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Victoria Bax - July's just desserts

July has been probably the best month is 2017 for me so far.  We appear to be well and truly on the up.  I mean it's not often you get 2 podium finishes in one weekend, plus a further 3 top ten placing another weekend!

It started with 7yr old Alberta's Rose returning to eventing and picking up where she left off and came back with a bang at her first event following her fall in the water back in May.

She produced a lovely dressage test and a double clear inside the time to finish 2nd, only to Caroline Powell in a strong BE 100 section today at Brightling Park.

Brightling Park had most definitely best ground  I think I have ever run on.

I had a quick turn around that night, returning home about 9pm to being out the door by 5.30am the following day with my new ride Icy Mission on our first event together in a few years and enroute to Great Witchingham.

The run up to the event hadn't quite been how I had planned it, having only sat on him 3 times since the last time I competed him a mere 2 years ago.  The main flat ground work had been done by his owner and loaner but I was the main one doing any jump training with him. Our xc schooling practise was a bit hairy to say the least, having not had the best time the last time Icy Mission was on a course with a different rider so I had quite a bit or confidence to rebuild!

However, there was nothing to worry about as we managed to lead the dressage with an unheard of for Icy Mission score of 27, then a spooky one rail show jumping and an even more spooky and hairy xc round which pushed my xc riding skills to the limit to somehow finish clear and inside the time.  This resulted in Icy Mission's first ever BE win and at our first event back together in 2 years with just 3 training session; now what does that tell you about how to train!

This amazing win resulted in 2 jugs of Pimms being drunk in company with his owner while we waiting for the prize giving!

The following week saw me attend my second BE coaching training day at Ely Eventing Centre.  It's certainly eye opening and giving me lots of food for thought as to how I can improve my coaching style and skills.  It's also very nice to know that an awful lot of what I do already is definitely along the right lines that the Coach Educators are looking for.  After a long day training however I had an evening longer evening working on my UKCC level 2 Porfolio.

Our next event was at Little Downham where I had 4 horses running; 2 on each day.  

First up was Jacqueline Adams-Hooker's lovely boy Icy Mission in the BE90 class, who produced another nice dressage to score 32, followed by a lovely double clear leaving him 5th.

My own gorgeously talented Alberta's Rose also ran on the first day in the BE100 open section and produced a great dressage test to score 26.8, then in my eyes produced a super dooper double clear, however a run in with a spooky photographer dressed in red waterproof clothing put pay to that and very sadly cost us the win, for which I was absolutely furious for.  

The photographer was standing so very close to one of the fences in the showjumping and as I approached, he raised up his camera he sadly caused Alberta's Rose to spook away from him and run straight past a fence.  I quickly circled and re approached to finish without further fault but sadly with the spook resulting in 4 faults and the time penalties added together we were pushed down to 6th.

Another quick turnaround after returning home about 9.30pm to then reload the lorry and plait up my Wonderboy to head out again at 6.30am the following day.  

Wonderboy did what he does best by scoring a 29.5 dressage to lead his section, followed by a fantastic double clear.  Sadly I appear to have left the handbrake on as we managed to notch up 10 time penalties, costing us yet another win and pushing us down to 8th.

Last to go was Amanda Gonella's talented but quirky Zippie.  Due to an injury he picked up over the winter and being rather a handful during his rehab and return to work, this was his first event of the year.  He produced a nice dressage for 26, then did his upmost to spice things up during the showjumping warmup.  Amazingly we managed a nice if not too keen showjumping round just rubbing one pole.  However, on the walk back to the lorry we noticed he had not only managed to lose a front shoe, but snap a hind shoe in half and stud himself in the coronet band!!!

Not wanting to risk further injury or infection we decided to withdraw him and save him for another day.

So, overall not a bad weekend eventing;

4 dressage tests ridden; 3 sub 30 scores,

4 showjumping rounds jumped; just 1 rail between them,

3 clear xc rounds jumped,

3 top ten placing earnt.

August continues to be another busy month, let's just hope it is just as successful.

Until next time...

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