June has been a competition filled month and the real highlights have to be both the Wellington and Hickstead Premier League Competitions.
|Wellington at the start of June, was situated first on the busy competition calendar and the weather was almost sunny and the venue was efficient as always. However, the same can’t be said for the weather at Hickstead! We were towed into the gates in deep mud and a few days later towed back out in even thicker mud in more treacherous conditions. The team at Hickstead did an incredible job in the face of adversity but our show kit is still recovering from all the rain and mud!|
Tilly was the first to compete at Wellington Premier League and she set the bar very high for the other horses. At the tender age of five, Tilly is showing real promise; she has a very trainable attitude and so far nothing has phased her both in and outside of the ring. She warmed up beautifully and went in to perform the National Five year old test. Unfortunately she was a little flat and was lacking energy as the journey had taken it out of her, but she absolutely tried her hardest for me regardless which is something you cannot train into a horse so we are very lucky. She did us proud and finished third which means we have qualified for the Hickstead National Young horse Final at the end of July! Exciting times! The next competition in Tilly’s diary is Hartpury Premier League at the start of July where she is competing in the Shearwater Young Horse Semi Final which will be an extremely hot class.
Affinity Bay had a good couple of days at Wellington. His first test was very expressive but rather tense and on the second day, he was brilliant. He produced a consistent PSG test with some exciting marks from Jenny Loriston-Clarke, but unfortunately, one judge had us 20 marks behind the others so sadly, we didn’t finish in the ribbons. Hickstead was a valuable show for Finn, and we finished 9th in a hot Prix St George class. He scored 65.96% and behaved impeccably. There was a big atmosphere and Finn concentrated and listened to me throughout the test. I have noticed a huge improvement in his training and focus at competitions since feeding the Blue Chip Super Concentrated Calming Balancer. He used to get exceedingly nervous and have sneezing fits before entering the ring and would then drop behind me my on our first centre line. I am now finding he is staying more confident and enjoying his time in the ring rather than getting stressed out. I am very grateful for Blue Chip’s support and think all of the horses are in peak condition at the moment thanks to Blue Chip Pro and Calming Balancer and which I feed all my horses.
Merri was a star at both Wellington and Hickstead. We broke the illusive 70% barrier at Wellington in the Inter I to finish 5th in a very competitive class. I was absolutely over the moon with her test and the mark it scored. Our highlights were the trot half pass and two time changes, although there were 7.5’s and 8’s scattered throughout our sheets! Merri didn’t let Hickstead phase her either- We didn’t have the best start in the PSG as we think Merri accidentally got her tongue over the bit but she went on to do some super canter work after sorting the bits out naturally in the walk. Our second test was the Inter I where we placed 6th on a score of 68%. The sheets were all positive and I was especially pleased to receive an ‘8’ for the canter half pass zig zag over the centre line as this was one of the movements I found trickiest when I first started Inter I.
Both Merri and Finn have a quieter competition period through July so we are cracking on with lots of Piaffe and Passage training. Merri is very talented at the passage and Finn has shown a natural ability for Piaffe – if I could make a hybrid mixing both horses talents we would be doing Under 25 Grand Prix in no time! I am looking forward to seeing their progress over the coming months as they get stronger and hopefully we will be one step closer to achieving our Grand Prix goals…
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