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Laura's update Little Downham International Event

(May 22, 2012)

Little Downham International Event - Laura & Wizard - BE100open

After spending 4 hours scrubbing & plaiting the previous day we loaded Wizard up early Sunday Morning. It was grey skies and cold - I was really hoping for no rain.

It was a nice drive to the event and I felt a few pre event butterflies but was mainly so happy to finally be out.

Malcolm (my dressage trainer) was on hand to help me warm up - which was great as I have been having some issues with Wizard on the right side (had a top physio out to him). Despite this we did a lovely test but I was so surprised when Malcolm called me, he had just seen the score board and I was well in the lead with a 26.5! Wow, and I know there is more to come. The judges’ comments where "Lots to like, a lovely partnership" this was so nice to read. Also Wizard scored an 8 for paces and I scored an 8 for riding.

However there were still two phases to go and all to play for. Wizard was a really super star in the Show jumping. I completely saw a wrong stride into the first which made us wrong on the related distance down to the second - he helped me out both times. Thankfully I rode the rest of the course fine and Wizard was listening to me. We jumped a clear (Wizard first since 07!)

 

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All seemed to be going well. Although riding in the open section meant being amongst the professionals on horses with points so a few more top scores came through. It was down to the XC ...

There was lots of hype in the lorry park about the course being quite long and the time hard to get. This started to make me a little concerned about Wizards fitness. He had an easy few weeks trying to solve the issue on the right rein. I shouldn't have worried; Wizard was more than up for it pulling hard the whole way round. I generally think I felt him go "oh water?!" as we jumped out of the water complex - speedy boy. This did mean that on the turn home he found yet another 'up gear, despite my best efforts we jumped into a tricky combination of skinny fences on a curving line to fast. Wizard landed galloping; I stood no chance of getting us to the B element. Disappointed and Wizard still pulling I circled, we gained 20 penalties. Even after we crossed the finish we did a huge lap flat out and I thought we might be going around again! Wizard loved it but our chance of being placed where gone. It had been a costly blip and we should have been 3rd. Wizard wasn’t even out of breathe! All in all we finished happy, sound & had a lovely day out - fingers crossed for next time!

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