Capel is done for another year. I must congratulate the committee for an excellent event. It was well run, the grounds were lovely and overall, it was a great weekend.
We all headed down on Friday morning to get a good parking spot. Ben, Erica and I loaded up Mon, GK, Joe and Bo and headed down the freeway. We were following Sophie with Charlie on board. Driving down near Myalup and Preston Beach, we went through some of the areas affected by the devastating fires at the start of the year. I know the area burnt out was enormous, but driving through and seeing the blackened trees and lack of vegetation, seeing it with my own eyes and realising that I was only seeing a minuscule amount of it… My heart breaks for those still struggling because of it.
The horses all traveled down well, we got the yards set up and had a well deserved beer and rest before saddling up to work the boys before washing and plaiting them.
Saturday morning, I was first on. Joe warmed up well but I think the combination of my nerves and his excitement at being at a show for the first time in 12 months got to us. We made it through the dressage test but didn’t score all that well.
Bo had a tiny warm up as his arena was running early, but that didn’t seem to bother him at all. He was a little legend and pulled his best ever dressage score to date. He worked better then he has ever worked outside of home and scored 46 penalties. So pleased that focusing on our dressage has paid off.
GK had an epic warm up. His arena was running an hour late, so Grace was on him for nearly 2 hours before he went in. I am surprised that he didn’t spit it, he scored a 55, which is an average score for him and nothing to be too disappointed about.
Joe was first on for SJ… As in the very first horse in the 80cms. No pressure, right? I needn’t have worried. With Mel’s help in warm up and Joe’s athleticism, we had no problems in SJ. I messed him up a little after jump 6, which caused me to lose Joe’s canter and resulted in Joe taking over a little bit for the last 4 jumps, but we went around clear.
Bo on the other hand, knocked 2 rails. I know what I need to focus on in the lead up to Harvey CNC next month. Bo will be doing a lot more jumping to get his confidence up (and fitness), as he is not currently very keen on Oxers and doubles. Other than that I was pretty pleased with both horses after their respective efforts on Saturday.
Grace was a little nervous going into show jumping. It was her first 80cm in competiton and unfortunately her nerved contributed to GK’s 2 rails. While she was a little disappointed, she was glad she made it around and had a little confidence boost going into XC on Sunday.
Sunday was XC day for everyone except Erica and Mon who has all 3 phases on Sat. We headed out on course to watch Rachael and Peter go around the EvA105 course. They went around clear and finished in 10th place after knocking 2 rails in SJ.
Next up was Liz on Billy in the 1* at 9.12am, then Liz on Sexy Dexy in the 3*at 10.24am, then Liz on Brax at 10.48am and Sara on Chaysa in the EvA95 at 11.22am. It was a lovely morning watching the big guys go around XC. 🙂
I headed over to start getting Joe ready for XC. We got into warm up and started to get ready, but unfortunately Joe was lame and although he was keen as mustard go get out on course and was trying his heart out to convince me that he was ok to go on course (and I have no doubt he would have given 200% for me), I made the decision to scratch him. I would not run one of my horses knowing they were lame, and I would not expect anyone else’s horse to do so either. I took Joe back to the float, hosed him off, rugged him and started to get Bo ready. Joe is fine, he was seen by the vet on Monday and just has muscle soreness in his pectorals and shoulders. With a bit of time and some body work, he will be back at it.
Bo warmed up well, tried to mess around on my on the way to the start box, but I managed to get him going as the starter was counting down from 5 and we were off on course at the correct time. Bo flew over the first jump and headed across the oval as if he had been launched from a rocket. He popped over jump 2 like it was nothing, but again my focus on flatwork came back to bite me and Bo was not keen on jump 3. We had our first refusal. On the re-approach he cleared it with no problems and we headed off to jump 4. which was a double of slightly offset roll tops. Unfortunately Bo drifted to the left and we had a run out in the B element, which we again cleared on the re-approach. The next 7 jumps were great, including a reasonably large log pile, which I though Bo might have a little look at. I shouldn’t have worried, he flew over it like it was nothing. We came over jump 11 well before we reached jump 12. Aaannnnndddddd Bo took a dislike to that one too. 3rd refusal. Flea and Andrew were sitting on the finish line and they heard me scream at Bo to get over the freaking jump, we had come that far and there was no way that Bo was getting us eliminated. We cleared it and continued through the water, and off to the last 4 jumps without any issued.
Time wise, he was fantastic and if it wasn’t for the stops on course we would have had finished with no time penalties. That is great news. If he can do that while being as unfit as he currently is, we will have no problems for the rest of the season.
GK, GK, GK. What can I say about my superstar pony. He looked after Grace the whole way round the course. She was nervous and worried about some of the fences, so my pep talk while walking the course was something along the lines of, “If that pony refuses anything, it will be because you failed to ride him at the jump properly. He has done all these jumps with no stops before.You need to trust him and trust that he will sort it out. You just need to pick the line and keep the canter quality.” I don’t know how much that helped, but they finished double clear and Grace could not stop smiling. They finished in 10th place overall. Which has given Grace a massive confidence boost heading into W.A.Y.E.R. next weekend.
I won’t be riding as I have work on the Saturday and can’t make the times work. This gives me time to work on Bo and let Joe recover.
We finished off the weekend watching the 3* SJ. There was some great rounds, including this one by Tegan Lush and Belfast Mojito (check out his Facebook page).
Bo will be coming up to the SEC on W.A.Y.E.R. weekend and is getting used for the Horses Inside Out clinic on 3rd April. He likes attention so will quite enjoy that.
On another note, I am still compiling my list of gear for the boys from my sponsor, Southern Stars Saddlery. So far I have settled on their Hanovarian Bridle for Bo, and for GK a Drop Noseband Bridle for dressage and a Cavesson for jumping (check out the links). They look really smart and the leather quality is fantastic. I should hopefully have the boys all kitted out by Harvey or at the very latest, Moora. The boys will look very flash in their new gear. I can’t wait to get it.
Until next time
Take Care (and Happy Easter)