I felt so proud representing Great Britain!
After having such a successful time at the Para Dressage National Championships at Hickstead I was feeling very excited to be setting off too my first 2* International with Cally! It’s such a major achievement to be able to represent Great Britain.
Day 1 consisted of the Trot Up, which signalled the start of the International Competition. Cally and I were first up out of the British competitors. She didn’t put a foot wrong and trotted up beautifully before the message over the tannoy announced that she had been accepted. We were lucky enough to be able to have a small schooling session in the main arena and I was even more fortunate to have the help of Eric, one of the World Class Squad coaches to give me advice.
It was an early start on Day 2 with the Arena Walk. Cally looked in fab condition thanks to my fab sponsor, Blue Chip Feed. I am very grateful for all of their support and really appreciate being able to ask for any advice at any time from their wonderful nutritionist, Sarah. My test was in the afternoon and it was great to have Eric to help me warm up. Cally performed a lovely test and I was thrilled to come 3rd with a fab score of 67.80%. One of the judges even had us in 1st with a massive score of 72%. I was delighted to also receive my first 9 on Cally for our free walk!
Day 3 brought the Individual Championship Test, which is technically a more difficult test. I was feeling a lot more confident after having such a successful first day of competition. Cally came out with a lot more energy, which was reflected in our result scoring a fab 66.72% placing 3rd!
The freestyle test on day 4 is always a highlight for me, as I love music. It was Cally’s first ever freestyle to music so my aim was just to go into the arena and ride my test, making sure that I didn’t hype her up when the music played. The main thing I had in my head when I went into my test was to ride the floor plan and not the music because if I stressed Cally out too much by trying to rush her or slow her down to stay in time with the music then it could spoil it. Cally scored another fab score of 67.17% putting us into 3rd place.
It was a ‘huge ask’ of Cally to perform at an International competition given that she had only just turned 6 and only really started competing in March. She was as good as gold and I couldn’t be prouder of her. She exceeded all of my expectations. I couldn’t have done it without my mum, who has supported me through all my ups and downs, the World Class team who were there to support me and of course all my wonderful sponsors.
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