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Ella's September Blog - Back to School!

September has definitely been a sharp bump back to reality after a fantastic summer with the start of my dreaded A level year! However, we’ve still managed to squeeze in plenty of competing and training with plenty to look forwards to over the coming months.

With me still off games after dislocating my shoulder at the end of August, September had a quieter start. We did however have a very enjoyable trip up to Burghley on cross country day. It was amazing to see combinations I’d admired on the television in real life and is something to dream about for the future- you never know what hard work can do!

On the 11th of September, I had a lesson with Caroline Moore on both horses. It was the first time I’d jumped since my tumble so it was great to get going again, even if Happy did deck me twice in the first five minutes because it was just too much fun! It was great to sharpen us all up again and the horses were feeling brilliant after an impromptu break!

We then headed to Petley Wood NSEA Jumping With Style where both horses jumped brilliantly, with April finishing 4th in the 1m and 3rd in the 1.10m qualifying for the NSEA Championships in both which is very exciting. Happy had an unlucky pole in the 1m but finished 5th in the 1.10m which I was thrilled with and very much enjoyed being back out competing!

The next weekend we went to BCA NSEA, where Happy had his first crack at an elementary dressage test. Despite some very scary donkeys in one corner of the arena, I was very pleased with 64% and 3rd- we’ve still got plenty to work on on the flat but it was great to feel the progress we’re making and how he coped with a trickier test. April did a very sweet test in the novice for 68% and 8th in a very competitive section. They both jumped in the 1.10m, unfortunately going a little green for a couple of poles each, having not competed indoors since last winter but will be all the better for their next indoor outing!

Happy had a very busy weekend and on the Monday I was lucky enough to watch Ros Canter ride him in the BHS training convention at Merrist Wood. This was an amazing experience for both Happy and myself with plenty learnt on both accounts- I think Happy has a fan club now!

To finish off September, we headed to South of England Horse Trials and after a week of praying the rain held off, it was great to be able to run April on Saturday. She enjoyed a confident, fun run around the 100U18 to finish on her dressage score of 35 in 9th place. It was great to have her feeling so good and I’m looking forwards to stepping her back up to novice! Happy was competing in the ONU18 which did dressage on Saturday. Happy found this very exciting and despite squealing most of the way round his test he managed a very respectable 34 in a harshly marked section. Unfortunately, the rain came down on Saturday night and with the competition unfortunately abandoned we were unable to jump on Sunday which was a real shame as the courses were looking fantastic. We did reroute to Felbridge NSEA show jumping on Sunday afternoon where he jumped a clear in the 1m for 5th and rolled an unlucky pole in the 1.10m to also finish 5th.

I was also thrilled to receive the news that I had been awarded the Kate and Eloise Bursary by the Pony Club, kindly donated by Mrs Celia Plunkett in memory of her two daughters who sadly lost their battles with cancer. This bursary is normally awarded to winners of the PC110 eventing sections at the Pony Club Championships but after it’s sad cancellation was thrilled to be one of five people nationally who have been awarded this as a result of success at area competitions. I am very much looking forwards to a weekend of training with Gill Watson over the Easter holidays- will definitely be keeping you updated as to how we get on!

September definitely been a bit of a shock getting back to balancing the demands of schoolwork and horses again, however, there has been plenty to be proud of and I’m looking forwards to our last couple of events next month to finish off the season as well as the NSEA Championships - it’s going to be busy!

Until next time,

Ella x

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