Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Regionals....

I had three Regional tests to complete and i'm lucky enough to already have a spot at the Nationals in September.

Our first Regional test was at Bury Farm with Merri in the Inter I class. We placed a respectable 6th and finished on 66.9%. 

Next onto Keysoe Regionals with both Merri and Finn.
We went up the night before to settle Finn, unfortunately my plan didn't quite work as he became unsettled in the test. He scored 65% and finished 13th, not so bad considering he had three errors.
It was another learning curve for me in his management.

I took the good with the bad- his three time changes showed good quality and the Inter I 'zig zag' was the best he has done in competition. He was feeling very well in himself, perhaps a little bit to well!!

Merri was Miss consistency finished in 7th place with one blip. She gave me a lovely ride even though she was a little influenced by the buzzy atmosphere just by the arena at the score board.

Unfortunatly we didn't gain another qualification to the Nationals but we are ready to get going with moving up the levels now (fingers crossed!).

Here is a short video of our time at Keysoe- A Great Day



Hickstead Premier League

Hickstead is always a wonderful event... 

There is good food, a fun atmosphere and incredible shops!
Not forgetting the nice stables for the horses and beautiful arenas!

Merri was competing in both the Inter I and Prix St George classes.

The Inter I was a really good test- apart from at the start in the first halt... I couldn't quite bring myself to buy a 'halt' photo...

After a costly mark of three for our first movements Merri went on to score mainly 7's and some 8's. She ended up placing 11th in a huge class. Imagine if we had had a clear round!!

The PSG was also a good test and we placed 9th. The weather was extremely challenging over the few days. It was officially the hottest day of the year when we competed in the PSG!
And in the Inter I we had thunder storms.... oh England...


Gorgeous Merri




Sunday, 18 June 2017

Wellington Premier League Show

Wellington was already one of my favourite venues.... and now it has got even better!

Known for its super cafe and well run events Wellington has just installed a huge Olympic size outdoor arena.... and we were lucky enough to be the first to ride on it at the Premier League Event and celebrate the grand opening!

We were living in a beautiful clover field for the weekend!

Affinity Bay (Finn) and Aramis T (Merri) were both competing at the Premier League show in the Prix St George and Inter I classes.

We had beautiful weather and both horses were on good form all weekend.

Ready to go...

On Saturday both Finn and Merri produced accurate harmonious tests. Merri placed 7th with 67.6% and Finn finished on 67.3% in the Inter I class.

Merri strutting her stuff!

Saturday evening provided much entertainment... we saw the 'Official Opening' of the impressive 'Waterloo' arena with performances from Grand Prix rider Paul Hayler and eventer Sam Penn showing us how amazing the space will be for arena eventing as well as dressage...

Watching the PSG Freestyle

After a fun evening we had a civilized 7am start on Sunday before competition started mid morning.

Posing for the camera!

Merri was a star in the Prix St George test. The trot work was fab, better than Saturday's, unfortunately we had a blip in the canter pirouettes which are double marks. We finished on 66%.

Merri was quite happy with her weekend away


Finn was better than Saturday's performance as well finishing in 7th place in the Inter I on 67.3%

Watch some moments for both horses tests HERE

gorgeous boy Finn
Both horses headed home Sunday night for a day off on Monday and a relaxed hack on Tuesday before we start preparation for Hickstead in a few weeks...


Friday, 26 May 2017

VIP Treatment...


Front row seats in the members area!

May brings around one of my absolute favourite shows.... Royal Windsor Horse Show, and Addington Premier League of course! I was lucky enough to spend a few afternoons watching dressage and show jumping in the members enclosure at Windsor...what a treat!

The Legend Nick Skelton and the incredible Big Star retiring at Windsor
The above photo is of Nick Skelton and Big Star's retirement ceremony. What an Incredible partnership... they have done so much for the British Show Jumping scene. I am sure they will be sorely missed and the up and coming Show Jumper's certainly have some big shoes to fill!

It was lovely to spend some time spectating at Windsor amidst a busy competition week. Before going to compete at Addington on the weekend I was 'groom' for my lovely mother at Wellington Area Festival.
Hero was a star, unfortunately they had a sat nav error. A fun day out :)

The day after Wellington we were back on the road, on our way to Aston Le Walls, this time with Bonar (my brother) and his horse Drum Beat.

"It's an exhausting life on the road" Puppy Penny onto show number two of the week!

Bonar and Drum had a great time contesting their first British Eventing Novice competition. They finished the day with a fantastic confident clear round a tough XC track! 

Concentration Faces!

We then headed home to re pack the lorry. Out of the tack lockers came all the muddy eventing gear and in when the white boots and bling! Onto Addington Premier League...

Aramis T (Merri) and Affinity Bay (Finn) both competed on the Saturday of Addington Premier League Show, Merri was beautifully behaved with two top ten placings in the Inter I and PSG scoring 68% and 67%. In both of our tests we had a few small miscommunications which effected our overall balance in the movements but Merri showed her class throughout the tests and found all the technical work easy.

What it's like to sit on the gorgeous Merri

  Finn's Inter I test showed much improvement from the last time we competed. His pirouettes where more balanced and the two and three time changes were relaxed. There is still more to come in the trot as he gets stronger but over all the test showed relaxed fluent work. I was very happy to see a '9' on our sheets for the final halt of the test from one judge- This meant a lot to me as we have really been working on them and it's something that hasn't been good in the past!


Addington was very well run, there were a huge amount of entries!! Well done Addington on hosting a great show and I love the new surface in arena one!

With Maria Eilberg having a podium moment



Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Roller Coaster Weekend...in dressage terms..

Keysoe Premier League.
Affinity Bay (Finn) was competing on Saturday and Sunday in a total of two classes and Aramis T (Merri)was competing on Sunday for one class.

We arrived saturday with Finn and settled him into his new stable. 
His warm up was promising and I felt confident going into the Inter I test, however Keysoe was very busy and Finn found it very difficult to concentrate. Before I knew it we were freestyling- airs above the ground and legs flailing everywhere....! Doing his best impression of the karate kid! 
I couldn't be angry as inbetween those moments he tried to stay focused... alas!

After we put Finn to bed Mum and I went to watch the Grand Prix Freestyle which cheered me up. I went to bed thinking 'tomorrow is another day'...
 
Sunday was brilliant- he was with me in the work and showed the Judges what he can do when he is not distracted.
All of the judges marked Finn with consistent 7's with highlights in the walk pirouettes (8's) and some of the changes. 
He WON the class on 68.64% which is my first ever Premier League Win and its Finn's best score at a Premier League competition to date.

I haven't told Finn yet but this Win means we have directly qualified  for the Summer Nationals.


Concentration faces


I was so thrilled with him... the highs and lows of horses!
 From his lowest test mark to date on Saturday to his best on Sunday. I have made a big 'note to self' of all the things that worked to get him into the zone on sunday.
 So proud of him. Can't wait for the Nationals.


Aramis T competed Sunday afternoon- It was actually her first show of the year and she was SO relaxed and well behaved. Her canter pirouettes were very good and there was expression in the trot with relaxation and harmony. We had a few wobbly moments but over all I was thrilled with her performance. We were a bit disappointed with her mark of 66% as she can get +70% scores but unfortunately sometimes that is how dressage goes... I was pleased with her and we placed 8th overall at our first show of the year!

Merri sporting her competition curls!

Thank You Keysoe for a great show!
  Now we are heading to Addington High profile Show in a couple of weeks with some local shows between now and then.

Only a Jack Russel puppy would decide sitting on your shoulder is a good idea....






The Nationals 2017

Finn looking fab in the stunning Eqco quarter sheet which has diamonte binding!!

 We were so excited to be heading to the British Dressage Winter Nationals- not once but twice! 
First was the Pet Plan Inter I championships on the Wednesday then we returned on the Saturday for the Inter I Gala Evening.

  It's fantastic to make it the the BD Nationals and I would like to start by Thanking my sponsors for their continued support and also thank my team and trainers who help me everyday along the way.

Finnley enjoying some Blue Chip Calming Balancer
  Finn was a total star in the PetPlan Inter I- he was focussed (any exuberance before he headed down the centre line doesn't count!!) and he tried so much for me.
He was relaxed and swinging over his back and I was very pleased with his test. We had a blip in the first move off, last halt, and a very costly change of leg out of the right canter pirouette. If you want to watch our test in HD click HERE - Huge Thanks to David from Harveywetdog Productions for filming my test.

Love our new WOW saddle with extra straight panel and deep dressage seat...plus a few extras so it fits Finn and me perfectly!

After we had washed Finn off and made him comfortable I checked the online score... note to self- always check the official score board!
I was totally confused as my scored went up as 56%... my support team all said it was a good test and I felt it had gone well so I was left scratching my head! Turns out it was a typo! It was actually 66.94% which put us into an early lead!! 

Ready to go in brand new Equilibrium Stretch and Flex Flatwork wraps- such great boots.

We finished in a fab third place overall and received some beautiful rosettes and prize money!
Finn wearing white Eqco bandages enhanced with stunning silver thread.

  Saturday Nights Gala Evening didn't go to plan. The HUGE atmosphere and crowds really got to Finn and I couldn't show him off at all. He made it round with many mistakes but survived! So it was a great experience for us both and we have certainly learnt from it. Thank you British Dressage for the opportunity.
Finn wearing stunning Eqco grey and silver bandages...my favourites!

Over all we enjoyed our time at Hartpurty- massive thank you to my Mum who was super groom all week!





Friday, 7 April 2017

Time to get going!



  Affinity Bay is back in the office work wise- We had our first Judy Harvey lesson of the year and it went really well.
We were working on the relaxatuon in the canter and the flying changes. It's not so much about the changes themselves with Finn but more about keeping him chilled before and after.
We did some pirouette work and Judy had to remind me to use my inside leg in the pirouette's rather than over using my outside leg which causes us to get a bit stuck!
We are now looking forward to our next training session and a few competitions in March and early April.


  Recently we have been out competing at Quainton stud.  Galanci RS (Tilly- Owned by Judy FW) and a new ride Eros (owned by Jonathan Chapman and Ian Woodhead) contested both Novice 23 and 39.
Tilly was a star and won both tests on 72% receiving plenty of 8's and some lovely comments from the judges.
Eros was brilliant to travel and was well behaved the whole day. The tests had some green moments and overall the judges really liked him. He was competing H/C but would have come second to Tilly on 70%! Plenty more to come from this horse in the future!


  Merri has been in super model mode testing Equilibrium products new Tri-Zone brushing boots. The boots are really soft whilst being protective- The ultimate combination for a good boot.
Merri approved of the boots and we look forward to continue using them.

Check them out HERE