Amber O’Neill June Update


Things are getting very exciting here as we get close to Austria; it’s less than two weeks to go! As we have already qualified for the BHDTA National Championships in September (the pinnacle of the driving season in Great Britain) we made the decision not to compete either pony this month and instead concentrate our resources on training.

Obviously with the FEI Junior European Championships being only a few weeks away, and with the risk of injury and the added pressure of my final A2 exams it seemed the only realistic and sensible option.

On the 2nd of June we started our Jubilee celebrations down in Devon at Fenix Carriages for a British Young Drivers training day, which I organised as part of my role of being the South West Area
Representative. The Team selectors decided to amalgamate this with a team training session for those of us who live in this region. Team members were trained by Wilf Bowman-Ripley (Team selector) and BYD South west members by Mark Broadbent. We had a fabulous day and everyone learnt loads. Huge thanks to Wilf for giving up his time and to Mark for the use of the brilliant facilities we enjoyed at Fenix Carriages.

I loved the Jubilee weekend as I am feeling particularly patriotic at the moment. I was watching it all on television, going to street parties and proudly covering the yard and Jasper in red, white and blue.

After this we were then back to doing more fittening work with Jasper as the dreaded A levels were rapidly approaching. Being on study leave is great as it gives me the freedom to drive and study when I choose but it is very tempting to spent all day outside and do no revision! Luckily my exams passed without incident and all I can do is just sit tight and forget all about them until results day. It is a huge relief that they are over and I can concentrate on Austria properly.

I also had a wonderful ridden lesson with Caroline Douglas working on Jasper stretching over his back and working in a long, low outline. We had a fabulous, relaxed day with two 45 min ridden lessons and watched the racing at Royal Ascot over lunch. I must have worked harder than I realised because I ached for days afterwards, which I never do normally! Jasper and I also had a driven lesson with James Rooney at my friend Ann’s yard working on Jaspers medium trot. Ann is on the Junior World Trophy Team and we are travelling out to Austria with her, so we also spent the day getting things sorted out as there is loads to organise when you have to transport a pony, carriage, equipment and your entourage halfway across the continent.

At the moment Jasper is spending the week at my riding instructor Jude’s yard for some last minute intensive dressage schooling, which has left me time to see my friends. Despite living practically next door to Stonehenge I went to my first (very wet!) Summer Solstice, which was really fun. Over the next week I also have my schools Leavers Day to attend as well as our Leavers Ball before collecting Jasper and starting the final preparations for Austria.

I have switched both ponies over to Pro and I absolutely love the new bottles for the Joint RLF! It’s so much more convenient and easy to use.

Your new Garliq product also looks great. For up to date information on a daily basis check out my blog at http://carriagedriver.net/carriage-driver-blog.php. I am hoping to be able to update it while we are out in Austria to keep everyone at home up to speed with our progress.

Thank you again for your support, I would never be representing my country without it.

Best wishes,
Amber


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