Captain is a Star again

We were already entered for Stafford when Captain won at Chepstow. We decided that afterthe surprising result at Chepstow a clear XC would be nice. So we decided to run at Stafford, although would withdraw if the ground was unsuitable. Stafford has a spring event often held in the wet, which makes a nightmare for organisers to get the ground back good in just a few months, after a severe galloping over by 900 horses.

We arrived and found not only had they done wonders spiking and airiating the ground they had also had much more rain that we have had. The ground was very good indeed.

Captain had a mild spook at the flowers in the dressage, resulting in me backing off him a bit, although I didn’t ride him as well as at Chepstow he was still foot perfect for 8th place and a score of 28.

This was followed by a careful clear SJ with a major spook at the butterfly jump not like him to spook at jumps, he was feeling well.

I walked the XC, it was bigger than Chepstow, plus there were more jumping efforts and it was much more technical, 2 fences on turns to skinnies, a double of skinnies in front of a step down, a decent corner and a wide roll top in front of a sunken road with step in and out. Plus the water with a fence before and after, although the fence before, wasn’t pointing directly into the water, which I hoped would reduce the spook factor.

Captain jumped really well, spooky at times but he’s so brave and careful. He jumped a super clear and finished in 4th place. The track caused problems for many top riders, so I am feeling very proud of my little horse. This makes him currently the UKs top 4 year old based on foundation points won, plus he’s won another qualification for the British Young Horse Championships. Special boy.

 

A Few Fantastic Days

We had the most lovely outing to do dressage at Summerhouse with Captain and Dynamo. The arenas were decorated as if for a championship show, flowers and little trees everywhere. Both horses behaved beautifully. Dynamo scored 73% to finish in 3rd place in prelim 7 and Captain 72% to finish in 2nd place in prelim 19. Captain pictured below.

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Then a week later the event I have been training towards for over 15 months. We bought Captain in March 2016 with the 4 year old class at Chepstow in mind.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t stressed about the day. Captain pulled off the dressage test of his life, scoring 21 to take the lead in front of several much better riders than me!

I couldn’t have asked for a better round show jumping, he pinged round clear, so careful and so bold meaning he stayed well in the lead. Could we win it I wondered.

Then XC he was again bold, careful and was pretty amazing, he spooked badly at the water jump gaining us an unwanted 20 penalty points, we couldn’t win now.

But then while we were washing him off at the lorry a drama unfolded. Ant and my sponsor Jess both reported back that they hadn’t seen a 4 year old jump clear XC yet.

I checked the scores and they were right, it meant I was currently in 3rd place despite the bad penalty points I had gained. 4* rider Vicky Tuffs still had two horses to ride Xc and they were lying in 2nd and 1st place. Suddenly Ant shouted Vicky’s stopped at the water, sure enough her youngster had done exactly what every other 4 year old had done and spooked at the water. This moved Captain and I into second place, unbelievable.

We waited for a Vicky’s next horse, then more drama, she fell on the flat after fence 2 , her horse was loose galloping about. A fall on the flat doesn’t give penalty points so all she had to do was remount and continue and go clear to win it. The horse was caught and away they went, she was clear until the water and her second horse also spooked giving her 20 penalties and this meant we had won !!

Hugs all round for Captain what a superstar horse, he has now qualified for the British Eventing Young Horse Championships.

Still can’t believe it!!!

Thanks to Jess Photography for her ongoing support, Nikki Cox for being a fab groom and Tracey Haines for coming to support us, you all made this rather surprising but very pleasing day extra special.

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