2 - 3 October Equestrian Eventing Results
 By Polo the Weirdo   •   23rd Oct 2010   •   4,616 views   •   5 comments
On 2 October 2010, Bronze, Badger and I embarked upon the short journey to a showground not-so-far-away where we were scheduled to compete in an event - more specifically, our last even before the upcoming eventing championships.

The Saturday started with the dressage. Badger performed beautifully and ended up lying 2nd after the dressage with only 51,8 penalties - just 1,3 penalties behind the leader.

He had a lovely smooth and responsive test - obedient as always - and I was extremely pleased with the results that came of it.

All our work at home had certainly paid off, since he was much lighter on my hands than he was the last time we had done a dressage test.

Next it was Bronze's turn. For his test, we were unfortunately running slightly late, so he did not have the full 1 hour warm up I would have liked, and was thus not going quite as smoothly as I know he can. His head was a little unsteady throughout his test, but he did not do badly, despite, and ended up tied for second, behind 2 horses tied for first - yet behind by only 0,7 penalties with his score of 60,7.

Next came the showjumping, and I am most ashamed to say that this might have been our worst phase! In Badger's class, the round itself was nothing to be ashamed of. We had no major errors and it was a smooth course, but for some reason Badger just wasn't quite picking up his feet, and he clipped a pole down. Bronzey's round, on the other hand, was most unexpected. He simply did not have his usual spring and excessively careful jump, and he ended up knocking 2 poles - causing him to drop down a good few places.

That was where the Saturday ended, and we trucked both horses home for a well deserved rest before the cross country the following day.

Bronze over number 4
Bronze over number 4

The cross country courses were easier than I'd have liked, but challenging enough nonetheless. Bronze was eager from the start - clearly in his element out on a cross country course! He pranced powerfully to the start, and it was all I could do to hold him in while the starter counted us down. Finally it came: "Go!" As is proper protocol, Bronze and I left the starting gate at a trot, then lurched into our eventer's gallop. He soared over the first effortlessly, and bolted off toward the next. He faltered slightly upon entering the forest, but I coaxed him on and we popped over the second jump, a big log upright, at a balanced canter. Then we were off! But just as we really got moving, I realised I had taken the wrong path and gone past Bronzey's jump. I noticed this very soon, and whirled Bronze around to put him at the jump. He leaped over eagerly, and we moved on - really getting a gallop going now. I took a check before the fourth jump, steadying Bronze for the sharp turn afterwards. We made it, then shot off like a bullet. It was a long gallop stretch, and we really got moving. I think my favourite part of cross country is vanishing into some hidden part of the course - just galloping - just me and my horse, yet with the adrenaline of competition pumping through our veins. The feeling of harmony and unity was absolute. Every stride I felt like my own - every eager snort from my beloved Bronzey punctuated my own heartbeat as we raced down the track to the next jump. In fact, I got so into it that I didn't slow him in time to make the turn onto the next track. So we went past by a few strides, and I tugged Bronzey sheepishly around and set him off along the track toward the next jump: a pile of big blue pipes set at an angle on a slight downhill. Bronze leaped boldly over, then went careening off toward the next jump, which was my biggest worry on the course: A big log parallel with a freshly dug ditch beneath it. Bronze can tend to be a little unpredictable with ditches, but not this time! He dropped a stride and floated effortlessly over, not even wasting a second on looking at the ditch.

We galloped onward, flew over the offset brush jumps, moved on again, leaped a big brush with a ditch - then powered up a hill to jump up over a log back onto the main track. Another gallop - hoofbeats pounding, hearts racing, and the excitement building more and more. We turned off the main track toward a skinny target on a tight corner. I had originally planned to trot into it, but we were going too fast... So I checked my Bronze, and he paid attention, bless him, and leaped over the skinny a stride early and perfectly straight. We charged up the hill to jump a big arrowhead brush, then darted around a corner, out of the forest and over a barrel jump. Bronze skipped over, barely even jumping, before plunging into the water with less hesitance than usual, which pleased me greatly. He hopped out again neatly, then we set off back toward the forest, popping down the double drop on the way. We jumped through a keyhole into the forest, then zoomed off on another gallop stretch. Up a hill we went, then down - over a ski ramp, and off again. We almost overshot the turn, but Bronzey scrambled back onto the track and flew over the corner brush. We continued in a steady gallop, popping easily up the double step, then round a corner again, over the last, and through the finish. I made sure to give Bronzey a big pat and let him know what a good boy he was! The chicken-horse-gone-eventer knew it all too well, and pranced around like a puffed up poodle while I tried to get off and untack him.

Bronze over number 6
Bronze over number 6

The times were very tight, and - though we were 3rd fastest in the class - we did pick up a few time penalties. Bronze finished 6th in the end, though it was so close that he'd have been second if only he'd jumped clear in the jumping or gone faster in the cross country. All the same, that clear cross country course qualified us for Intermediate - top junior grade - which we hope to start next year.

Bronze over the target
Bronze over the target

Finally, there was Badger's cross country. It started with one very nappy horse who flopped over the first jump, sulked, trotted grudgingly round the corner, then - with a convincing slap on his shoulder - set off on the course. Badger scuttled a little coming into the second jump, but we got over - and from there I managed to get him going. Once he got moving, Badger began to enjoy the course and became much easier to ride. He almost considered refusing the 6th jump, a little wooden house, but with some loud and rather impolite encouragement from myself, he trotted timidly over, then darted off on the other side. I made a big fuss of my good boy, then sent him off again. We flowed around the course - a little hesitance here and there, but mostly a good round for dearest Badger who was originally sold by his old owners because 'He could not event'. Well, for a horse who couldn't event, he certainly seemed to go well enough! When we finally leaped over the last and dashed through the finish, I was ecstatic. Badger was one very happy horse, and we sauntered cheerfully around the cool down arena, looking rather smug and proud of ourselves.

Badger ended up finishing second by just 3 penalties! Overall, it was a rather successful and highly enjoyable weekend that left all 3 of us very keen for our next event!

Bronze down the drop
Bronze down the drop

Horse News More In This Category:  Shows and Events      Horse News More From This Author:  Polo the Weirdo
Good Job!
  Oct 24, 2010  •  3,965 views
  Oct 24, 2010  •  3,541 views
Bronze looks great! Good little cross-country horse!
  Oct 24, 2010  •  3,556 views
Polo the Weirdo  MOD 
Thanks! :D He's an epic creature. :) Can't wait to get started on the bigger stuff! Haha!
  Oct 25, 2010  •  3,541 views
Rein or Shine  
Great pictures. :) I don't understand how you get such wonderful photos. :P
  Nov 8, 2010  •  3,560 views
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