West Wilts horse trials 22nd September 2015
With my 5yr olds being balloted from west wilts, I had two horses contesting in the Novice classes, and Bonmahon Blue Mist competing in his second 4yr old class.
EWW’s The Night Traveller was my first ride of the event, and he kicked off with his usual solid and accurate dressage test for a score of 27.
The show jumping was taking several prisoners, and an oxer placed on the far side of the arena seemed to be catching most horses out. We were not to fall victim of this, and The Night Traveller jumped an immaculate clear.
We were in a commanding position going into the cross country, but the plan was to have a flowing round over what was a twisty course.
There were a double of brushes leading you into the water. The brush fences hid the water, and as the horses jumped the second fence the water seemed a huge surprise to most. A few fences along were another double of brushes on a mound. These were very inconspicuous, but seemed to cause a few problems. I’m certain it was that the horses were worried there was another surprise lurking behind the second brush as with the water combination. This This shows how a course can have an effect on horses perception, and confidence as they progress around it. This is something that riders need to be aware of, especially when they are riding younger less experienced horses.
The Night Traveller gave me nice ride around for a few a good clear with a few time penalties. I was very pleased with his 5th place finish.
Storm Blue was contesting his first Novice. He recorded a good dressage which filled me with confidence for the future.
He is a great show jumper, but did fall victim to the highlighted oxer on the far side of the arena. Whether it was the distraction of the cross country view that you received on the approach I’m not sure, but he had a light rub on the front rail for 4 faults, in what was otherwise a super round.
Blue took on the cross country in style. He relished the challenge in the more technical combinations, and skipped around the course for fun. This horse is one of the most enjoyable horses to ride. He has such a willing attitude, and is so adjustable. He will shorten and turn without wasting any time, and is bold enough to take on the fences at speed. A definite future junior event horse!!
He finished just outside the placings in 11th, but I was thrilled with his performance.
Kelly Roe’s 4yr old, Bonmahon Blue Mist was far more relaxed in the dressage warm up with this being his second event. The weather was deteriorating quickly, yet he stayed very focussed. He tried his very best in the dressage, in what was rapidly becoming a very slippy arena. He was well rewarded with a score of 27.8, a huge improvement from his first outing.
He show jumped well, just having one fence down due to spook at an ornamental flower display. We must forgive him these mistakes as he is so inexperienced.
The rain was thrashing down as we left the start box on the cross country, yet he cantered around the course full of confidence. He seemed to have learnt so much from his first run at Homme House, and settled in the course straight away. I can only describe his round as foot perfect, look out for this boy at Badminton in a few years!!
We went home with his first rosette of which I’m sure will be many in the future.