Oh it’s good to be back out competing again!

1/3 of the way through 2021 and we’re only now doing event reports but I think we can all say it’s good to be back! Everyone you speak to at a show just always says how nice it is to be back out again, it really has been a long time this time around.

We ventured off to Horseheath for the BE100open for our first show and Ron was certainly feeling a bit fresh and excited to be on grass.

Competition, we missed you

He warmed up well for the dressage, we didn’t do much as the test was relatively easy so we went straight in after about 15 minutes. Ron knew exactly what was happening and grew by about a hand when we entered the arena! Luckily we had our test before the cross country started as the course runs beside the dressage arenas and I think if we’d have had a horse galloping past us we might have joined them! He managed to keep his cool (just) and he finished the test already looking for the show jumps!

Onto the showjumping next and I had visions of having very little control and brakes but he warmed up well and pinging everything. We’ve been working really hard over the winter on our show jumping, it’s my weakest phase by far and I often over ride the fences so we’ve had a lot of lessons to get us into shape. Ron flew round and we hit every jump perfectly, bar one fence which was my fault entirely, so I was really pleased with how he was feeling and jumping.

Our flight path

Then onto the cross country and I was just so relieved to be going out on a course again. Ron was so excited to be in the start box and tried throwing in a few shapes to keep me on my toes. He flew out of the start box, in fact round the entire course not looking at anything and feeling so confident at every fence. We even had to slow down towards the end which is unheard of for Ron! It really was like we’d never had any time off and I had to hold back the tears as we came across the finish line. March 2020 was the last time we went Eventing, then with Covid, Ron losing his eye and me breaking my ankle we just didn’t get a chance to do anything last year.

Was it worth it?

I was absolutely over the moon to finish 6th in a big section and it made the 3.45am start worth it!

After Horseheath Ron then had a couple of chill out days before we had to think about the BD Petplan Area Festivals on bank holiday weekend. It was all systems go getting in some practise and having lessons before having to leave Saturday afternoon. We had a lesson at 6.45am on the Saturday to have a final run through of our test and we were both a bit tense, probably not helped by the lack of sleep on my part! We made some mistakes, so my instructor gave us a good kick up the back side and then we ran through it again. This time foot perfect and feeling ready to go.

Getting into the swing of things

We headed to Keysoe in the afternoon and it was really nice to not be rushing around to get organised. We got him all sorted on arrival, unpacked the lorry and headed off for a little stretch and ride in the evening. A quick bath and plaiting up for Ron then me and Mum had some dinner, popped a film on and had some downtime back in the lorry.

Onto Sunday morning and we were up early for the arena walk and then I was one of the early ones for my class so a quick change over and we were back in the warm up arena. Ron knows what he’s doing with the dressage and goes into the arena flicking his toes and just wanting to catch everyone’s attention. He pulled out a lovely test, with a couple of small mistakes but I was very pleased to have scored 69% across the 3 judges, especially at Area Festivals.

Hartpury Qualifiers

I knew if we could do an accurate test we stood a chance of being top 10 so I was very shocked to finish 2nd and there was such a small margin between 1st and 2nd it could have gone either way. Turns out only the top 2 placings qualify for the Championships held at Hartpury College at the end of June, so guess where we’re off to next month!

Ron, as usual, has come out feeling absolutely mega and ready anything and I couldn’t ask for anymore from him. We have had such a fab start to our 2021 season, long may it continue!