here so a little smack on the bum and she launched over! Managed to aim for the skinny rolltop at part B on long reins!

Up the step and over the brush box then big long gallop with another rolltop and some barrels to jump en route to a very spooky log pile over running water at the bottom of a steep hill. Again, a little tap on the bum to make sure she knew she had to go- she got in close but jumped over and then shot off up the hill, in a bit of a huff at me using the whip maybe?! ;) Over a log at 17;

Then over a rolltop, through the water (a little look, but splashed through in canter once in!) and out over veggie table;
And gallop off towards last few fences;
Over the double of skinny log piles and a HUGE jump over the brush fence at the last and home clear! :D 4.8 time pens, but not too worried about that, just happy to get a clear over a decent technical course.

Ended up 17th out of 33 starters, so not bad climb from bottom after dressage! ;) Spent the afternoon helping at the XC start while Heidi chilled out in the field. :)