Carolyn Macdonald & Castlegar Troy
BE 80(T) Dalston Green (1)
I wasn't going to share this and wait for the next one and declare my Challenge done then; but I have decided that actually I am very proud anyway and it is in the spirit of the challenge to not be perfect! Bobby Brown and I did our challenge BE Event in April Dalston Green. It was much earlier than planned (I had only done one 60cm local HT before that, and been at a few local clear round SJ), but I was heading off on holiday and thought let's just try. The Challenge was a massive weight on my mind and I was having trouble sleeping even thinking about it. Just for some context, this is me with the horse that a year ago I wouldn't even put his name on a stable because I wasn't sure I was going to keep him! I bought Bobby as a 3 year old, he is amazing and I had felt like I just had bitten off more than I could chew. So this challenge was HUGE for us. We had a good day, learned masses and I am so very very proud that we even managed the warm up. This was the biggest fear for me as he has got me off in the warm up a few times as we was rather excited! We survived dressage!! That's all I will say, definitely need to bite the bullet and do more tests - 43.3 was our score. In the SJ, we warmed up amazing and I felt on fire, the competition nerves set in though when I went in and buzzer went and I rode with the hand brake on; bless poor Bobby, he jumped everything but my hanging on meant we knocked 3. Then for the Cross Country; I had walked it twice and it didn’t look any easier! We went out the starter box and were on fire, he felt ace, sailed over the first 3 then came round to a jump in a hedge line. It was a ‘right angle’ turn and as we came round there were people walking the course and whilst definitely not in our way, it distracted Bobby and he didn’t fix on the fence till last stride; a refusal and then straight over it. We flew round next few, including a double toblerone shaped thing I thought was massive. Then to my nemesis, double house; I doubted and fiddled and he ran out, popped over second time. Flew over next few and I was so chuffed he popped the chair (another one I hate). We then had to canter passed the lorries and tents and he got a bit nappy and also across surface change (grass to gravel covering a bridge). Not sure what happened, he either napped severely or spooked at surface change, but next thing I knew I was on the deck! We were about 6 from home and I was gutted, just wanted to collapse in tears. I got a leg back on and carried on, but I had lost my mo-jo and Bobby had lost concentration. 2 more refusals meant we did the walk of shame off the course. I was fed up but also super chuffed overall as this is only our second XC competition (and the biggest by far) and now I've experienced the atmosphere and will come back fighting at the end of the season. I never cried and now feel positive for next one! It's not that scary. So, fellow Wobbleberries, don’t worry if your first attempt is not perfect, this sport rarely is and the reason it is such a challenge is that it is challenging! Thanks Hannah for giving me the focus and motivation to get to a point where I felt I could enter a BE competition; pretty amazing considering I cried in a field when riding as I was so scared only 11 months ago!!