Blog 4: Badminton Mitsubishi Motors Cup 2019: A tough course and amazing experience
So we did it! Libby flew round Badminton Grassroots on Wednesday in fantastic style and I was really thrilled. I didn't quite pull off the placing I would have liked but we came very close and the margins are tiny when the competition is so fierce.
We arrived at Badminton on Tuesday to a lovely sunny day and Libby and I went for a little hack and then had a little school and she was great and went beautifully on the flat. We then went on the Eric Smiley course walk which was really excellent. Eric focused on the test that the course designer was setting at each fence and the positive attitude needed to get to the other side of it and also on not wasting time setting up too much unnecessarily. My first impressions of the course were that it was decent and testing and that there were a lot of narrow fences that needed accuracy.
On Wednesday we stuck to our normal routine and after Georgina Wood , my cousin, who was kindly grooming for me walked and hand grazed Libby for half an hour we put on her PEMF rug and then Mum plaited her. Her mane is not very easy so Mum was very pleased with the end result! I was happy with my warmup for the dressage test with Libby feeling good and she went in to the arena and did a really super test with one minor break of her stride pattern in left canter. She also did some super trot work and an immaculate halt and I felt we couldn't have done much more. We then popped her back into the stable for a little snooze and I went to walk the cross country course again with Georgina to finalise my lines. I decided to take the long route at the corner house as it was so difficult to read but direct everywhere else.
After a little break we target fed Libby Organic Lucie Stalks and Simple Balance+ and got Libby ready for the showjumping. I was pretty happy with my dressage score of 28.6 as it was well in touch with the leaders and if we could have stayed on it it would have meant a top 10 finish. As I warmed up this time it was raining quite heavily but it did ease up a little for my round. Libby started the course jumping beautifully clear up to fence 6 including the double . However, she just touched fence seven which slightly alarmed her and we then rolled the front rail of the next over behind and then because we had lost our rhythm and balance sadly just brushed the last as well. I was disappointed as a clear round was needed to stay up with the leaders and normally Libby would jump clear but the good news was that we could now go across country and just enjoy it.
Libby was awesome cross country taking on the difficult narrow ditch and brush fence at nine bravely and flying her fences confidently and storming through the lake. She ended up going so well that when I looked at my watch after the corner combination three fences from home I was way up on the clock which was something that we did not expect especially as I had taken a long route. As we were so near the end of the course and we were out of a top 20 finish I let Libby run on and so finished about 30 seconds under the time. But our round was very smooth. Iím so proud of Libby because she tried so hard throughout, made it feel easy and I never had to press her at all. We finished a very respectable 50th out of more than 101 starters and only just over 50% of the starters went clear cross country showing what a tough test it was. I'm so glad we had the chance to prove that we could do it over such a tough course. Clever Libby!
Many thanks to everyone who helped to get us there and in particular Georgina who groomed and helped me walk the course and warmup for the showjumping and Mum for her lovely plaits. I'm also very grateful to Simple System for their invaluable sponsorship and support and it proves that Organic Lucie Stalks and Simple Balance+ provide all the necessary nutrients to keep Libby in great condition and fighting fit and with lots of energy to cope with such a tough test.