Hello everyone! This month has been the last one of my KBIS bursary and it has been a fantastic experience. I highly recommend anyone who fits one of the age categories to enter the competition.
This month, we have been out and about and even stayed overnight in our new lorry! Very exciting!
At the start of the month, we competed at Wittering Arena in an Arena Eventing competition. We were in the 90cm and 100cm classes. It was not our best day as in the 90cm we had a pole down and in the 100cm we had numerous poles down due to being very fast and flattening over the jumps. This proved that we needed some jumping practice after too much cross country as we needed to get back into shape before Royal Windsor Horse Show in May. My sister and I had a great lesson with Milla Lanni to get me sitting up more and Phyllis back on her hocks.
In April, I managed to get two tetrathlon competitions in at the Barlow and Newmarket Pony Clubs. I am a junior girl and need to shoot at a target, run 1500m and swim for three minutes. The next day, we get to ride around a cross country course with a gate and a slip rail – 90cm for me. This is my first year shooting one handed so there’s much room for improvement in the shooting section but hopefully, with a new gun and more practice, I will be better in the next competition at the Cottesmore pony club at the end of May. The cross country was great though, just a few time faults – note to self to go faster next time! My sister’s pony, was off due to an injury so Lucy rode Phyllis is the same class as me so Phyllis only had a ten-minute break and was back out on the course with Lucy who had only ever ridden her once before for barely five minutes. Still, she went round with another clear ( bar some faults for the gate as it kept blowing open). If she didn’t go clear I’m not sure Lucy would have forgiven me!!
In April, we upped our dressage lessons with Anna Koch to try and get a half reasonable test at The NSEA One Day Event at Epworth. As it was an early dressage time with no time afterwards to walk the cross country course we decided to go the night before and stay over with the other member in our team – that was great fun and our first overnight in our lorry. In the dressage, we weren’t exactly Valegro and Charlotte Dujardin! It was all going quite well in the warm-up but in the arena it was very rushed and Phyllis was a bit spooky meaning we landed with a score of 47.0. This is work in progress!
In the showjumping we had a clear round which I was so pleased with. The whole team ended on clear rounds in the show jumping so we were very happy. In the cross country I would have been a very fast clear round but I got lost on the course twice! Meaning I did two massive loops (not crossing my tracks) where I galloped in between to make up time. In the end, I only had two time penalties for being too slow due to getting lost! Another note to self – more focus needed when I walk the cross country course.
During the Easter Holidays, we also took part in cross country training at Milton Keynes Eventing Centre. The array of jumps there is very impressive and practising around them was very useful. It also was my mum’s 50th birthday! Phyllis jumped most of the jumps cleanly (and fast!).
Just before Easter, we travelled 2 hours to go see my old pony Tilly at her not so new home. Tilly was the pony I won the KBIS Bursary with and it was fantastic seeing her and we went for a ride which was so fun and it felt so good and natural to be back on her again. I love Tilly so it was hard saying goodbye but I know she’s in good hands and will be fabulous for Evie.
At the beginning of May, we competed in the 95cm and 100cm show jumping at Arena UK. I was clear and 7th in the 95cm so qualified for the NSEA Plate Championship in October but had a pole in the 105cm.
Our big highlight in May, however, was competing at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. We qualified as a Kimbolton School team and all I can say is what an amazing experience!
We stayed at friends the night before so we had plenty of time the following morning. Which was just as well as all lorries had to be towed in. We had time to look round the show in the morning and watched some jumping in the main arena, the pony club mounted games and the Shetland pony grand national. When walking the course for my class I was a bit indecisive about what to do at the two doubles as both were strided for horses – I decided to let Phyllis sort it out – she did at the first double but had a pole at the second one.
I’ve never jumped in front of such a big audience which included Phyllis’s owners and my grandparents. Usually, it’s only Mum who claps at the end of a round. So even though we had three poles in the second half we still got very enthusiastic applause from the audience! We must try to qualify again next year!
Another big highlight, was winning the Rockingham Pony Club Showjumping with the rest of our team! Rockingham is a massive event and a large number of pony clubs enter teams. Competing in the 90cm category, we were clear in the first round which was incredible as it meant we were in the top six teams for the jump off! I was so happy when I jumped clear as I was the last in our team and I felt a bit of pressure as two others in our team had gone clear. In the jump off I, unfortunately, had a pole down in the last double due to the striding and the undulating ground. Our team ended on 4 faults overall and as a lot of people had poles down and we won! It was such an amazing feeling and we even won a Spillers bag with a water bottle, treats, a bag of celebrations and a discount off our next order as well as a big blue rosette and a sash!
As this is my last blog, I would like to take this opportunity to thank KBIS for the amazing bursary they had very kindly gave me. The experience was incredible and the extra training I have had with the money and with Georgie Strang has been fantastic. Thank you very much, KBIS, in particular to Emma. I have loved wearing the clothes and using the rug.
If you fit in one of the age groups I highly recommend entering as the support is amazing. It has been a great opportunity and a little insight into what it is like to be a sponsored rider!
Thank you and good luck to everyone with competitions!
Pippa and Phyllis! x
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