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Charlotte's Blog: Long trips and busy schedules!

Charlotte and Bam at Wellington
Charlotte at Port Royal

Since my last blog we made the very LONG trip to Wellington for the Para Gold Semi-finals at the beginning of June.  It is the most amazing venue when you get there but the last hour and a half of our journey really did seem to take a life time!  On the first day we had a warm up test which was a good opportunity to get them both in the main arena. Bam did a lovely accurate test and finished second. I perhaps should have gone for a bit more but it is always nice to get a good safe test in the bag on the first day. Having been completely calm in the arena walk the night before Red came into the warm up a little tense should we say! The warm up arena is right next to the riding school and there was quite a lot going on – I also had announced that I was going to remove my beloved neck strap for this show to look the part more! Not sure why I valued vanity over security but we do make these decisions sometimes! Anyway, after 20 minutes of thinking everyone was trying to get him he settled and behaved very well, albeit a little tired, in his test. I think he’d used all his energy in the warm up. So Championship day came the following day, Bam went in and did a super test (apart from one movement), I was really thrilled with him, 99% of the test felt really lovely but unfortunately just before one of the simple changes we broke into trot which cost us our first 70% in a championship, BUT he still got a great 69%+. It is sometimes good when this happens as it reminds us to never relax and think ‘it will just happen’, you have to really ride every movement for a 10. Then it was Red’s turn. All of the excitement of the day before had gone, he acted like there had never been an issue and did a really nice relaxed test. Yes there could have been more umph but at this stage he did absolutely everything I could have asked for. My amazing two boys therefore finished 2nd and 3rd meaning that they are now both qualified for the Summer Para National Championships at Stoneleigh in September.

After Wellington we had a couple of days at Bramham horse trials catching up with some fabulous friends and sponsors. The KBIS stand and XC fence looked great in the sunshine and it was also really nice to put some faces to names to some more of the KBIS team.

My life seems to mainly consist of calculating points for qualification deadlines and scheduling which completions we need to go to/can go to in order to get enough points! Just as you get the summer qualifications done your on to the winters, then factor in that I try to campaign both horses in able bodied championships as well – it all leads for a busy schedule! Oh and while trying to hold down a ‘normal’ office job as well!  I will talk more about my job in another blog – that is a whole other subject!

So you can imagine my delight when I saw in the calendar two very local venues hosting winter para qualifiers…in June! Brilliant, get the points in the bag early without travelling four hours to do it. So off we went to Bishop Burton- what a day…both boys posted 71% plus scores with Red narrowly coming out on top. I really couldn’t have been happier with both of them, driving home that afternoon I was full of pride for them. It is amazing the feeling when you have days like that, they are to be savoured as there is always a bad day waiting for you not far around the corner!

The second of the two local qualifiers was at Port Royal’s BD Northern Championship Show. Bam stayed at home that day so Red went alone and came back as The Grade 5 overall champion. It was a fabulous event put on by the Northern region BD committee; there were championships at all able bodied levels, Para and youth classes - A great initiative that was enjoyed by all.

My last bit of competition update – yesterday Red went off to do his first advanced medium classes to try and get some last minute scores for the Area Festivals. The way the deadlines worked out and with our early July schedule very busy already I literally had one shot to get the scores…So you can imagine my delight when I realised that the lorry was booked in for its test that day and it absolutely could not be changed. Brilliant.

To the rescue came a great friend and supporter to VERY kindly lent us their lorry so we could get there.  A 4:30am alarm, (it felt like we were eventing again getting up at that hour!) and we were on our way.  To qualify for the first round of the finals we just had to get 2 x 60% scores. I know it doesn’t sound a lot but this was our first attempt at this level and we have not been working on the flying changes at all. Well the little superstar pulled a 67% and a 68% even with a pilot navigation error from yours truly! I was delighted.

I am sorry this is a lot of completion updates but June has been quite busy, and July is set to be even busier…

Next week we head to Hartpury CPEDI3*** International with both horses. This event is the final trial for the World Equestrian Games later in the year in the USA so competitions will be hot. Best hooves forwards boys!  I will be doing at KBIS takeover on social media for the week so I will do my best to keep you updated with everything that goes on – good and bad!

Later in July we also have the able bodied Summer Regional Championships, Red at medium level and Bam at PSG level, and then finally Bishop Burton CPEDI3*** International.

I hope that in my next blog I can tell you that these shows have gone really well – but as we all know, horses are horses not machines – but one thing is for sure, me and the boys will do our best!

Charlotte, Bam and Red xxx

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