Written by Cordelia K, Year 10
On the 22nd of September, I loaded my horses, Eddie and Razzy, onto the lorry and drove to Norfolk for the Pony Club Grassroots Regionals. We arrived at White Hall farm campsite in the dark and proceeded to get the ponies settled in a field and then set up our tent. An early night was called for, as the next morning it was a 5 am wake up to get ready for the busy day ahead.
We had to wash and plait the horses to prepare for both the preliminary dressage class and the 70 cm showjumping, which consisted of two rounds and a jump off. I walked both showjumping courses at around 8am, so that I knew them for later.
For the showjumping, I was riding Eddie, the first round was at 10 am, for this the aim was to go clear as it was not timed. Eddie flew around and found it easy! Next was the second round, this was timed and we wanted to go through to the jump off, so it was important that we tried to race around as fast as possible.
At around 12 o’clock we made our way into the ring and, of course, Eddie put on his best performance and tried his very hardest, putting us in the jump off which was extremely exciting, as it was our first time qualifying for the event.
Just an hour later we were given the course for the jump off, which we were not allowed to walk, this meant that the appropriate route had to be planned by just looking at the jumps and thinking of the last round to reflect on what turns were possible. We planned a route with lots of tight turns that would give us the fastest time possible as that is what would get us into the ribbons. Eddie flew around, showing off his best turns and speedy jumping.
Although we did not place, we did come 13 out of 117 people which was a huge achievement for us! After that we packed up and went back to the campsite to prepare for Sunday, which was the Eventing day and we qualified as a team alongside three other girls, one of which was my cousin who was riding Razzy. The next morning it was an even earlier start, a 4:30 wake up as our dressage started at 9am.
Eventing consists of 3 disciplines – dressage, showjumping and cross country, the dressage however is an extremely important part, as the dressage score sets the score for the rest of the day.
We completed the dressage test, which we had learned a few weeks before, and then it was time to move onto the showjumping aspect of the day. For this it was important for everyone in my team to go clear in order to proceed to the cross country, and luckily everyone did!
Next was the cross country which we had walked the day before so we were prepared. Eddie flew around the cross country at a perfect speed putting us just a little over the optimum time and placing us 7th in our section! Unfortunately, our team did not place, but it was still an amazing experience and hopefully we will all qualify for the 80 or 90 next year!