Tattersalls International - Our first overseas trip...
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Final Tune up………….
Tuesday 21st May the horses all had their final tune up before Tattersalls and Bramham with Coach John Bowen coming for the day for Dressage and Jump for all the horses.
As always it was a beneficial day and all horses performed the best yet. The following day we met John at Lyneham Heath Equestrian for some XC practice on The Partner and V.I.P Vinnie.
The Partner came as he had missed 2 runs and we felt he needed a little practice before Tatts. Vinnie went more for me to practice my lines in combination fences which I have fluffed one to many times this season.
This was very beneficial and worth while.
I took Ted there for his introduction to XC. He was such a good boy and Lyneham Heath have a fabulous field specially for really young horses.www.lynehamheathequestrian.co.uk
Conquer and William had their last gallops on Saturday 25th May before we left on Monday evening to go to Tatts.
Before a big competition (long format) I always reduce the pace on the last gallop - I keep to the same length but make it easier for them so they recover easily and it doesn’t have a negative impact on their bodies, they then have a stretch on their final day home.
Trip to Ireland……………
This is our first trip out of the UK - not exactly far but a good place to start learning about travelling horses long distance.
We had to remember passports not only for the horses but us and the dogs too!!! I think some people may bypass the dog passports but knowing our luck we would be checked so better safe than sorry!!!
We drove to Holyhead on Monday evening leaving the yard at 6.15pm and caught the 2.30am ferry on Tuesday morning. Harriet Upton and her horse travelled with us.
The horses all travelled well and we stopped a couple of times to give them a leg stretch and get their heads down so that they could clear their nasal passages and rest their bodies.
On the Ferry we gave them all a water bucket on the grill with an apple in it so they could drink during the journey.
They were very at home during the ferry trip and all windows and skylights, and ramp were open to allow as much circulation of air as possible. They also only had thin rugs so they didn’t over heat. The ferry trip was only 3 1/2 hours long but we were all given a bunk cabin so we all managed to get a few hours shut eye.
We landed in Dublin Port at 6am - we went to Tattersalls via the airport as Dad had to pick up a rental car as he was flying back rather than travelling back with us.
Tuesday was spent setting up camp and settling the horses in, being checked by the vets and William had his trot up in the afternoon so Mum got plaiting at Lunchtime.
Trot up went well, I then rode the horses quietly in the field and they had plenty of hand grazing during the day.
We had heard so much about Tattersalls and what a great event it is - and it didn’t disappoint - of course it makes it better when the horses go well but they really had thought of everything - a very slick event and everyone was so friendly, helpful and wanted to do anything they could to make the riders and owners feel welcome.
The XC course designed by Ian Stark looked amazing and the ground was perfect. It looked so stunning and was beautifully presented.
Ballycoog Breaker Boy (William) was first up with dressage on Wednesday, he was in the 6/7 year old young horse class 2*L with some strong competition. He performed a great test and we felt that it was on par with his test at Rockingham. However the judges didn’t think so so we were disappointed with his score of 31.80. He went into XC lying in 14th place but only about 3 points between that and 3rd place so all very close and everything to play for.
The XC certainly had its challenges and William rose to all of them. I would say it was his best XC round yet and the furthest he had galloped as it was his first long format. Unfortunately bar a handful everyone went clear inside the time - it turned out that the time was easily gettable and many riders were way inside it. I just made sure we were slightly up on the minute markers without pushing him unnecessarily fast and out of balance.
He came out well but was definitely tired on Saturday but being the horse he is he tried his heart out and pulled out all the stops. We were VERY lucky to get the clear round as I lost count how many poles we rattled but luck was with us and although it wasn’t pretty it was a clear. Others weren’t as fortunate and we rose to 7th place.
There was a proper presentation with the top 3 on a podium and the rest of the top ten on their horses behind. The British National Anthem was played as Izzy Taylor won and then the lap of honour for us all around the arena.
William is now having a well earned rest and will be treated by Gavin (osteopath) on Tuesday to make sure he is balanced during his time off. We hope to do the National 7 year old champs at Osberton in October but only if he strengthens up enough between now and then. He is a real horse for the future and continues his top 10 finishes in all his Young horse classes.
The Partner’s (Conquer) Dressage was on Thursday and he did a good test (33) for him and he was more relaxed and rideable even with the buzzy atmosphere, wind and music coming out of the tannoys than at competitions earlier in the season. We just need to be more supple over his back to get the higher marks. This is very exciting as he is beginning to relax when away and enjoy himself and therefore he is able to work better and his dressage scores will improve. We use a great product from Nafuk called Magic which helps to focus and relax his mind. He is fed the liquid in his feeds at home and at events and then also given a boost about 1 hour before dressage warm up with a Magic tube. Great Product.
Friday night Harriet Upton and I walked the 3* course with Chris Bartle.
It was very helpful to have his input and having already walked the course much of it was to confirm what I was planning was correct with just the odd adjustment. Conquer produced a class round and was clear inside the time. Sadly this only put us up the board by 4 so going into the next day in 14th.
However, 3 people above us had to withdraw before SJ so we went into SJ in 11th. He is a fabulous jumper so was hoping for a top 10 finish. Although he was less than enthusiastic for the trot up he came into his own once he got into the SJ ring. It was a very twisty course and turning back on your self a number of times. Sadly, on one of these turns I didn’t have enough canter as I wasn't quick enough to have my leg on into a double which resulted in the distance being too long and having the second part down. This dropped us back down to 16th which was gutting as he was on for a double clear and l messed it up for him. He deserved the 9th place he would have got but we will just have to wait for next time.
As you may have seen Harriet Upton and I “took over” Eventing Nation’s instagram stories while we were out there which was great fun and was a good distraction from over thinking the XC. I hope those of you who watched it enjoyed it.
We managed to get an earlier ferry home, so got home at midnight on Sunday night as opposed to 6am on Monday morning. Again the horses travelled well even though the sea had quite a swell and the wind was up.
A huge thanks to everyone involved in organising Tattersalls from the organisers, sponsors and volunteers. It is truly one of the best events and I am already working out who I could take there next year.
Also, as always a big thank you to Immy for keeping the show on the road at home and keeping Vinnie in good prep for Braham, and lovely surprise to find that she had scrubbed all the front of the stables down - all very smart.
Next stop Bramham on Wednesday for the U25 4*L Then a rest during June where all the horses will be having down time before their second half of the season campaign begins.