Victoria Bax gets out on the cross country course finally


Victoria Bax is getting ready for her season to begin…

“Thankfully it seems the weather is finally looking up; the sun is to starting to shine, the fields are drying up and the horses have finally been turned out again. Does this mean spring is on the way, I certainly hope so?” “Training never stopped because of the rain so it meant we were full steam ahead for the British Dressage Regional Finals at Patchetts Equestrian Centre with Crysto. Crysto had qualified for both the Novice Open class and the Elementary Restricted class so I had two tests to prepare for and typically on separate days too so it meant two round trips there and back for just one dressage test on each day, making it an expensive but hopefully worthwhile trip.”

“We had particularly late times for the Novice day which sadly didn't quite go to plan as although Crysto settled well in the warm up, moving into the main arena didn't go down too well and he found there were far too many distractions to perform a relaxed dressage test, so no placings were earnt that day.” 

“The second visit saw us leaving home at 5.30am for an 8.52am test, which this time, having given Crysto a herbal calmer to try to relax him a little, he managed to perform a better test, although still not to the standard which he is capable of but this was good enough to see us finish in 4th place on a score of 66.52% out a very good standard class, which I was fairly happy with considering. Sadly only the top two qualified for the Winter National Championships but still a good result for a little old Exracehorse at a Dressage Championships!”

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“Following that outing Crysto was entered for two more Medium dressage tests the following week where he performed superbly in both tests to win the first on a new PB for this level of 67.07% and then finished second in the qualifying class with a good score of 63.38%, just 0.2% below the winner. These results have left us with just 3 more points to obtain at this level before we are qualified for the Summer Medium Regionals, which has to be our next aim now I reckon!”

“Finally I have managed to get back out on a cross country course with all three of my team, and I say three because sadly I have now sold my super dressage horse Salto, as he simply didn't want to go eventing and I did! This has now freed up my time a little so I can concentrate on backing/ breaking my rising 3 year old Frankie this year.”

“Forrest went out first to Poplar Park in Suffolk for a play round the cross country course. He was on fire, and came out as bold and if not even braver than he finished last year, which leaves me feeling very excited for his first full season Eventing. He will be going out at least another couple of times cross country before his first planned event which is the 90 class at Aston le Wells at the beginning of April.”

“Popps and Crysto have been out too but at Ely Eventing Centre as there are more fences and combinations for them to encounter. Popps started the day off and I don't think had a look at anything I pointed her at but simply just took it on including a couple of Novice level combinations, namely of a BIG coffin and a water. Popps has certainly not jumped anything of that size or difficulty to date so fingers crossed this bodes well for her planned move up to Novice level at the second event of the year at Goring Heath and then all being well she will be aimed at the Retraining of Racehorse Championships at Barbury International in early July.”

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“Crysto felt absolutely amazing and completely back to his pre accident self. Again he was bold and very brave just like the Crysto I always knew him to be. He stormed around the schooling fields jumping every combination and fence I asked him to. He has not jumped back up at this sort of height or difficulty since April last year when we encountered our accident, so this was an extremely confident boosting day. Crysto is entered for a couple of Open Novice events before taking the step back up to Intermediate in early April with the aim of completing the CIC2* at Barbury International on early July.”

“In the meantime, two days of jump training have ensued to make sure all three of my team are in tip top condition, fit and ready for the season ahead. Good luck to everyone for the coming year and don't forget to look out for us at events and be sure to pop over and say Hi!”