The next day - the more technical individual championship test... Panta was great - all went according to plan and I came out with a smile on my face - not sure that happens vey often?? - so chuffed when we got the scores and we ended up in 3rd place... great comments from the judges. Just one judge didn't seem to like him - she marked us down on the first day as well and again the second - but the others were encouraging & offering positive criticism which enables you to understand their marks and better than no comments at all on the sheets! But one judge apart nothing could diminish from my feelings after such a good result with this lovely horse who I had only been riding for 8 weeks!
The compliments I had for Panta from fellow competitors, stewards and judges were amazing - this lovely horse grew a big fan base over a weekend. Some of it may have been due to the fact that... I asked for him not to be stabled next to mares.... long story. But he was put into the stallion box in the yard and then everyone came by and asked if he was a stallion!!! That was fine until the 2nd day when - after my test and I had my tack check and walked away to warm down and I noticed the steward looking at us... or rather Panta... I later learned that the stewards were all looking for his "bits" - haha - apparently there had been a great debate going on whether he was a stallion or not !!
So for the final day - the freestyle. Oddly I felt more nervous than the previous 2 days.... maybe because i thought that the freestyle at Hartpury may have been a fluke and this would not go so well? I needn't have worried - all went to plan and although the judges were divided on their opinion on the floor plan - that hardly mattered - we got to go to the party and another 4th place!!!
BUT the bottomline of all this is that we got the qualifying score for the World Equestrian Games next year!
WATCH THIS SPACE!!!