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Victoria and Crysto get their Advanced qualification

Great to chat to Nedz sponsored rider Victoria Bax after a couple of great days out eventing with her Exracehorses and having qualified Crysto for Advanced… 

“Our first adventure this last month lay up the M1 at Aston Le Walls, competing in another Intermediate section with Crysto following his pleasing run at Barbury International.”

“Crysto felt great, fully up for it and raring to go. He performed a lovely dressage test for a score of 31.4 and even the judge gave me a huge smile and a thumbs up at the end so I knew it was going to be a good one, it's certainly not often that happens! The showjumping however caused us a few problems, as for some unknown reason Crysto took a disliking to the Blenheim planks at fence 4! I'm not really sure what happened but he just didn't seem to take off and completely flattened the planks. This obviously upset him and my initial thought for a split second was to retire, but I am pleased I didn't as we actually managed to get things back together and finished the round with just one further rail down. So onto the cross country where Crysto stormed round a tricky course making it feel like a 90 class. We finished outside the placings but I am very pleased with the result as this had now completed our Advanced qualification, although I'm not sure when our debut at this level will be, you will just have to watch this space!”

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“Next up for us, we had to put our Eventing hats aside and concentrate fully on our dressage in order to get ourselves ready for the British Dressage Regional finals held at Keysoe. Crysto and I had previously qualified for the Medium Restricted class earlier in the year by obtaining a certain number of points within the given qualifying period. The day arrived and Crysto performed well in both the warm up test and the main test to score around 63% in both. I have to be honest, I felt like I was riding a pony compared to all the HUGE warmbloods we were up against in our class! Afterall Crysto is a 16.1hh thoroughbred Exracehorse so definitely not the norm at a Dressage Regional championship!”

“During the test he was obedient and accurate, but just wasn't able to pull out the big movements that the pure dressage horses could. Although remember he is an Event horse now and currently competing successfully at CIC2* level, soon to be 3*, so I wonder how many, if any of the other horses competing there were able to say that, but to be honest I wouldn't expect them to! We finished midway through the section so a pleasing day out.”

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“Next on the agenda was another BE100 for Forrest at Chilham Castle, which saw an early start for us, leaving the yard by 5am. Upon our arrival I went off to walk the cross country course and once done, tacked up and worked him in. Sadly it wasn't to be our day as Forrest just didn't seem himself. In hindsight I wonder if the recent spell of hot weather had played a part in how he felt and maybe I had done a little too much preparation leading up to it. The dressage test we did was average but definitely not in the league that Forrest usually performs. We moved onto the showjumping and again he didn't feel as confident or as keen as usual. We did complete our round, but then I made the decision to withdraw him from the cross country and save him for another day. I am seriously pleased that I did this as although the following day he appeared absolutely fine.”

“Our next event was Wellington a couple of weeks later, where thankfully Forrest was back to himself and performed a super dressage test for a score of 29.5 and feeling so different to how he did at Chilham. He went on to jump his best showjump round at this level for just one rail down and then stormed round the cross country inside the time to give us our first placing yet at this level. We received a lovely 5th Rosette and a nice little bit of prize money, good work Forrest and let's hope this is the first of many at this level before he moves up to Novice!”

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“Also competing at Wellington on the same day was Crysto, but in the intermediate class. He performed another safe test but sadly a pilot error gave us 2 penalties resulting in a score of 37.7. The showjump track although wasn't particularly big, was rather tricky with many related distances on tricky strides. This caused a few problems for some. Although Crysto jumped well he just managed to touch two rails which fell. I was seriously looking forward to the cross country course as it is a big, true galloping course which suits my boy down to the ground. Crysto absolutely ate up the course again making it feel easy and to be able to say that at Intermediate level is really something to be proud about I think. We stormed home with just a handful of time penalties but was sadly pipped just out of a rosette by just 0.4 penalties which equals just one second, or that blooming pilot error in the dressage test, grrrrrr! Still a great day was had and was now time to relax and enjoy a well earned break on our trip to Normandy to enjoy the World Equestrian Games.”