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Victoria Bax rounds off her eventing season!

Victoria Bax keeps us updated on the the end to her eventing season, as well as her plans for the winter...

"So my Eventing season has now finished, but sadly not on the high I had hoped for.

South of England CIC2* didn't quite go as planned.  Our dressage wasn't too bad and left us in 14th place overnight.  We stabled nearby the show ground at Lingfield Racecourse, however, the following morning our lorry decided it didn't want to start so there we sat waiting for recovery for about an hour. Fortunately I didn't run XC until lunchtime so I still had plenty of time, but still it did throw me a little.

We finally got to the show groundabout an hour and a half before my XC start time, which left me just about enough time to walk a couple of the fences again which I was a little concerned about, but not the whole course as I had originally planned to.

Sadly though things didn't bode well for us once we were on course.  We set off XC well and cleared the first water complex with ease, in fact so much so that Crysto was pulling and seemed to be enjoying himself a little too much.  Once the first water was out of the way I knew I had to push on a little, which I did.  However, Crysto took this to mean that he could completely take off with me and that he didn't have to listen anymore.  As we approached the second combination at fence 6, a fairly straight forward pheasant feeder with a skinny fence 3/4 strides after on a left curve, we were a little unbalanced and sadly Crysto hit the fence hard bringing us crashing to the ground again.  Fortunately this time we both jumped up fairly sharpish and aside from a couple of grazed knees on Crysto, we were both fine, albeit with a rather dented pride.

So that was the end of our final event of the season. I did contemplate trying to get a last minute run at Pulborough a couple of weeks later, but I wasn't convinced Crysto was 100% as he still had a slight swelling on one of his front legs.

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Crysto is now enjoying his holiday and once back in work, we will work on our showjumping over the winter and most probably get back out on a XC course sooner rather than later to ensure there is no loss of confidence on his part.  I am hoping that as we came back so well after our accident last year we can do it again.

A couple of days later I took Forrest showjumping in preparation for his final event of the season, but after the way he show jumped I felt that he was a bit tired and was telling me he had had enough and needed a rest, so that evening I made the decision to withdraw from his last event.  Forrest has completed his first season eventing very well earning a number of placings at both 90 and 100 level and having not had a XC fault all year either, I felt that he had more than done enough for this first season and there was no point going to another just for the sake of it and my goodness would I have cursed myself if something went wrong and I hadn't listened to him.

Fortunately I still had Reggie entered in another couple of events to finish my season.  I had a couple more great days out at Little Downham where we finished 7th place and the following week at Pulborough where we secured 6th place with another double clear.  His owner is absolutely over the moon and it has made his year seeing his horse back out eventing again after a fairly disastrous previous 18 months.  Hopefully our partnership will continue next season but lots can happen over the next 5 months so watch this space on that one!

Tilly and Milli my youngsters have been busy recently.  Milli has been out twice now with the hounds for some cubbing which she seemed to enjoy.  My reasoning behind this for her was that she is a little cautious and needs to learn to go forward more, I thought cubbing would help her with this and it certainly does, as in the arena already I am feeling a huge improvement. Tilly has also been out in the lorry for the first time since we picked her up from Ascot in June.  I loaded both Tilly and Milli up and took them to a nearby venue for their first experience in an indoor arena for a jumping lesson.  I was absolutely thrilled with the pair of them who behaved impeccably. I'm hoping to do some more hacking with them both over the winter to secure their confidence when out alone as once we eventually get on those XC courses next year they will need to be confident on their own, so lots of work to do there.

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Lastly, Popps has started her new career as a showjumper.  Since we listened to her and retired her from eventing earlier in the year, she has enjoyed a quiet time, but now as winter fast approaches and my event horses are enjoying their holidays, it is time for her to earn her keep.  She has been out twice so far and jumped 4 nice rounds, one of them being a double clear in a Newcomers class!  I plan to quickly move up to the 1.15m and Foxhunter classes for her and to use her as a tool to help my showjumping ability ready for next year.

Until next time..."