Kathryn Barnard & Chelsea's Boy


BE 80(T) Kirriemuir(1)



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So, my challenge to myself was not only to complete a BE80, but also to complete a BE90 by the end of 2017. I entered my first BE80 at Kirriemuir on 6th May. Max and I had a fabulous day, and my best friend even travelled up to support us with her daughter. Incredibly we completed with a double clear, but a not so good dressage score and 40.4 time faults meant we were still last in our section. But we completed! Our next event was the Riding Club Area horse trials at Scotsburn at the beginning of June. A silly run out at fence 5 because I didn't ride it, but an otherwise fab run. Then back to BE with the BE80 at Burgie on the 18th of June. Better dressage this time, but Max was a bit opinionated in the SJ and we had one fence down, rather spectacularly and watching friends were impressed at my determination to stay in the saddle! Clear XC round the very hilly course at Burgie though, but still a lot of time faults - need to get faster! Next up was my personal challenge, we entered the BE90 at Kirriemuir(2), and a very early start with dressage at 8.06! I wasn't worried about the XC, having had some brilliant training over the course in May. Obviously it wasn't quite the same, but we had seen most of the fences before, albeit in different positions. A reasonable dressage, and then on to the SJ. At this point, my nerves really kicked in. I had walked the course the night before, and oh my goodness 90SJ looked big and wide. Poor Max did his best, but was rather hampered by his rider who had frozen, and we had 2 refusals and four fences down for 24 faults. But we got round, and were still allowed to go XC - just! Max absolutley stormed round the course, and we finished clear with only 19.6 time faults - our fastest yet! Another BE90 a week later at Forgandenny and the SJ posed a similar problem, this time we got 28 faults so weren't allowed to go XC, massively disappointed as the course looked fantastic. I had felt that Max wasn't quite 'right' for a while, so after examination from the vet we decided to x-ray his hocks, and as I had suspected he had arthritic changes in the right hock (he is 18, even though he doesn't act it!). The decision was made to try steroid injections so, after some careful date counting to make sure we were ok for the next planned event, this was done. A week off, and back to training and what a difference! We have a long way to go yet, but already I was starting to get more relaxed and engaged work than in a very long time (I think my poor boy was finding things more difficult than he let on - he tries so very hard for me). Last weekend we competed at Aswanley horse trials, having gone back to BE80 to get our confidence back and had a lovely double clear with just 12.4 time faults in very deep going. Next is another BE80 at Wee Burgie on the 17th, then the Scottish Riding Club Championships at Auchlishie on 1st October as part of the 80 team. Hopefully we will make our way back up to 90 next year, but this time I will be making sure we are both ready before we take that step. I also hope to get my young horse out to some things next year, but there's no rush!

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