Victoria Bax - June is feeling good!

The month of June 2018 appears to have been rather a successful one for me;  long may it continue!

First on the agenda was the Area 8 Riding Club Horse Trials Qualifiers being held at Little Downham, where Alberta’s Rose was anchor lady in the Billericay & District Riding Club 100+ Team this year.  

She certainly managed to impress the dressage judge by producing an accurate test resulting in a score of 27 (73%) which led the field by 5 marks!

We followed this with a super easy double clear and inside the time to comfortably win the class.  As a result of this win it means we have once again qualified for the Riding Club National Horse Trials Championships later in the year.  She qualified for this in the 100 class two years ago but we were unable to compete at the Championships due to one reason or the other, so this year we hope to although I am slightly concerned as every equestrian currently is regarding the serious lack of rain we have had and the huge impact this is making to the ground.  Meaning ground preparation teams are having to work incredibly hard to provide suitable ground at the events to run on.

I am pretty lucky in that my thoroughbreds are very light weight and happily skip across the firmer ground, whereas heavy horses are struggling a bit.   

The following week Alberta’s Pride was due to run at Stratford Hills, my most local event which I like to support if I can.  However the day before we headed off for a dressage lesson which was sadly cut short as 10 minutes into the lesson he pulled up lame.

Therefore, there was only one thing to do and that was to substitute in Alberta’s Rose in for an extra run.  In the meantime I was keeping everything crossed it is nothing serious and he has just jarred himself being a bit silly.

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Sadly it turned out to be our greatest day on paper as the dressage judge did not agree with the standard of our work, which is very unusual for Alberta’s Rose as she has a lot of presence and works correctly.  However, that left us scoring only 35.8 penalties, for what I felt was a nice test as usual, so it was hugely disappointing and certainly don’t think we deserved that, considering we consistently produce tests in the 20’s.  With that behind us we jumped a double clear; I would say an easy one but out of no where Alberta’s Rose decided she didn’t fancy the start box at this event and reversed quickly back to the warmup arena as the starter counted me down, “3, 2, 1, Go!”

I have no idea what caused this as it’s not something she has ever down before.  After what seemed like forever, but was at least 20/25 seconds I managed to persuade her to go in it and off we went! You can imagine where my adrenaline levels were by then!  

Needless to say we jumped probably the best cross country round we ever had as I was so positive trying to make up the lost time! I managed to finish just 10 seconds over the time after all, which obviously added on unnecessary time penalties resulting in us finishing out of the placing this time.

Following this weekend I turned my attention back to Alberta’s  Pride to try and work out why he was lame.  Thankfully I found a newly forming splint on the outside of his left foreleg.  I say thankfully as usually once the splint has formed they are not too much to worry about so I was pleased to see if was that and nothing more serious!  

This did mean however he needed a couple of weeks of quiet work and a treatment plan on the Arc Equine unit, combined with using my Aloeride supplement which includes an anti inflammatory property in it which would obviously help.

I was also slightly concerned as to how he actually did this as usually a splint forms on the inside of the leg rather than the outside, however they can form on the outside but generally as a result of an high impact.  So whether he knocked himself in the field that morning or maybe in the lorry on the way to my dressage lesson, I will never know but at least I can deal with it now that I do! With this splint forming and the current state of the hard ground, he will sadly not be out Eventing anytime soon.

Lastly this month saw another trip out for Alberta’s Rose to Brightling Park.  This is one of my favourite events as it is round a big hilly galloping track which suits my thoroughbreds well. Brightling Park also seems to be quite a good place for me too, having finished 2nd here last year, so the pressure was definitely on to produce a better result!

Well this I need not have worried about even in the hot weather, as Alberta’s Rose pulled out a super dressage to test to lead the field on 21.8 (78.2) penalties.  We the jumped a super easy double clear, well inside the time and with no start box issues, to win the section.  This was absolutely amazing but not only did we win, but we won in excellent style and by 13 penalties, as 2nd place finished on 34.7!

This surely has to be some kind of record which I seriously can’t see me doing again anytime soon!

I only hope that we haven’t peaked too soon this year and we have some more great results as there is plenty more to do yet, including the next stop for Alberta’s Rose, a step up to Novice again in a few weeks time, so please keep your fingers crossed we manage this well.

Until next time...

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