Amber O’Neill Update

Dear Bluechip,

Thank you very much for my latest delivery of food. Sorry I haven’t written for a while, things have been rather hectic.
2013 has been an excellent year for us so far with an action packed Easter Holiday for me. When I found out that now I am at uni I get a whole month off I was elated until I realised it was a good thing else I would never have been able to pack everything in. We started off with a week training at Unicorn Trust for the National Young Drivers clinic.

I had a fantastic time and we got the chance to chat to our sports psychologist, learn about the importance of physiotherapy and train with the GB Junior Vaulting Squad. I had Kay Hooper as my coach and Jasper went brilliantly showing a massive improvement particularly with his lateral work. This paid off the next week when we drove up to Bedfordshire for the Indoor National Championships. Jasper and I had one of the lowest dressage scores of the competition of just 15 penalties! We also had a clear in the cones and very good obstacle times to come 3rd overall which is our best ever result at this event. This also means that Jasper and I have now moved up a class indoors to compete at Intermediate level. The only slight problem was that the Indoor Championships clashed with my field trip but my uni very kindly gave me permission to miss a few days. My mum then drove me to Pembrokeshire straight after the event finished ready for a week of fieldwork so although tiring it was a good Easter holiday.
In May we then headed up to Ashfields National for our first event of the Outdoor season and our first at Intermediate level. After the mudbath of last year I think everyone was relieved that the sun shone the whole weekend. We had a great dressage score of 57.07 and were lying 3rd. I was incredibly pleased with Jaspers marathon on the Saturday as we flew round, with good times. We moved up a place to second which we managed to keep after the cones with just one ball down and a few time penalties. I was really pleased to come 2nd so early on in the season.
Uni then took over my life for a bit with the frantic revision for end of term exams and another week of field work in Yorkshire this time. I have passed first year and I am already excited about going back at the end of the summer.
Last weekend we loaded the trailer back up and began our five hour trek up to Norfolk for Sandringham National. This is our first time at the event and the place is just gorgeous. Our dressage was rather eventful as we were the first competitor in our class and the judges had been told to judge a different test to the one printed in the schedule. This was eventually sorted out and I was allowed to restart. I stayed calm and we had a fantastic score of 52 to place us 2nd, reaching our end of season goal of a score in the mid 50’s. After some silliness from Jasper on the marathon as he was feeling rather lively we moved up a place to 1st with all to play for in the cones. I drove a steady clear with just 0.67 time penalties to win our class! I am very proud of Jasper and I think he was a bit confused during the lap of honour as we have never done one before, as he tried to duck out the arena and follow everyone else. This should now mean we have qualified for the British Carriagedriving National Championships.
I am off on holiday tomorrow and looking forward to a week of sun. Jasper is chilling in the field enjoying a quiet few weeks before we start thinking about the Junior National Championships.
Thank you for your continued support, we are proud to represent Blue Chip.

You can keep up to date with all our progress at:
Twitter: @Carriage_Driver
Best wishes

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