It feels like the excitement of Badminton was a lifetime ago. But I definitely came back with the blues – for many reasons, but mostly because I was sad it was all over!
When I started riding Stan last year the aim was always to try and qualify him for the Grassroots final/
Mitsubishi Motors Cup! Which we did on the first attempt at a regional last year!
So when we finally arrived at Badminton, it was like the pinnacle. Stan was completely off his rocker, beside himself with excitement for his first sleepover. Because of this, I was slightly anxious about the dressage, but after giving him plenty of work in the morning, I needn’t of been worried as he did a beautiful dressage test, a couple of things that could of been better but was rewarded with a 28.9
Showjumping he was absolutely fantastic, he jumped the most wonderful clear, I would say it was the best Stan has ever felt in this phase, he was so good!
And then the XC! After walking the course 3 times, it was tough enough. Iv heard people say it before but it is definitely a championship course. There were plenty of questions and things to be concerned about – which I think is good! But it was also exciting as there was so much to learn from the course, it was a lot more technical and it was like a XC lesson. I have to admit after my final course walk the morning we actually ran, the nerves did kick in after seeing so many people there, but nerves are never a bad thing! And what can I say, Stan was simply amazing. He was very peepy at the water but was like clockwork everywhere else….. Infact it all went so smoothly I found myself cantering home incredibly ahead of time! And with not many places left to steady up and have a slow canter, I’m absolutely gutted that I ended up with 6time faults for being too fast.
So a lovely dressage and double clear …. And we finished in the top 30.
Stanley couldn’t of given any more. I was absolutely over the moon with his performance, however I couldn’t help feeling a bit gutted with the result on paper – but only because I know it could of been so much better down to something I got wrong, not Stan. It was ME who got it wrong. Nevertheless I went to bed on a massive high with the occasion and knowing how fantastic my noble stead was, and hoping we can return next year so I can pilot him better!
It is such a brilliant competition run at such a fabulous venue, it’s a real honour we have the opportunity to compete there at this level.
I owe it all to Sarah (Stanley’s owner) as without the opportunity of riding him, to be honest I wouldn’t even be eventing. Also a big thank you to Jane Greens dressage training, although she still has to put up with me every other week, you can never stop learning! It was such a wonderful occasion, so many people came to watch who wouldn’t normally, it was lovely that it could bring so many of us together and all to support Stanley and I.
So we got home, regrouped and planned the campaign to go back next year.
Stan had a few quiet weeks before heading to Shelford where he did a wonderful performance to win a 100, and we have been studying the calendar where the regionals are.
I shall be up to my neck in for a few weeks now as I’m on the count down to my wedding which is taking a lot more organising than I ever realised it would. However, it can’t stop all play, the honeymoon is postponed for 6 days so I can fit Buckminster in before disappearing for a week.
Thank you so much to Eventing Worldwide for the opportunity to share my journey with you all, it’s been a real privilege!
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