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Event Report - BE100 at Wellington, 25th August 2013

27th August 2013
Right then a few weeks ago we had a great XC run at Smiths Lawn but a nightmare SJ with two stops so this time out at Wellington I was hoping to sort that out whilst continuing with the improvements on XC.

I was very lucky to be joined again by my lovely friend Jenny Gray-Wallis who has been giving Trad and I some flatwork lessons. Jenny is Trad's Spinal Therapist and she is also a professional groom, having previously worked for Gill Watson and groomed for Team GB's junior and young riders many times. By the way you can see Jenny's website and follow her on Twitter!!

We picked up Jenny and her lovely dog Hattie on route and arrived at Wellington with a couple of hours before my dressage. We went straight off to walk the XC course and eek I was expecting it to be big but this was not going to be an easy ride! Luckily Jenny is very positive and great with course walks looking at each fence in turn and giving me top advice on how to ride Trad at each one.

You can see the course pictures on my Facebook page here. Couple of big challenges included big log/rail on a downhill slope into water, a big trakehner and a skinny log and then step down to corner combination. The rest of the course was tricky with big solid gallopy fences. On the way back from XC we watched a few SJ to get an idea of the course, it was a nice big arena, complete contrast to Smiths Lawn.

Dressage started off in a bit of a rush to warm up as I was running a bit late after faffing around getting ready. Once again Jenny proved her worth keeping calm and warming me up really well, getting me to do things that on my own I wouldn't have done. It definitely worked as Trad did a better test again, scoring 35.5 including lots of 7's and an 8 for my final centre line / halt which the judge said was super! You can see the video below and my test sheet.

After dressage it was a very quick change and straight off to show jumping and I was a bit concerned after last time out with two stops but I had a good lesson last week with Jonathan Chapman and Jenny warmed me up fantastically getting me to 'welly' it in to the fences as this is how Trad jumps better. If you come in to the fence in a nice gentle canter he chips in little strides or stops. The new theory worked well as we got a clear and it was the best round we have done together. Watch the video below:

After show jumping it was another quick change and wash down for Trad before XC. Jenny's grooming skills were fab and she had done boots and everything before I had even changed! XC warm up was good, a couple of naff jumps and I actually reacted and got Trad going a bit. Didn't help that as I got there another ride had a fall over the practice fence but tried not to think about it.

Once warmed up we went over to the start and the starter said are you ready in 20 seconds? Er yes I said, lets get on with it! So it was straight in the box and we were off. Not a massive amount to say about the round, 95% went perfectly and we executed the plan for each fence really well.

Photo by @monty_white
The only 5% issue was the water as Trad decided he didn't want to jump the log/rail on the way in and stopped. I thought I rode it ok and if anything I expected him to run to the right down the hill but instead at the last minute he stopped and dived left. I quickly turned and represented and he scraped over it (see video) and jumped the rest lovely. In the end we finished with just 0.4 time penalties so without the stop we would have made the time comfortably. Check out the video below:

Overall a pretty good day and much better than previously (despite the stop on XC) so next up at Goring in two weeks I am hoping to pull all the improvements together and get another good dressage and a double clear.


Photo comment By Terri-Ann Humphreys: Well done Mike - so lovely to see Trad and you doing so well. Look forward to seeing the Goring recordings. T
Photo comment By Rachel Bragg: Jenny's advice in the SJ has clearly had the right effect... So much more fluent & positive, lovely round from you both... Welly on!!

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