Having had a less than ideal preparation for the Winter Championships (having fractured my hand) we set off with Bracks (Headmore Boadicia) to Hartpury not really being sure what to expect. Bracks was going well at home but I hadn’t been able to practice my tests as it seemed to be constantly raining and I’m not allowed to get my cast wet, so we were going on a bit of a wing and a prayer!
It was a bit hectic on the Friday when we were leaving, as we had had to take Roxy (Headmore Roxanne) over to Fairoak Grange at lunchtime in order to get her final Elementary qualifying point before we go to Saumur and I become a group one rider. Luckily, she scored over 70% in her first test so we didn’t even have to do the second test.
My first test at the Winters was the medium music class. Bracks had warmed up well and I had given her plenty of my trusty Nupafeed as she had been a bit tense in the arena walk in the morning. I was pleased with her test as, although she was a bit ‘looky’ she stayed with me and stayed rideable. We ended up on a score of 70.44% to finish equal fourth, so we were thrilled with that.
That evening, Mum and I watched the gala performance and, although a lot of the horses struggled to cope in the atmosphere, it was a good evening and the displays were fantastic. Charlotte Dujardin did a freestyle test to music, there were the Leaping Leprechauns and the Pas de Dosey Doe, which consisted of dressage and reining being done side by side, as well as a master class by Emile Faurie, so everyone enjoyed it and found it very educational.
We then had our final two tests on the final day of the championships. The first was in the Nupafeed advanced medium freestyle to music and I had decided before I went in that I was going to go for it, as it had been so hit and miss as to whether we were going to make it. Bracks was amazing and answered my every question and we thrilled to finish third, with nearly 75% behind two horses who had each already won a championship earlier in the week. As I still had another test to do Joanna Thurman-Baker very kindly let me borrow her horse for the prize giving!
Our final test was in the medium open and both Bracks and I were a little tired which led to mistakes, but overall we were thrilled with our work for the weekend, I can’t really complain with a third and a fourth with a fractured hand!
I also did an interview and filmed intro’s for my blog with Victoria and Jenny from the H&C team, so please be sure to check it out on Monday 7 May on 'Rudall's Round-up'!