Riding has been my hobby for 50 years and although a keen jumper in my youth the realisation that I didn't bounce meant I gave up jumping after having my children. However, now retired and in my 60's, I am back 'leaving the ground' once again. My partner in crime is Bounty, a Dales cross, and we have progressed slowly after starting the beginning this year (2016) falling off twice in a single SJ lesson - ouch and double ouch! However I have persevered and spent the summer at various Adult Camps gaining enough confidence to compete in an unaffiliated 80cms ODE. This has given me a little advantage over some of my Wobbleberry team mates but I hope it will also help them realise anything is possible if you really want it. The thought of competing in my first BE event at the age of 63 to raise money for the Willberry Wonder Pony Charity is terrifying, humbling and very exciting Thank you for sponsoring me in my quest. Roll on 2017. #rideforhannah# Feb 2017 Wobbleberry training with Stephanie Buchanan has been going well and it has been lovely to meet and train with some of the other Wobbleberries in the Dorset Group. Easter will see us on the new Bovington BE XC course, I can't wait. March 2017 We are now almost 5 months into the Challenge year and the weather has been very kind, in fact a little too kind leaving the ground very hard and the grass struggling to grow. Bounty and I have been very busy training and getting 'Competition ready' by participating in unaffiliated Dressage, Show Jumping and Combined Training classes. 28/30 April we attended a training camp at Pontispool (near Taunton) and had a fabulous time honing our SJ and XC skills and trying out the Gallop track which was amazing and on the back of the weekend I decided to enter their next BE event 29th May 2017 the day of the Challenge Pontispool BE 80T on the. A 21/5 hour journey while my daughter Lizzie plaited Bounty I walked the XC course, which was much more technical than I had hoped, and then the SJ course which looked OK but was not riding well. With my confidence slowly ebbing away and the nerves setting in we began. Dressage was a tense affair but we held it together for a 41.8. SJ was a disaster had a pole at no 4 sailed past no 5 and with a technical refusal and time faults we had 16 penalties. The heavens opened just as we went to the XC start and with the rain all over my glasses my vision was not good. I was searching for the jumps trying no to lose my way and with Bounty pulling hard the reins kept slipping through my hands. The final run was downhill towards the second water and I was very pleased to see the last jump and finish with a clear round, although we did pick up a lot of time penalties. WE DID IT, and finished 24/34.
I have caught the bug!!!
Training and fundraising will continue until we try again at Bovington 2 in October.
4th May Following our first attempt at a BE last weekend, Bounty and I had an unaffiliated outing at Bovington on Sunday the 4th June. A brilliant day with us registering a double clear within the time and completing the 3 phases on just our Dressage score for a 5th place. What a difference a bit of luck and a week makes.