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- http://picasaweb.google.com/Eliza.Mather/HopetounBE100Course2010# )
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. :)