The first event of the year has now been completed and everyone will be dusting off their gear and drinking lots of water after the warm weather of the weekend. Sydney was great as usual at the fantastic Olympic facilities. The courses looked great and the going was perfect, with a lot of work going into getting it right for the event. The volunteers were the best, the Eventing die hards and the poor parents standing out in the sun all weekend in 35C heat. As a rider we really appreciate your efforts.
It was an early start on Saturday morning to get down the SIEC in time. I had forgottten how early we often have to start to go compete, and how tired we end up on the Saturday night after a big day riding.
We had 9 horses on the truck with 3 of them for me. I was up for a big weekend with Giselle in the 2*, Heidi in the 105 and Jack in the 60 for his first ever event.
I had a pretty good start to the competition on all three with Giselle in the lead after the Dressage, Heidi 4th and Jack 5th. The change to the Dressage scoring with the removal of the coefficient to convert the scores from percentage to penalties left the scores very close and what looked like extremely low! Jack was on a 26!
Jack then had XC and Showjumping all on Saturday and he took it all in his stride and was a little superstar. He finished the cross country clear and under time with a few baby moments but feeling more and more confident as the course progressed. We took two uncharacteristic rails in the show jumping after having to wait for ages in the heat and not having the most ideal warm up but after all that we still managed 5th place. A super result for his first event.
After a big day Saturday I managed to get a look at the 2* track before it got dark and it was looking great with a few challenges but a nice run to start the season with. The 105 course was going to have to wait until Sunday to get a look at it.
Ealry Sunday morning saw Giselle and I showjumping. It was a round to forget with 7 rails coming down. We certainly lost our first place with that effort. It’s back to the drawing board for us to try and tidy up the show jumping again.
It was great to get out on the cross country with Giselle again after 4 months and she felt super until I messed up at a plain roll top and then paid the price for it at the water two jumps later when a little drop in confidence saw us stop on the way in. An unfortunate stop but on re-presenting we went straight over and through and managed to cruise around the rest of the course confidently. It wasn’t a perfect run but leaves us with plenty to work on and improvements to make. It was great to blow the cobwebs out.
Heidi was a star in our first competition together. A great Dressage test to start with and then one rail in the show jumping which I don’t think will be something that occurs very often and finally a great cross country round. She was bold to evreything and I was really please with out first event together. She was not quite fit enough to make the time cross country in the heat but we completed with a very respectable 12 seconds slow and were not even close to being the slwoest around the course. I am definitely excited about what we have coming up in our future.
All in all it was a positive event for me and all three horses have improvements to come. Finger crossed everything goes to plan and it should be an exciting year!