Recently I have completed my first CIC* with Romeo at Brightling International. It was a great experience and we got a really pleasing result of 44.8 dressage (with FEI marking), rubbed a rail and a fab clear XC to come in the top 15 (11th) of over 70 competitors! We went to the event quite blind (well I did… not my horse Romeo!) having never competed at an FEI event before. So we gained some advice off friends and trainers before we went. Some aspects of the event were very similar to those of a normal BE, whereas others weren’t. It had a great weekend away and if anyone is thinking of doing their first 1* I would definitely recommend doing having a go as it was great fun.
Useful tips for Juniors (U18s) moving up to 1*:
•I found that doing the ONU18 classes really helped me prepare for the dressage aspect because the sitting trot of the test doesn’t come as such a shock! This is because the ONU18 test is in sitting.
•If you get the option of booking your dressage the day before… Do it! I did this and it meant that my dressage was a lot more relaxed and could focus fully on it without the worry of having the jumping shortly after. It also meant I could do a thorough warm up and not waste energy that would be needed for the jumping and hour or so later!
•Don’t forget a bridle number – you will need one, maybe bring a spare in case you lose it.
•Remember to salute to both judges in the dressage and it is thought to be correct to also salute the show jump judges.
•If you need to stable for the event… try to get the onsite stabling (most international events should have onsite stabling and preference goes to the FEI competitors). You don’t want to be off site if your times are strung out and you want to walk the course multiple times.
•Make sure your horse is fit enough because a CIC* is slightly longer than a normal novice and the jumps are more technical and a few more jumping efforts… you don’t want a tired horse on the last 1/3 of the course.
•When I was at Brightling there were a few combinations that I wasn’t sure about so I asked some of the more experienced riders and they were really helpful! If you aren’t sure about something there will always be someone who will be able to help… the difference between eventing and the other disciplines is that everyone is so friendly and helpful!
•Make sure you horses vaccinations are within the 6 month window of the event otherwise you will not be allowed to compete!
•By doing a CIC* I felt that it was a good last run before moving up to Intermediate because although the maximum height is 1m15, the courses are more technical and bolder from the start so it won’t be such a big step.. I hope! So it’s a great way to fine tune things before the next step up.
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