What a fantastic day at Kelsall! It by far loved up to my high expectations of a wonderful cross- country course designed by Captain Mark Phillips. His daughter Zara Tindell (nee Phillips) is an Olympic rider and a member of the Royal family. The daughter of Princess Anne.
Storm produced a flawless BE97 dressage test. He made no errors and was smooth, flexible and beautiful. The only slight oops was he anticipated a stop at ‘X’ when the halt was at ‘G’. Ironically, I have the most trouble remembering this test as I describe it as ‘modern’ with lots of short diagonal lines across the arena which feels a little wrong compared to the older more traditional-style tests. Anyway, he got a phenomenal; score of 27.3! I was and still am completely overjoyed! Not only did we achieve my long-term goal of achieving a dressage score of under 30 – but we completely smashed it! Granted I feel the marks where fairly generous all-round. In any other competition, with scores so low you would almost certainly be in the top 3. However, I was actually 14th when we all completed Phase 1 – Dressage. Not to be disheartened. I’m thrilled. Super pony!
Unfortunately, I was disappointed with the showjumping phase. 8 Faults – 2 fences down. In fairness to Storm, I don’t really think he did a lot wrong. He actually felt to ride a smooth, round (in shape) and effortless round. I can’t say I was disappointed in Storm particularly. More with the situation at hand, especially after a particular wonderful dressage. I didn’t help him much in the warm-up I admit but he never tends to jump strongly in the warm-up areas. We work so hard on flatwork all year round and I tend to forget that he needs regular show jumping practice too because he is so enthusiastic about jumping. But in hind-sight, he hasn’t done any show jumping training for months and months. So I think it’s time we fixed ourselves and put a lot more effort into his showjumping now that things are really starting to work well with his dressage.
Having said all that, he more than made up for it in the cross-country phase. As per usual, the king BOUNCED and flew round happily and enthusiastically. It was a solid course with big jumps but nice galloping distances in between with only a brief technical section in the middle where you had to make sure you rode your lines carefully and bang on in order to avoid run-outs. Which of course he did! He is SO GOOD at the cross-country. Every time out he gives me the total ride of my life. He thrills me and sends me off on an adrenaline high. It makes everything I work for day in and day out with him worthwhile. He zipped round and came soaring home 11 seconds inside the time. He is my one in a billion. My magic pony. My unicorn. King Storm ❤️🦄
His scores overall were:
Dr – 27.3 SJ – 8 XC – 0
TOTAL: 35.3 faults. Finished up 21st. (Those showjumping faults really dragged him down. Without them he would have finished 12th).
Our next one was supposed to be Bradwalls BE90 next week but due to me not being able to find someone to accompany me – I have most unfortunately had to withdraw.
Getting ready to leave for Kelsall, Cheshire.
Taking a stride out when you’re only 14.2 over a wide table means you gotta streeeeetch
Pats for Storm for stretching over the table and saving us
Floating over one of the house by the water
Rear view 😉
We tackled the 80 hedge picture to the left last year, maybe next year we will be going over the 100…?
Nice showjumping course despite the disappointments. He’s still absolutely perfect in my eyes though!