From the 6th to the 10th of August Great Britain Student Riders headed to Spain to compete in the Spanish Student Riders Nations Cup in Jerez. It was a nice change to land in Spain and the temperature to be warm! After an interesting taxi journey where the driver spoke no English and we spoke no Spanish, we arrived at the competition venue. The venue was amazing with a huge outdoor arena to warm up in and then a lovely indoor arena where we competed.
The show jumping was on the first day and all the horses looked well presented. The first round of the show jumping was judged on style and the course was around 90cm. GB was drawn against Ireland and the Oldies. I was drawn 5th to go but first on the horse and after only 2 minutes and 2 jumps to warm up I did a nice clear round so I was pleased. Sophie was second to go on her horse and she did a lovely round just sadly tapping one pole. Ellie was last to go on her horse and she did a lovely clear round. I got the highest style mark on my horse, which meant that I was through to the second round. Sadly Ellie and Sophie were knocked out by the Oldies which was a shame as they both did lovely rounds.
Before the second round that was held in the evening, we had a trip to the beach which was a nice break from riding in the midday hot weather! The second round show jumping was judged primarily on faults but if faults are the same it is judged on style. The course was around 1m. Again I was drawn first to go on the horse, which was an advantage to me as I only had one down and the other two had more down. This meant that I was through to the third round jumping that was on the final day!
On the second day it was the dressage, starting with the team test. The horses were beautiful Spanish stallions and we were drawn against the Oldies and Germany, but sadly we were drawn first to go. The horses we were drawn on were only 4 and 5 years old so they were very overwhelmed by the whole atmosphere of the event. With only 2 minutes to warm up, our team test really didn’t go well, with the first horse spooking at everything around the area, the second wouldn’t go forward and the third horse spooking and rushing forward. So to sum it up it was the perfect example of how not to do a team test! But we did get the largest applause at the end of the test! All of the German team got through, which they thoroughly deserved as the won the dressage! That evening we had the Gala which was a great night and there was also a Spanish horse demonstration which was good to watch.
The final day was the 3rd and final rounds. The show jumping went first and the course was around 1.10-1.15m and it was very twisty but also required forward riding. I was again drawn first to go on the horse, which was a very big jumping, strong horse. I did a really nice round until the final line, where we both lost concentration so finished with 4 down. The second rider on the horse only had two down, which meant I was knocked out. However the third rider had 6 down so I finished 2nd on the horse. I was also the closest to the winner, which meant I finished 3rd overall in the show jumping!
The 3rd and final round dressage was after and it was great to watch such lovely horses do their test. The final round included freestyle to music test and it was great to watch the ride off between Ireland and Germany, with Germany coming out on top.
Sadly luck wasn’t on Britain’s side this week but it was a great experience and I met some lovely people and I had such a good time! The Spanish did a great job of organising it, so a big thank you to all those who were involved.