The Champs

I felt this needed its own post. There’s a lot to cover, so brace yourself. It could be a long one. I am so proud of Buddy. It’s the furthest we’ve travelled. Our first stay away competition. And my god it was a big one!

I’ve been to big horse shows before. Hell I grew up near Hickstead and that’s pretty big. But I hadn’t expected it to be as big as it was. Our first NAF Five Star British Riding Club Championships was very special indeed.

We had a long wait as we weren’t jumping till 3:45pm in the first round. But that didn’t mean I had an easy day. I walked backwards and forwards trying to see all the other Carleton RC members in action. I also did a stint stewarding one of the dressage rings. Which turned into two rings as there was a no-show for thier steward. Good job I’m used to multi-tasking and love a clipboard. Two clipboards and I was in heaven!!

Finally it was our time. Watching everyone else do so brilliantly, I really wanted to do well. More than anything, I just didn’t want us to embarrass the club.

Buddy warmed in beautiful. However, the collecting ring was heaving and he got rather tense. As did I. Quick pep-talk and we settled. He had ants in his pants and wanted to get on with it. And when we entered the ring, he did. He stormed round the course, hardly looking at anything. Sadly we had 4 poles. But that’s OK. He did what I asked of him and it was a very buzzy atmosphere. With 5 rings running constantly and an awful lot to look at!

Then it was onto Round 2. Now when I qualified, it was run over the same course. As this was the Champs, it was a different course in a different ring. That ring was running early (whereas my first round was running late), meaning we didn’t have long to wait before it was our turn again.

The downside to walking both courses together was that I’d spent so long visualising how I was going to ride the first course, I’d forgotten how I’d walked the second course. As a result, it didn’t had the flow I wanted. And sadly we were eliminated. The commentator made a comment about a sad end to my day. Not a bit of it!! I was thrilled with the day as I wasn’t totally sure if I’d actually get Buddy in the ring!

I must have been the happiest person after getting eliminated.

Once more, my team mates did amazingly and our team came home with 7th place out of 22. So not only did we compete at our first Championships, we came home with a placing!

Next year, we will be better.… I’ve already said I want to do it again. Thank you for all the messages of support. It means so much.

Buddy is tucked up in bed. And so I am. We will both sleep well tonight.

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