It has been a busy month for me, and for the majority of it I have been perfecting my dressage to the extent I have shocked myself and started to really enjoy this phase. It’s always the same when you make a change in one discipline the others can then start to suffer.
It is so hard getting everything right on the day, but this is why we all love Eventing so much. Each time you come back from an event there is always something else for you to work on and improve, even after a good day. It had got the stage where I was jumping consistent double-clears with both of my horses and finishing in the top 10, but this still wasn’t enough to get the qualifications I really wanted, so I have worked on my dressage for the last month solid and I have seen some great improvements. Candy got her best ever dressage score in the Novice at Bishop Burton with a 32.5 and after a clear SJ a different kind of pressure and nerves kicked in, which I haven’t felt before, knowing full well I could be on for a great placing.
The cross country was tough and it was a very warm day. We unfortunately picked up 20 penalties halfway through the course at a triple brush, which was placed one stride up a step. Obviously I was devastated but put the fault down to a few things that day, one being Candy’s stamina and concentration and the other experience, which she lacks being a young horse. My next run with Candy was the CIC* at Brand Hall.
The dressage test was difficult and for a step up we didn’t score any worse with a middle of the road 57.5. The show-jumping track was one of the biggest we have jumped and it showed with only 4 clears out of 50. Luckily Candy really did jump her socks off for one of the clear rounds that day. I felt our cross country round was amazing for Candy; it was big, bold and technical with little room for error. Even though on paper an E never looks good on your record, but we got round to fence 19 with lots to like. Unfortunately she just ran out of steam 2 fences from home, I didn’t help her either with a rubbish stride to a narrow corner. I was again devastated as we were on for a top 10 placing which would have just been incredible at this level. Lady on the other hand has been going from strength to strength jumping consistent double-clears. She has been placed in the top 10 for the last 4 times and is definitely ready to step it up a level. Our last BE90 outing was Draycott House and the dressage went beautifully, she felt much more balanced to score a competitive 34. Another clear show jumping again lifted us higher up the placings, but with a very annoying hesitation and quick decision from the steward we picked up 20 penalties, which in my eyes she didn’t really deserve. Nevertheless it was a great round and I still feel she is ready to have ago at BE100.
In the meantime we are off to stay with Fox Covert Horses and have some training from Holly Gillott, as well as attending some BSJA which I am really looking forward to. After what has happened this month it has made me much more determined to succeed, and even more excited at the good parts I have achieved and felt, like the competitive dressage and the clears show-jumping, which will hopefully when everything comes together on the day really put us up there on the leader board where we need to be.” Becci Harrold
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