Blog 21: The End to Eventing 2014!
Next up was Wellington BE100 plus with Lily. She did a lovely test, although I struggled with shapes and straight lines as the grass was mown at an angle to the arena which made my brain ride wobbly! Lucky the judge didn't seem to notice and we were left in 4th place after the dressage on 31.5! I was struggling to keep a rhythm in the show jump warm up and Lily was having to work hard to help me out.. I went in to the arena with mums 'JUST RIDE FORWARDS' ringing in my ears! I rode forward to most fences (apart from the one I trotted into) and she jumped round clear and tried her heart out. She was a little spooky at everything but the fences cross country, however she was dead straight and genuine the whole way round and had started to feel like her old self again. A double clear and inside the time was enough to leave us in 3rd which I was delighted with.
I then headed off to WEG for a week. It was lucky the competition was so fantastic as the organisation was shockingly awful. We watched Charlotte win the Grand Prix Special and I managed to watch some of the eventing but we never made it to Haras de Pin on cross country day because the traffic was so awful. We did get to the stadium to watch the show jumping and the atmosphere was incredible, and definitely up there with the London Olympics. Britain won Silver and it was so moving when Harry Meade came in on his feet after the sad loss of Wild Lone the day before. He showed amazing strength and the fact he is a true team player. Please can someone buy him some nice horses with Team contention as I feel he really deserves it.
The week I got back, Mum stayed out in France however I had entered Hickstead show jumping on the Thursday and Friday. A friend of mine came with me to help on the Thursday having had her tonsils out on the Tuesday. The result of which was she ended up in the ambulance when they started bleeding! However once we had got over that, it was on to the jumping. I started off with the 1 meter warm up on the surface. It was enormous but Lily found it so easy and jumped the most fantastic double clear which was good enough to leave her 9th out of 160 horses! Then I jumped the 1 meter qualifier on the grass, again she was going so well until I had a serious miss to a big oxer down the hill which she slipped through and when I represented she wasn't looking and I wasn't positive enough so that was the end of that. Luckily on the Friday I was coming back to jump again on the Friday so I popped a couple of fences in the warm up and took her home. Another early start on the Friday for another 1 meter class. I was aiming for a steady clear. The course was causing plenty of trouble but I went in and attacked it and she jumped beautifully. I rode too backwards round the corner in the jump off to one oxer and totally underpowered her so she had a stop but other than that she felt amazing and I felt confident that she hadn't been too put off by her stop the day before.
Yesterday we headed to Purston Manor for the last run of the season. She did a consistent, accurate test but unfortunately the judge didn't agree and gave her 33.5 which doesn't sound that bad, but she was 21st out of 29 after the dressage. Frustrating when she hasn't been out of the top 10 after dressage all season! However she then jumped the most immaculate double clear. Cross country I felt like I switched on cruise control and she just jumped me round! She was straight, bold and honest and I had the biggest grin on my face the whole way round, I loved every second and now I have to wait until 2015 to get my next eventing fix!!
So the summary of my season: I have completed just 9 events between two different horses. Coco was awesome and jumped double clear at 2* before very sadly picking up an injury and needing the rest of the season off. We are still hopeful that he may be able to get back out eventing next season but we give the injury time to heal and keep our fingers tightly crossed. Lily has got better and better as the season has gone on. She was diagnosed with ulcers at the beginning of the year which we are sure were started when she had stifle surgery in 2011, but thanks to Simple System Feeds we have kept them under control all this time. Clearly something then triggered them and they became really sore. With help from the vets and the most amazing back up from the feed line at Simple System we have got her back on track. We gave her a course of Eclipse Recovery and then have used their Instant Linseed ever since. Without their help I don't think I will have got her back looking and feeling quite as good as she is.