This month has been a total whirlwind, as I write this I have just completed Chatsworth 2013 horse trials with my self-produced horse, Candy Blue. I never thought as a 4 year old she would be competing at my local prestigious event, but she totally blew me away. On the build-up to such an important event I took her to Moreton Morrell for the Novice. I had had a couple of dressage lessons with Sarah Healy, which really improved this phase and we scored a very pleasing 33.5. A double-clear kept us in contention and we were placed 3rd which is our best achievement to date. This event gave us both so much confidence for Chatsworth, which was creeping up on us fast. With it being our local event (20 minutes away) you can imagine the support, but with support comes pressure. We did our dressage on the Friday afternoon; unfortunately we both carried a little tension to score a 37.5 but everyone knows that Chatsworth isn’t a dressage competition, so I was really looking forward to Saturday.
The show jumping was causing the usual problems, but with this being one of Candy’s strongest phases I was feeling quietly confident. She went in and jumped out of her skin for a clear round. I don’t think I breathed the whole way round. Only 10 clear rounds in my section moved me into the top 10 so I knew I had to really go for it around the challenging cross country course if I wanted to stay there. Candy never questioned anything and flew round only 6 seconds over the optimum time so we had 2.8 to add to our score to finish on 39.9. It was so lovely to have someone at every fence cheering us on. When we looked at the scoreboard to find we had come 9th I was delighted. Candy’s first Chatsworth and a top 10 placing was more than I could have asked for. When I went up to collect my ribbon, they also said I had won the best local prize which I got very excited about as this has always been an ambition of mine.
I couldn’t leave Lady out after all the fuss Candy received so off we went on Sunday to Llanymynech for the BE90. Dressage was a little argumentative but I tried to hold it together for a score of 34. Lady soon redeemed herself jumping a lovely double-clear for 7th place. I actually picked up 2 time faults for going too quick; I think I was still in Chatsworth mode! The plan now is to step Candy up to 1* so we can gain qualification for the higher levels, as for Lady she has a couple more BE90’s before stepping up to BE100 and the 5yo classes.
Huge thank you to everyone who came to support Candy & I at Chatsworth, we loved every minute and cannot wait to go back and do it all over again next year!
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