Tuesday, 22 September 2015

PetPlans: It doesn't always go according to plan!

Oh what a difference a few weeks make! From a top 10 place at the PetPlan Dressage Festival at Bury Farm EC, we ended up in the bottom 10 at Vale View EC.

Photo courtesy of SBM
On the morning of the event, Wilbur and I took the opportunity to do an arena walk and I'm glad we did. Both arenas were indoors, but the National Arena, used for our class, had the canteen and kitchens running along the whole of one long side, behind glass, and only about 2 feet away from the arena boards. Not only that, but the tackshop was on the upper level also behind glass. These distractions certainly caused quite a lot of spooking although I'm pleased to say our arena walk worked as Wilbur wasn't too distracted.

However, the occasion got to me, and I tensed up as we went in. It's amazing how the nerves kick in when you travel to an unfamiliar venue - especially when the judges are sat at tables at the end of the arena and you can hear them whispering! Having said that, Wilbur and I didn't have too many discussions. We even managed to halt at G for our final salute without Wilbur trying to halt earlier, so all in all I was pleased with our performance. The marking was tough, as one would expect at a championship event, and all the competitors' marks were considered low from the discussions I heard by the score boards. We ended up with 61.2%, which is one of our lowest affiliated scores and certainly a contrast to the 67% we achieved at Bury Farm EC. But that's dressage! I still had a great weekend, and met some fantastic people. 
Mole enjoyed his trip in the lorry too!