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18 June 2008 – Hat Trick At Addington!

We set off early for a competition at Addington Manor Equestrian Centre. Emile had come to help me warm up which was very useful as we then had a very structured warm up with all three horses from start to finish. First to go of my gang was Feine Dame in the Novice Class. She behaved impeccably (to my pleasant surprise), although was a little frightened of the steward who she felt must have had goblins hiding in his clipboard! She did a super test and I was thrilled to bits with her. It was then a quick turn around to get onto Show Boy for his first ever Elementary. A little fresh in the warm up to begin with meant I had to keep him quite deep to prevent any unscheduled airs above the ground! The more we worked, the more he started to settle and show himself off. We did a consistent test with him starting to show off some of the sparks that will come in time. I then had chance to check the score board and was thrilled to find Feine Dame had won her class with 72.07%! Show Boy was also in the lead with 71.37%.

Aristo now had his chance to shine! for the warm up, Emile and I used my radio headset so I could hear him clearly. We spent a long time working on his through ness and not too much time working on the actual movements because as soon as he is completely 'through' the movements come so easily to him! I think mum was a bit nervous at this point as when I glanced over she looked to be weaving slightly! She tends to have terrible stable vices when I compete. She needn't have worried though as we pulled of a great test.

I was so happy my intensive weeks training had paid off and I felt I could be thoroughly pleased with my horses, regardless of any of the results! After making sure the horses were content in the stables we sheepishly wandered over to the scoreboards to find out the results. Show Boy had stayed in the lead winning his class, as had Aristo with score of 70.38%! We had a champagne celebration when we got home and extra carrots for the horses!

07 June 2008 – British Dressage 10th Anniversary Ball

Saturday 7th June

Today was the British Dressage 10th Anniversary Ball. I had been invited to attend as I was receiving the British Dressage U21 Rider Of The Year Award. I decided to get some friends together to get a table up and enjoy the party! It was a fabulous night to let our hair down and catch up with everyone. After an early start to see to the horses before we left, we got on the road to head to Birmingham where the ball was held. It was a fun road trip, especially attempting to paint each other's toenails in the car. I'm a little squeamish with people touching my feet so when Helen grabbed hold of my foot and a huge nail file I was rather nervous. This was followed moments later with a lot of squealing and some very funny looks off passing motorists! The toes were, and remain untouched!

06 June 2008 – Game on for the Girls!

Today we took Royal Alliance and Feine Dame (six year old mare) to a local competition at Richmond. Royale needed her other half of her qualification for the Novice regional championships so I entered her in the Novice Qualifier. After we have travelled her so much recently it was a fantastic feeling to go into the warm-up and then the test with a very calm horse! She was relaxed and loose through the body, we only had a small mistake in the counter canter but I'm sure this was due to me not having enough leg on as I was enjoying the ride so much! I came out of the arena feeling very positive and we crossed our fingers hoping she would have done enough to win the class, which she did with 72.5%.

Next it was the turn of Feine Dame, in the non-qualifier class. This was our first ever competitive run. She has amazing movement with an equally amazing temperament to match. It constantly amazes me how many different moods and feelings one mare can have! I have had her since she was four years old and spent the last two years well, to be honest trying to stay on! She is certainly a 'character building' horse but I love her to bits! We have taken things very slowly and she is finally ready to start her competitive career. On the day to my relief, she was in a 'butter wouldn't melt' mood and behaved impeccably scoring a winning 72.8% test. I am so glad to have got our first competition out of the way.

I have had both of these mares now for a couple of years and daft as it is, as they have such a long way to go, I felt a huge sense of achievement at this competiton. It has been a long road so far, even with the simplest of things like loading and unloading! We went through a phase where one wouldn't go in the lorry, and believe it or not, the other wouldn't come out! There have been times when feeling ready enough to go into the competition ring has seemed a million miles away, but my advice to anyone starting out with a young horse is dedication, determination and being slightly pig headed! It is also so important to be sympathetic when needed and go at the pace your young horse is happy and comfortable mentally and physically.

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Latest results

  • Feine Dame: 1st / 69.45
  • Divine: 1st / 72%
  • Aristo: 4th, 6th, 4th / 70.4% (music Final)
  • Aristo: 2nd overall / 72.9 + 70%
  • Show Boy: 1st / 68.92%
  • Feine Dame: 1st / 68.88%
  • Feine Dame: 1st / 72.07%
  • Show Boy: 1st / 71.47%
  • Aristo: 1st / 70.38%
  • Show Boy: 1st / 72.8%

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