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Alexia's July Blog: Our first BE100!

Alexia and Felix in the water
Alexia and Felix en route to a clear XC

July has been another incredibly busy month, full of Pony Club area competitions and having our first go at a BE100!

July however, didn’t start how we would have liked with Felix getting bitten by some sort of nasty fly. This caused his leg to swell up and us having a bit of a worry and panic! Thankfully, after a quick visit from the vet, who put our worries at ease, we were ready for our first competitions of July- NSEA dressage and Area SJ. At NSEA dressage, we gave our first novice test a go, and I was so pleased with how Felix went, and as a result of the smart test we pulled off, we finished individually 4th and 2nd as a team. This means we are off to the NSEA Championships for dressage as well as SJ!

The next day we headed off bright and early to Trinity Park in Suffolk for Pony Club Novice Area SJ. It was a really hot day, so made sure we had ice and lots of water packed on board! In the warm up, I could feel that Felix wasn’t too keen on the hard ground, and wasn’t feeling as springy as he normally does. I needn’t worry though as when we got into the watered arena, Felix was back to his normal self and jumped clear in the first round. The course in the second round was well built and would be more challenging, but after a few tense rounds, Felix went clear and our team pulled it off to finish on zero. This meant we were into the jump off. I tried to go for it in the jump off which lead to 2 poles falling, but the others in our team all went clear so we stayed on zero! After a tense few hours, the final results were in and we were over the moon to find out we had won! Ever since going to the Pony Club Championships in 2015 for Horse and Pony Care, I have dreamt of riding there, and now my dream had come true!

A week later, we took the two and a half hour journey up to Gt.Witchingham, Norfolk for PC Novice Area eventing. After fish and chips, and a course walk on Saturday evening, I was very excited, as I knew Felix would fly the challenging XC. Despite the scorching heat, Felix was feeling really good in the dressage and pulled off a really nice test for an undeserving mark of 33. This left us 16th after dressage, which I was quite disappointed with, but was looking forward to tackling the jumping courses. In the SJ warm up, Felix decided to throw in some exuberant moves but jumped a lovely clear round. Onto XC. After popping one fence in the XC warm up, due to me having minimal control, Felix absolutely stormed around clear inside the time. We finished 4th in a very competitive section. Our team also did very well and came 3rd, very narrowly missing out on a qualifying spot!

The next weekend, we headed off to Little Downham for my first BE100. I walked the course the day before and the course was big, so I was feeling very nervous. Thankfully the amazing team at Little Downham, had been watering the ground for a month prior to the event, so the ground was perfect, which reassured me a little. The dressage test didn’t suit Felix at all as it required lots of bending, and suppleness in dressage is our weakest area, but he tried hard for a 34. Our showjumping round was one of our best yet, but we had the unluckiest pole at the last due to me riding a questionable line. Felix was jumping well, so I felt calm going into the XC. We flew around the course clear, with some time faults due to a hairy moment near the end of the course. I was using new stirrup leathers at this event, but just before the second water complex, the leather decided to fly off, so I had to continue with one stirrup. I won’t be using those stirrup leathers again- they certainly tested my stickablilty! We finished in the top 15 in a tough open section, so I couldn’t be more pleased.

A quick turn around and pony swap and we were heading into Pony Club camp for the week. I had borrowed a friend's gorgeous Cob, Oscar, as Felix needed a well-deserved rest! We had a really fun week of riding, team games, abstract fancy dress and assault courses with added pink paint and lots of friends. Oscar behaved impeccably and received a special award for being a super first timer at camp. I was very lucky to be able to ride him!

In August we have a quieter month, full of training, and we will be heading off to the Pony Club Championships and possibly tackling another event!

Until the next time…

Lexi x

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