04 Apr Jenna Hastings
So I’m hugely behind as I’ve just been so busy. It’s going to be a long one so I’d get a cup of tea first!I’ve done the first services competition of the season – the UK Armed Forces Championships at Addington and it has been simply amazing. The boys were fantastic, the weather was brilliant and I placed in all my individual classes – it doesn’t get much better than that!
For Trusty it was his first stay away show. I’m really glad I took both boys up to Addington on the Friday night as it meant Trusty could settle in, see the sights and chill out overnight instead of arriving and having to take it all in whilst also competing. By Saturday morning he was far more chilled and happily munching away in his stable with all his new found friends.
On both days, I was doing 5 classes so it was very hectic but lots of fun; I had great support from my mum and dad on Saturday as well as Georgie and Hollie helping out too. On Sunday my mum and Georgie were with me again, alongside the Baxter clan so it was all hands on deck.
First up was Trusty in the Intro A class. The plan with him for the weekend was just to have fun and a good experience – there was no pressure on him to achieve anything other than finish the dressage tests and get round all the jumps! He was so chilled though and took everything in his stride.
In the Intro A, I was amazed to hear we had scored 72.2% – that plus 70 mark everyone dreams of. Trusty led the class almost all the way and was just pipped by 2 others to be placed 3rd. I was absolutely over the moon though, to score 70+ and be placed were not even in my wildest hopes for him this weekend.
He then moved on to the 70cm clear round and just rolled a pole towards the end when mother tried to argue with him and messed it up completely lol I was so proud though that he’d gone into a big arena with lots of banners, music and colourful fences and just popped round.
Moving onto Roly, this was his busy day – he had two dressage tests and a jumping round today. Annoyingly I had to do the Novice test before the Prelim but he worked well in both and came away with 68.8% in Novice 27 and 67.9% in Prelim 2. Both scores I was really pleased with and he placed 3rd in the Novice and 4th in the Prelim. Onto the jumping and we followed Georgie who had a fantastic clear round in the 75cm leg. Roly jumped his socks off and posted an awesome clear round in the 90cm leg- a great warm up for the next day. Sadly we didn’t place in the teams.
Moving onto Sunday and with how well we had done Saturday I had a little trepidation going into this day – could it all go out with a bang as we’d used all our luck on Saturday? Luckily, it was only going to get better.
Trusty was the busy one today with two dressage tests and one jumping. We started with the 70cm class and he posted a beautiful clear round and we even had a bit of a try at some inside turns. Well it paid off, he only went and won the class!!! We moved on to Intro C and the jammy dodger won that too with an amazing score of 76.3%! The plan for the Prelim 18 was just to go and school round and make sure we ended on a good note with this young man – well he surpassed expectation yet again and scored 75.4% putting him in 3rd place in a strong class. I was so over the moon with him, he was amazing.
Roly just had jumping classes today but he wasn’t wanting to be left out of anything. Two fantastic double clears from him and feeling a lot more mature when asked to move forwards for the jump off meant he placed 4th in the 90cm (which was a very big class) and 5th in the 1m.
I cannot believe both boys came away with a placing in every class they were in individually, who can ask for more than that. I don’t think I could stop smiling in my downtime and it got rather embarrassing the amount of trips I made to the secretary’s office to collect rosettes and prizes – even more so on Sunday when I left collecting everything to the end and it took several minutes to remember where exactly I had come in each class. Even the media officer was laughing about it all.
There’s no rest for the wicked and the following weekend I was off to Cherwell with both horses for some show jumping as rain stopped play for eventing at Swalcliffe with Roly.
Trusty moved up a level after a double clear and 3rd Place in the 75cm, Cherwell build pretty decent so it was more like jumping a British Novice in the 85cm class but he took to it like a pro, a couple of fences down but it was a long day and he just got a bit keen.
Roly sadly cut his leg on the box before his class so I withdrew and went home to save him for another day. Both boys have had almost a week off to enjoy themselves whilst I’ve had a short break of 4 days at Badminton which was equally amazing and was so inspiring seeing not only the top class 4* riders but also walking the Grassroots XC course and building a plan in my head for Trusty to start working towards qualifying for that.
Kudos if you made it to the end, I promise to not get so far behind again.