Bramham 10th September 2016
Here we are at our 2nd 3day of the season. Bramham is always a huge challenge with its electric atmosphere and tough cross country course. Zagreb and Redpath Ransom were very fit and raring to take on the task.
With Bramham hosting one of ‘Event Riders Masters’ legs the main arena was full of camera stands as well as all of the usual decoration. We knew this was going to be a lot for the horses to take in when they entered the ring for the first time, especially with the atmosphere from the large crowds of spectators that Bramham always attracts.
Redpath Ransom struggled to relax in the dressage and although we performed an accurate test, he was tense throughout. We weren’t the only ones but it did mean we were on a score of 60.1. We have decided that we will register ourselves British Dressage and compete at some of the bigger venues so to get more mileage with the dressage in between events. Hopefully this will improve his coping strategies during the test.
Zagreb also picked up on the atmosphere and decided the little gaps in the arena boards were very scary and did put in a couple of spooks. He performed some really lovely elements in what must be the most electric environment he has experienced..We went forward with a score of 51.8.
On the Friday I gave Zagreb a little jump in the afternoon and he didn’t feel quite right. It was with huge disappointment that we decided to withdraw him from the rest of the competition. He didn’t need the qualification and we thought that it was best to save him for an Autumn 4*. Bramham is not a course to tackle if you are unsure of your horses fitness and well being. It’s a difficult decision, especially when you are a competitive person like my self, but the horses well being is paramount.
The cross country had more of a 3 and a half star feel about it. The fences are always big and the terrain demanding and this course had several very challenging combinations. It was going to take a brave and genuine horse to continue to jump its way around the course and stay positive.
I’ve had Redpath Ransom from the beginning of his career and I trust him implicitly, but this was definitely going to push us to our limits. We set of from the start box in a steady rhythm so we could settle in to the course, and I wanted to make sure he had time to make good jumps over the beginning of the track. He soon picked up the pace and grew in confidence with every stride. Although he is relatively inexperienced, he has a very thoughtful head on his shoulders. He assesses the questions that are asked of him quickly and is always thinking forward. We jumped the straight routes throughout the course and he covered the ground really well. I was able to keep pushing all the way to finish and we came home with a foot perfect clear and only 6 seconds over the time. With only adding 2.4 time penalties to our dressage score we shot up the leader board and it was safe to say we were all thrilled with his performance.
We took some time to enjoy the superb hospitality that Bramham offers with all of the crew involved at Team Bragg. It has one of the best atmospheres that any show can offer and it’s so much fun to be a part of it and we had a great cross country round courtesy of Redpath Ransom to celebrate.
Sunday brings forth the early morning trot up. We cruised through, even if I was cutting the time a little close which made the owners slightly nervous. Oops!!
The show jumping track was absolutely massive. It was all built to maximum height and spread and was full of technicality. When you walked it, it looked big and square and it seemed as if it was going to take quite a bit of riding, especially the day after a gruelling cross country.
Redpath Ransom seemed settled entering the main arena this time and was totally focussed on his job. He started his round very well but towards the end we had 2 late rails. I’m sure it’s down to experience of him feeling fatigued on the final day and learning how he can cope when his body feels tired. As much as a 3day event is physically demanding on the horses I believe that mentally they need to be tough to succeed. This I think he will get better with as he gets more experience.
We know have two 4* qualified horses and after a short break these two will start their build up to Burghley. Very exciting!!