27 - 28 July Eventing Show - Part Two
 By Polo the Weirdo   •   15th Aug 2013   •   8,532 views   •   0 comments
July Eventing Show

The next day was what we’d all been waiting for: Cross country. As a 90cm entry, Finola was first to go, and with air-cooled eventing boots on her legs and the rubber Pelham in her mouth, she warmed up like a spring-loaded jack in the box, ready to burst out onto the course at any moment. When our number was called, we approached the start, and Finola stood beautifully while the starter counted us down from five. The moment he said ‘Go’, we shot through the start, and from that moment on, it was smooth sailing. She took every jump in her stride, never batting an eye, and flew down the gallop stretches without bolting or tugging for once. She breezed through the finish thirty seconds under the time, barely sweating, and with a perfect clear round under her belt. After a clear round in the showjumping that afternoon, this secured Finola a fourth place in the event, and the first of her two qualifying rounds needed to move up to 1m eventing.

Related Article: From square one - The full story of Finola
Related Article: Finola - The Legend Goes On

For Pride’s cross country, I’ll admit, I expected to have a challenging ride on my hands. Though she is an honest and talented horse, Pride is still green to eventing, and there are times when her confidence isn’t one hundred percent. With her spooking at all the horses in the warm up arena and practically leaping from one end to the other every time one came near her, I expected this to be one of those times.

July Eventing Show

She walked nervously up to the start, and – worried that she’d plant herself and freeze if I halted her, as she tends to do – I kept her walking as long as possible, until at last the starter counted me down from five. I halted Pride for just a moment in the box, and when the countdown ended and my timer started, I gave her a kick, intending to send her off into a good, strong gallop in the hope that, somehow, we’d make it inside the time, despite Pride’s tendency to creep slowly and timidly around a cross country course. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite get the strong start that I wanted, because Pride decided to take that very moment to empty her bowels right in the middle of the starting box. She was absolutely adamant not to budge an inch, so I was left to laugh with the starter for a good five seconds, until Pride was finally ready to move off. Then, better late than never, I sent her cruising up to the first jump, ready for her to back off at any moment. But much to my surprise, Pride did nothing of the sort. Either our training had paid off, or she was just feeling particularly fresh after a jolly good poo in the starting box, but whatever it was, Pride was in the zone. She flew over every jump confidently and in good style, and although I had to chase her to keep up a good, forward gallop on the straights, we still managed to make it fifteen seconds inside the time, which I consider to be something of a miracle, given Pride’s self-induced poo handicap.

Coming out of the cross country with a good, strong clear – Pride moved into first place to take the win when the leading horse came out of the country with a time penalty. With a win in her second event, I feel that Pride is setting herself up for a good, successful future as an event horse.

I look forward to seeing where these talented mares can go in the future. Hopefully our next event goes as well as this one did.

July Eventing Show

July Eventing Show
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