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Pippa's First Blog: An Eventful Month!

Well…what a month - I have had so much fun these past few weeks and tried to compete and attend training as much as possible as well as making sure Tilly is kept fit and ready for the Eventing Season.

I can’t believe it was only a month ago but I have updated the felt colour under my pony club badge to green as I passed my C test. It paid off to memorise the rules of feeding, signs of a healthy horse, field management etc.  

As a member of the Fitzwilliam Pony Club, my aim this year is to be in the area teams for show jumping, eventing and tetrathlon. We are therefore ramping up training sessions, which includes running, swimming and shooting for me and are out competing regularly. Now let me give you a flavour of what I’ve been up to with my pony, Tilly, in the last month.

Wet weather meant our first one-day event for this year was cancelled but we quickly changed plans and ventured down to Laughton Manor for some show jumping. I was second in the 75cm only missing the red rosette by half a second. I think we had the half second curse as in the 85cm, driven by my sister wanting to beat me, we jumped another fabulous clear round but my sister beat me by half a second. She might be older but I still like to beat her!!

The next week we attended a show jumping training session after school with Milla Lanni and then on a sweltering hot day, travelled to Glebe Farm for a couple fun rounds of show jumping. In true Tilly style, we flew over all of the jumps to secure a 4th place in the 80cm and WIN the 90cm! The training with Milla paid off!

On the following weekend, we attended event training after school with Tricia Price and focussed on turns, jumping lines and skinnies – we even jumped two upright big barrels next to each other – I’m hoping we won’t get anything that skinny on a cross-country course though! 

I was super excited for our first one-day event this year at the weekend at Aston Le Walls but it was only our second time out on grass because of the wet weather. I had a near miss with the dressage as my Mum originally handed me the 2018version instead of the 2016 – doing the wrong dressage test would not have been a good start!! We thoroughly enjoyed all three phases although had a very average dressage test – this is always going to be work in progress - a clear round showjumping, and one very frustrating run out in cross country due to going too fast. I was so cross with myself but hopefully, this will spur me on to do better next time at the Cottesmore Pony Club one day event at the beginning of June. 

On Saturday, Tilly and I competed at Rockingham International Horse Trials. Not in the actual horse trials(although this is my aim in a few years’ time) but in the very competitive Pony Club team show jumping. Tilly had a pole down in the 80cm class– Mum said it was my fault due to a bad turn into the jump – looking at the video I think she might be right – how annoying! In the 90cm, I was the last to jump in our team and as one team member had retired, my score had to count. Tilly grew wings and our team did really well ending up with three clears in the first round. The fences were raised to 95cm in the jump off. This was the biggest course yet for Tilly and me. As we entered the ring I felt the pressure as again I was the last rider in our now team of three. Ed was clear but my sister had two poles down. The man on the loudspeaker didn’t help steady my nerves saying how tight the competition was and “…no pressure on the last rider!” What a feeling, Tilly was amazing and clear. I couldn’t believe it. Our team was third and this was an amazing result for us and it was so much fun to be part of a team. We’re still on a high! 

I absolutely love everything I do with Tilly but my life isn’t all ponies. I really enjoy other sports, in particular, hockey and athletics which I represent my school in. Last Thursday, I took part in the 1500m but fell over just after the start of the race hurting my hands, knees, and getting a massive cut on my arm! It really hurt but I carried on and came 3rd. I’m hoping this was good practice for next weeks’ pony club tetrathlon competition when I will run, swim, shoot and ride a cross-country course which includes a gate (not Tilly’s strong point!) and a slip rail.  Oh yes, I’ve also had school exams all week so had to do some revision. Roll on half term!

I hope that gives you a bit of an idea of what I’ve been up to in the last month. Until hopefully next time...?!

Good luck to all who have events coming up!

Pippa x

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