I went down and walked the SJ and XC on Friday night so I had a good idea of what to expect on Saturday - this took a bit longer than I expected so ended up back at the yard plaiting at 11pm eek! The SJ was very well presented - lots of nice fillers which is great for us as it helps Corky be more careful. I had been told it was a great XC and it didn't disappoint - lots of tricky combinations, drops, skinnies, a big open corner and open ditch. The most challenging BE90 course I had seen but that was perfect for us. It was also the most imaginative course - there were jumps carved out to be snails, ducks, thistles and even an elephant.
The drive down on Saturday went well - big bluebell did try to run away a bit downhill - very like Corky actually! It was a beautiful day and as we arrived early I managed to re-walk both the SJ and XC.
I was quite disappointed with our dressage score - the test went well, corky was very obedient and rode each movement accurately, he did lack activity and wasn't working up into the bridle as well as he could but I thought high 30s. Ended up to be 42.5 and the judge only wrote 3 comments on my whole score sheet. I was the last rider in the section but it wasn't very helpful.
Anyway, put that behind us and off to the show jumping, I had been practicing jumping out of a lighter half seat in my lessons with David so tried our new technique in the ring. We only knocked one pole which is good for us and it was due to rider error as I over shot the line. I was very pleased!
Now for the XC - we had a bit of a lost boot issue but thanks to Sabine for helping me out and Aimee for lending me not one pair of boots but three! (I now have spare boots in the lorry!).
Sabine who had already ran the XC gave me a good pep-talk about really riding it as people were struggling to make the time. I'm so glad she told me as I really chased all the way round and still was 1 sec over the time. I think this was due to trotting into the snail and also into the two water combinations. For next season we need to work on cantering into the water. The course rode beautifully - challenging but great fun. It did cause lots of problems for others though and we ended up finishing 13th in our section which is our best finish of the season. Just imagine where we would have finished if we rode a half decent dressage!!
All in all a lovely event with a super XC - definitely one for next season's list!