Zeitgeist “Jerry” and I completed our first 1* together which although not with a qualifying round was a very positive start to FEI competition, especially as this time last year we were doing BE100 plus.
FRIDAY: Jerry did a very respectable dressage test , which had a few errors on my part (like not half halting before the canter transition at A and ending up with the transition in the corner!) and a new naughties on his part (like jogging once in each walk element and not really feeling the rein back..) However despite the 4/5 mistakes we still achieved a reasonable score of 65 so this was very positive for the future as without the mistakes we would have been well into the mid to early 50’s.
DRESSAGE SCORE INFO :For those of you unfamiliar, in national competition 50% equates to a mark of 50 penalties and then runs in reverse penalties, so a 35 penalty score is then 65% which was our last event score at Intermediate test level. In FEI or International competition scores of 50% equate to a penalty score of 75. So our score of 65 was well inside the qualifying mark ( 75 which is 50%) . So based on our national marks we should be able to achieve a score of about 53-58 without errors which actually most likely would have been achieved without our mistakes. So we have all to ride for next time.
SUNDAY AM: At 9.30am Jerry jumped a mega tidy SJ round which very very unfotunately left us with 4 penalties to ad, he tapped the 9th fence which was on a tight distance to fence 10 so i probably should have made sure we cleared fence 9 first before worrying about setting up for fence 10, Jerry is very adjustable between the fences now so i could have made up the difference easily however we learn from our mistakes, it was just a big wide square fence and easy to just tap the hind rail on landing if not moving forward enough, however we did clear the last so went into XC on a score of 69 which was certainly a personal best for me as Rags did tend to be on the 70’s scale for dressage and usually had a few rails in the SJ with his eager excitement to get XC ! (Rags final event in 2012 was the CIC1* at Gatcombe where he got a 75.6 dressage !!! But made up for it with just 1 pole down sj and a superb xc clear with just 4 time faults…Sadly that was to be his final event but at age 19 he really did prove his weight in gold)…
Unfortunately although he was superb for the first and very complicated bit XC it was not to be a Qualifying round , we had to wait until the mid afternoon for the XC and for some reason Jerry was running out of fuel coming into the water fence and made heavy work of the first element so i had to pull him out to the side as we were not going to make the distance into the log drop into water, i don’t think either of us fancied a swim in front of the crowds on the mound. Very unlike Jerry for me to have to kick him so walked him around for a few secs whilst the put the flag on the skinny which we had knocked off whilst jumping it. It was a very tricky water fence to represent at with no alternative so we had to come in at a very tight angle , wiggling round the back of the skinny, jerry was super and just popped into the water and more excitingly went straight up into canter through the water and flew the fence coming out (which is where we have had a few problems this year moving up to intermediate). He went on an finished nicely so just a very annoying 20 penalties with a clear jumping round as far as he was concerned !! But hey not bad for a first attempt 🙂 Such a dude
XC Training NOTE: Jerry had been liking to drop into water and then trot through which had meant he became very unbalanced and couldn’t get enough impulsion to move forward over skinnies out of the water so we have really worked on his cantering through water, at first he was really freaked out with the splashes but with the help of the super water complex at Boomerang we have been able to really get him confidence galloping through water and carrying on after a fence in and out in canter.. So now we land and i really ride him forward which means he will usually reach the skinny coming out on the correct stride.