Victoria Bax - praise from Lucinda Green

My youngest Alberta's Pride has been busy over the last month, participating in a pure dressage competition which he absolutely nailed with a score of 69.5% to win, earning his very first red rosette, the first of many I hope!
He also completed a second one day event, this time at Isleham in Cambridge.  He produced another solid dressage test for a score of 30.3, then onto a lovely clear showjumping round.  The XC course caught us out at a tricky combination for this level which was a log positioned on the top of a mound, so a drop on landing, then 3 strides to the left to a skinny, which we simply sailed right by after launching over the log first!  Steering is rather a problem for us at the moment, however, a quick circle, we represented and cleared it second time round and completed the course.  One thing I was hugely pleased with during this round was our approach and undertaking of the two water complexes which we have previously been cautious of; not this time though as he just stormed straight in both; now that's progress!
The following week saw both Alberta's Pride and Alberta's Rose tackling a local Riding Club eventer trial.  This was Alberta's Pride's first 90cm class.  He jumped a lovely round of coloured fences first just tipping a couple of rails then stormed the Xc for a super brave round to set him up very nicely for his first 90cm one day event in a couple of weeks time.  Alberta's Rose had a bit of a fun run round the 90cm too for an easy double clear.
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A day out to Chilham Castle for Alberta's Rose and Crystal Ka was also on the cards, where Alberta's Rose produced another confident dressage test, then jumped her best show jump round todate and an educational run Xc followed.
Crystal Ka however, considering it was only supposed to be a fun run round the Open Novice due to the abandonment of his previous event, disgraced himself in both the dressage and the XC!  The only positive thing to come from the day was his showjump round, but that's horses and that's Eventing!
He did however go on to redeem himself a couple of weeks later at Aston le Walls in the Intermediate class where he produced a safe dressage test, a nice showjump round and a super easy clear XC and very nice it was too to get the first Intermediate run of the season out under our belt!
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Crystal Ka and I later went on to compete in our very first Advanced Intermediate at Rockinham Castle.  Again he was a bit of a devil in the warm up for his dressage test resulting in an explosion as I trotted towards my arena.  I'm not sure how but I did manage to contain him for a settled but tense test.  On my way out, I was stopped by none other than Lucinda Green telling me how she had just spent the last 6 minutes admiring how well I managed to contain him throughout the test considering what she saw him do on his way in!!!
A bit of a lengthy wait before my showjumping gave me a chance to walk the XC.  I absolutely love Rockingham Castle, it has such a big feel to the event and the course runs over the most beautiful ground so I was very keen to ride round. Sadly however, I was not very happy with the state of the ground.  I had not realised just how much rain had fallen in the run up to the event.  Apparently they were about half an hour away from abandoning the entire day on Sunday before the rain finally stopped; this sparked concerns for me because my boy is not good with deep ground as he really does have tiny hooves and little legs which do sink in rather too much.  He much prefers running across firmer ground and because of his age and level of experience he is I decided not to risk running him for fear of injury.  After all it was an Intermediate level XC course so my aim for the day was to complete the advanced dressage and showjumping. So after deciding not to run XC I focused my efforts on my showjump round instead.  Again because of all the rain the showjump arena was pretty cut up but fortunately as ours was a new class the ground crew moved all the fences a little to the left to give us fresh ground to jump on which made all the difference.  The course was huge and pretty technical with short and long distances including dog leg lines etc so I was very pleased to actually get an advanced showjump round under our belt albeit with a couple of rails due to me getting a little bit of an adrenaline rush down the treble!
Until next time...