I opted to do a not so ‘local’ competition – another Hickstead qualifier at Vale View near Melton Mowbray at the end of May. My heart sank when the times came out as I was first in at 9 a.m. – and I envisaged a 4 hour drive to get there! I slept in the lorry and Rhapsody and I started the long drive up north at 4:15 – before the cockerel was even up! We had a good run in good conditions and in just over 3 hours we were parked and I was plaiting.
The first – warm up – test was a lesson in riding through wardrobe malfunction . Now that box is ticked hopefully I can avoid that particular mistake again. My left boot came unzipped and the boot was trying its hardest to break free! Rhapsody was already a bit tense and didn’t need much excuse to get distracted, not t hat I could blame him as it was pretty distracting for me too!
A bit of a break between tests and time to put that out of my mind and get down to business for the qualifier. I was pleased with Rhapsody’s test and Nicki Archer from Fly Away & Groom Away, who had made the journey down to see me and another sponsored rider Marcelle Annette Ward, came out from watching it very enthusiastic about how well it had gone. Unfortunately the judge did not agree and we got very average marks – extremely disappointing!! It was only after looking at the score boards and speaking to other riders/trainers that I realised that over all the marks were on the low side with just a couple of exceptions. Extremely discouraging but at least I had video proof of Rhapsody’s solid performance. So very thankful to Nicki for taking the time to come and support us as well as take lots of pics and videos – not to mention all the Fly Away and Groom Away goodies she brought for both Rhaps and me!!
I can't thank all my sponsors enough - not forgetting Steve Brooks of GVG Brooks - for all their support - I could not do it without you!!
At the time of writing Rhapsody is back training with Andrew. Unbelievably Hartpury Festival of Dressage is only about 4 weeks away and initial entries for Bishop Burton CPEDI3* at the beginning of August are due this month. It’s going to be a busy summer!!