Wow what a busy month it has been and it has also flown by.
With my holiday looming Katie rode the boys for the first time as she was going to keep them ticking over while we were away. They were both really good boys and they looked fantastic.
I went to Performance Hertfordshire for my monthly session. I had an amazing session; all going in the right direction. My core remains strong which is great after all that’s what I need. Forget my misbehaving limbs!! I’m really pleased that my hard work over the last month has paid off.
A delivery from my super sponsors Betta Life came so we are all topped up on supplements.
I have taken my first few public speaking bookings which is exciting.
We headed off to America to see my sister and her family. Lily my niece has grown and is starting to talk. By the end of our stay she said Mari well of a fashion Mar Mar but still it’s a start! We had a wonderful time and all four seasons of weather.
Even whilst I am away I am still an athlete so hard work still goes on!! Test practice is still taking place daily as well as music listening! Improvising and visualising; those centre lines will be straight!!
I am excited to say that Bear and I have been selected to represent the Eastern BD Region at the Para Home International.
Massive thank you to my super farrier (after the week he has had) for coming out to shoe Sky and leaving a spare set of shoes; all set for Belgium!!
Thank you so much to Nick from the RVC for coming out to check Sky and to sign the papers for taking him to Belgium. We were all good to go!!
Waragem CPEDI3*; what an incredible experience my first International abroad. It was a massive competition with 23 countries present and 92 riders competing.
Day 1: We were all packed up and ready to go; we left Trout Rise and were on our way to Dover. After a couple of hours we arrived at the ferry port and before long we were on the ferry. We had a good crossing and arrived in a sunny France. We then drove into Belgium which didn’t take long.
Luna our lorry was fantastic and Sky travelled like a pro and then settled in straight away once he arrived in Belgium.
Day 2: We did an arena familiarisation in the morning and had a fantastic session; he felt amazing. Then the trot up was in the afternoon, that we passed and then just had to wait for the competition. We attended a local tack shop for the welcoming reception. It was a fantastic place and we all had a great time.
Day 3: My class Grade 1 was a big class full of European, World Equestrian Games (WEG) and Paralympic medallists and participants and those that have a lot more International experience than me and Sky. We had an unfortunate fly incident (we think a fly entered Sky’s nose) losing about 15 marks and had our collectives slammed as the judges thought that Sky was tense during two movements. I was disappointed not to have got 70% as the rest of the test was good. Still you can only control the controllables and a fly is not one! We finished just outside the top 6 so we missed out on prize giving.
Day 4: Individual Test; we produced a really good test that we were pleased with and delighted with the 71%+ score and a 4th place; beating the individual bronze medalist from the WEG. Being in the prize giving sitting against some of the best Grade 1 riders in the world was a very special moment. I received some fantastic prizes and a gold plaque which I will treasure. The weather was awful with gale force winds but Sky didn’t put a foot wrong and coped wonderfully.
Day 5: Final day was freestyle day; the pressure was over and we could relax and enjoy dancing to our music. It was raining heavy and so getting wet was on the cards. Sky warmed up really well. The bell went and my music started. I enjoyed every minute and was smiling like a Cheshire cat; we finished with the music as well! Sky really enjoyed his dancing and at the end we had a lot of applause and comments about what a nice test it was. The wait for the score! Wow it was just under 73% with one judge giving me 77%! The final scores came up and I had come 3rd beating another medalist from WEG; amazing!! The prize giving was fantastic and this time I was even higher up the line-up and got a silver plaque and some more fantastic prizes.
I am very proud of what I and my team achieved at my first International abroad. We learnt lots and are already looking forward to the next time. I am delighted with my placings, but next time would like to be in the top spot, so between now and the next competition we are going to work even harder to find those extra marks (which we know are there). Sky’s way of going is very consistent now the pilot needs to work harder on her accuracy!!
Next month looks to be quieter but the adventure that we have had this month is going to take some time to recover from. Sky is going to have a well-deserved week off while my attention turns to the Para Home International with Bear.