Pictures from Kelsall Hill British Riding Clubs Horse Trials, again well done to all and we all had a fantastic day, if you would like to support or compete for the club let us know!
I’ve been asked to write a few words about my first BE 90 type one day event which was held on 25th June at Kelsall Hill. Quite simply it was brilliant, I absolutely loved it and so did my horse Aragorn. Is that few enough words?
On the morning of the event I arrived before the horse box which gave me the opportunity to walk the cross country course for a second time and also to walk and learn the show jumping course.
When the box arrived, the conditions couldn’t have been better with the ground being remarkably good after some torrential rain and the weather was cool with a drying wind. Judith our Team Manager helped me to select the most appropriate studs for the going and my Chief Horse Mechanic (husband Richard) re-tapped my stud holes in order to allow my head groom and friend Wendy to fit the studs. Assistant groom Lily held Aragorn’s head. Whilst these activities were taking place I was going through the dressage test and show jumping course in my head for the umpteenth time. I was extremely fortunate that my trainer, Sarah, was kind enough to come down and support Kathy and me as by this time my nerves had started to kick in quite badly.
Our hope as we entered the dressage ring was that at least I’d remember the test. We didn’t and I forgot the thing twice - still onwards and upwards. There were still two phases to go. A quick change of tack courtesy of Wendy and Lily and we were ready for the show jumping phase. After a warm up under Sarah’s watchful eye we didn’t do too badly in this, scoring 4 jumping faults and 3 time faults despite a loose horse coming galloping towards us at the end of our round. It was only when the round was finished that I realised why the horse had been parted from its rider. Sadly there had been an accident on the cross country course and horse and rider parted company going for the short route at fence 10. I decided at this time to take the long route and incur the time penalties. The Air Ambulance took some time to arrive and even longer to depart with its patient whom we sincerely hope has suffered no lasting damage.
An hour and a half later, which allowed me plenty of time to change into my cross country colours, we went down to the cross country warm up area and in next to no time were called into the start box. No time for nerves now we were off and running across country - and did we enjoy it! Aragorn was running for fun and stood off his fences like a true professional. He had no thought of stopping at anything not even our potential bogey fence – the water – straight though this and on to fence 10 where we stuck to plan and went the long route (in point of fact he could have taken the bogey corner), over the brush fence with Judith standing next to it snapping away and we were on the home stretch. I hadn’t had time to draw breath and we’d crossed the finish line. I’ve never done anything so exhilarating in my life and Aragorn was still full of running, he was right and I was wrong, we could have gone faster across country. We finished with a penalty score of 80.5 which wasn’t bad for a first attempt.
We have to acknowledge that any riding activity is a risk sport but if you and your horse prepare well, there is no reason why anyone shouldn’t have a go; it is the most thrilling experience. With Judith’s cheerful assistance, Aragorn and I prepared for the competition by doing lots of interval training as well as having dressage, jumping and xc lessons. If you are able to find a good trainer with xc experience all the better and when they say you are good to go get on and enjoy it. You won’t regret it. It was a wonderful experience and I’m extremely grateful to the Club for allowing me to represent them and to the team for their help on the day. Maggie