Team player

Today saw our return to Carleton Riding Club team competitions. This time Combined Challenge (a few SJ, followed by a few XC jumps) at Horseheath.

It was also our first jumping competition of 2023. I’d love to say that my contribution to the team was vast. Sadly it wasn’t our day. I know why, so that a good thing. Once again, my team mates were awesome. So we’ve qualified for another championships by just turning up.

I got today a bit wrong. I got my timings wrong so missed the course walk. Learnt the course by eye. But that meant I wasn’t clear on the lines or how the course actually rode.

Watched too many go meaning my warm up was shorter than I’d usually do. Still Buddy gave me a great feeling over the practise jumps. It’s the first time we’ve jumped SJ on grass for a long time. The footing was a tad slippery after all the rain we’ve had.

We entered the start box and headed off toeards the first jump. Buddy flew it. So I was thinking it could be a good day. Then he slipped round the corner to number 2 and I got my line totally wrong to number 3. Still he cleared both. But by the time we got to number 4, the combination of my very dodgy line and an evil filler were too much for Buddy. First stop. Kicking myself more than him, we got over it at the second attempt.

Regrouped over number 5. Then another evil filler at number 6, two stops there and it was all over for us. Gutted, I patted Buddy and walked out of the arena.

There were lots of positives though. I didn’t get lost finding the venue. My new sticky competition riding tights were super comfy and did the trick. Buddy dealt with a very slippery and busy warm up. I knew the course. And the jumps we did do felt good.

It’s another new venue for us. And another new format. I now have two months to get the practise before the Champs. I’ve booked onto a XC clinic next Sunday and am forming a plan of how to find as many evil fillers as possible to jump.

So in May, it’ll be back to Aston Le Walls we go! At least I’ve been there before.


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