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Ella's June Blog: What a Month!

Ella eventing
Ella going XC
Ella competing XC

I am hugely excited to be writing my first blog as the KBIS NSEA bursary winner for 2019! I can’t thank KBIS enough for this amazing opportunity and I am very much looking forward to working with such a prestigious company for the coming year.

June has definitely been a busy one, starting in the sunshine at Oldencraig for an NSEA national dressage qualifier. I had both horses competing and I was thrilled with a 3rd place in the prelim for Happy, a 5th in the novice for April, and 2nd in the novice for Happy, meaning Happy picked up a qualification for the NSEA national championships in October which is very exciting!

We then had a very busy weekend planned, with both horses having a jumping lesson on the Saturday, then Happy in our first BE100 at Berkshire College on Sunday. The lessons were very beneficial, April loved being back out over some bigger fences after her break and it made sure Happy was on top form for Berkshire College the day after! He was brilliant, pulling out a 29 dressage, annoyingly tapping the last fence show jumping, but he gave me a great feel round a very decent cross country which I was over the moon with!

After a busy weekend there was no time for a breather, with dressage lessons at 7.30 on the Tuesday morning before I headed off to college. I have been having dressage lessons from my instructor Melissa Beer since I was 12 and they are invaluable in helping me to get the best out of the horses on the flat. I had no idea what I was doing in the dressage when I first started eventing- I’ve still got a long way to go, but it's very rewarding to look back and see how far you’ve come!

We were then onto Rackham with Happy the weekend after. Unfortunately, the cross country was right next to the dressage- Happy knew what he’d rather be doing! This led to a VERY explosive dressage test, but he redeemed himself with two super jumping rounds, with an unlucky pole show jumping, followed by a super cross-country round inside the time, to leave us just outside the top ten. Ignoring the spirited dressage test, I was very pleased with this as we were definitely beginning to feel a lot more like a partnership, especially considering we’d only had him for just over a month!

We then headed up to Caroline Moore’s for a very intense couple of days training. I always love our trips up there as I get so much out of them- it makes the four-hour journey worth it! I learnt so much and am looking forward to our next trip up there!

Our Pony Club area dressage qualifier was up next, with both April and Happy competing in the intermediate. We were up against some very tough competition, but I was thrilled with both of their tests, with Happy gaining 79% and April managing a very impressive 82%, to finish 7th and 5th in a very competitive section, also helping the team to 4th. I was over the moon with this- it's great to see the hard work paying off, as only in September, I was struggling to get over 55% on April!

After some more dressage lessons during the week, we then headed to Brightling horse trials with both horses. Happy ran on Saturday, pulling out what I thought was a lovely test. Sadly, the judge didn’t agree but I guess that’s eventing for you! Despite the 30-degree heat, he jumped amazingly, with 4 faults show jumping and a lovely clear cross country. We arrived home at 9 o’clock on Saturday night, to get the lorry repacked, ready to leave at half past six the next morning with April who made her long-awaited eventing comeback and managed to pull out an 8th place in the novice despite not having evented for nearly three months! She did a nice test with a bit of understandable tension as she was very pleased to be back out, followed by an annoying pole show jumping and then a brilliant cross country clear round a very decent course. It was so good to have her back out again; she is so much fun to ride!

June has been amazing and having broken up from college, I am very excited for a long summer of playing ponies! We have lots planned for July, with plenty of training, Happy’s first BE100plus and both the eventing and show-jumping pony club areas to look forward to. I hope everyone has had an enjoyable month and I am looking forward to catching up with you in July!

Until next time,

Ella x

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