Monday, March 21, 2011

HOY- an Epic novella because it's raining and I don't want t go outside.

Photos are too dark to shrink- but if you click on them they should come up full size and you can enjoy Connie and Kate in their full glory.

Ahh Horse of the Year. Finally, after 7 years, I once again came through your gates as a competitor and not a watcher. I bounced up the driveway to meet my friend when she stopped in to pick up me and the ladies. We arrived at HoY about 3.30pm on the Monday and being at a show for 7 days really does make for a long week. I really struggled in the heat but managed to ride either late in the day or early in the morning so I missed the worst of it. (The pictures are all from the Friday 1.15m class)

I had a fairly ambitious entry schedule, but I made it easier on my self to accommodate the fact that it was my first HoY in years and I might as well enjoy the end of my season. So anyway, monday it was a 1.10m class down in ring 3. Connie jumped well though a little half assed and I got her deep to an oxer in the jump-off and took a rail. also I stopped in the round because a rail was down but everyone yelled at me to keep going so I did. I think I would have had time faults and the judges were kind to let me continue. Kate started really well, jumped strongly, and I made the five strides down to the fifth fence and all of a sudden I was out of horse. I remember thinking that this was really going to hurt but I cleared the fence, albeit alone, and landed rolling so I got up no harm done. Must have looked good though because the judges looked horrified, but I assured them I had landed on my padded bits. I guess I had let my contact go a bit maybe, but mostly I have no idea what happened, she really stepped out on me in the last moment. I'm sure I used to be able to canter down a line to a fence even if it was a bit scary.

The Wednesday we started in the 1.20m class. Connie really prefers the bigger fences I think. She felt amazing. I just overrode into a 3 fence line and had the first rail. Still got an amazing photo of her jumping a 1.20m oxer, which is now on the wall nicely framed and blown up to A4 Size. I have been desperately wanting to get a really nice photo of her over the bigger fences and I'm delighted to have it. Kate was stopping at the oxer in the warm-up so I didn't start her after I ended up straddling the practice fence. She jumps if I have vice leg on and super amounts of contact but I'm starting to wonder if she is sore somewhere. I know as a TB she likes to be held together and that, but I need to be able to canter down a stupid normally strided line on her- i'm sure I used to be able to do this earlier in the season? I wish she would tell me i she is sore, or just sick of it, or whats going on. I might flexion her when Kim is back in the weekend and I even wonder if I might get hock x-rays because she does seem like she is lacking some power perhaps? She feels sound though and full or pep, but she isn't so keen to jump anymore.

Anyway, the cure for bad rounds is shopping! So I brought a new riding Coat. 50% off a Pikeur! I couldn't walk away! I didn't wear it for ages though because I felt like it was too flash for me. I also got a new saddle blanket, ordered new long boots and got two new show shirts. (I don't often buy things for myself and obviously I went a little mad) Though to be fair my current coat cost me $100 second hand and my boots are 8 years old and falling apart. And with HoY being so hot I was sweating through my show shirts really quickly. Oh and the fresh made juice stand under the grandstand did a roaring trade with me. MMMM juice! Thursday was a 1.15m class for Connie and again she four faulted but jumped well enough. Kate was in the 1.10m class and actually jumped clear when I really made sure I never let her contact go until she left the ground but she was sticky off of the ground and while I was rapt to complete with just 4 faults for a circle looking back it wasn't a great round.

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Yay for Friday. Though after 3 days I was starting to think home would actually be quite nice. Three day shows are the norm here so HoY is lots longer than I'm
used to. Anyway, my sister and a friend and my ex were all there to watch and stuff, so we went for a massive epic match of mini-putt while we waited for our classes. It was another 1.15m class and again Connie had another rail. It was my fault though, got a bad spot to the upright and sat up and waited for the 6 strides instead of really riding to get the 5 strides. That meant we didn't jump into the double big enough and she took the back rail of the oxer on the way out. Really it was very generous of her to even try make that huge leap. Kate warmed up super and started well. Though looking at the picture above with her over the first fence, she doesn't look that happy does she. Anyway she started ok, got a great ride to the double, definitely made the distance and she jumped the first and basically landed in a stop and had made no effort for the second element. I got chicken and retired, jumping the first fence on the way out. So I don't know. I have never known Kate to chicken out a normal no fill oxer, and she is normally really bold through her combinations. Luckily for me I got to spend the night in a friends motel and had a fabulous soak in the tub which help with my sore falling off muscles and meant I got some decent sleep. Apparently the showgrounds were really noisy.

Saturday was a rest day for them but I rode Connie bareback in a halter and led Kate over to the polo grounds so that they could graze for half an hour which they seemed to appreciate. Though I was regretting the bareback halter decision when they both came back jiggy and spooky and being stupid. Damn horses. That night the showgrounds were again super super noisy. It's because a lot of the classes are finished and people are celebrating the end of the show, but my big class was still to come and I was pretty annoyed that I was constantly being woken up by drunk talk outside the truck at 2.30m.

I woke up on sunday feeling like a Zombie but with plenty to do. I got my hot chocolate and walked the course in my PJs. Which was funny because the course builder was like I knew someone would walk my course in PJ's. It was a really good course. Lots of questions but not to big, so a great course for the amateur of the Year class. So Connie was groomed and had her studs put in and saddled up. I watched the first three go and then went to Bridle my horse. couldn't find my spurs or my helmet and was in a frantic flap especially when I could hear them announcing the horse four before me while I was still bridling up. Anxious canter to the warm-up , three warm up fences and I was in the ring. Over one and two I was definitely still a little cautious so I made myself ride up to the 9 strides to three. Good jump over the wall and down the next line. she wasn't as tired as she was on friday but was still a little flat. Then our boogy fence- The treble. She hit the first element hard but then jumped really well. I was delighted when I turned back to the next fence that the rail was still up. Over the planks and then the double and I refused to get chicken and still boldy took the last. I was so delighted I nearly cried having jumping my first clear round all season in an amateur class- especially as this one mattered most to me.

I was so nervous for the jump-off I really was. I was going to go inside the wall but sort of knew Connie wasn't capable of it. I had a super jump-off as well she was clean and and turning tightly and was bold to her fences. I changed my mind halfway round the turn to then go outside the wall. and the stride was there but
I didn't ride up enough and had a stop. She finished really well though. she jumped super it was only my fault. Still I was rapt to have jumped a clear and being right up in the competition.

And now? It's all over. After 7 months of working through the season and looking to HoY and working on being better and stronger, it's all over for the year. Connie and Kate will do a couple of hunts and then be turned out, though I need to investigate Kate a bit. Then I will focus on rascal and bill. Still I feel a little lost now it's all done. Still only 5 months and we start again.


  1. You must be so proud of your girls. I hope Kate doesn't have any lasting sort of injury going on.

  2. Yay! So good to hear you had a good show at HOY. Sorry about the heat, but we were concentrating on making sure it didn't rain. It's pouring now - 80mm and counting.

    Promise Hawkes Bay will do better next year.

    Can you get Kate checked by a good physio? Nicky Lowrie is down your way and she might sort the issue out. Sometimes it's something that a physio can spot and not what you're expecting.

  3. It wont let me click on the pictures :(

    The one over the oxer looks awesome though.

    Crazy your season is ending and mine is just beginning...

  4. Looks and sounds fabulous. Well done throughout.

  5. Awesome Beckz proud of your self and hey thats so cool that you got a great picture for the wall. It will get you inspired for next year just looking at it. I came to watch you a couple of times. Was going to track you down but boy there are some serious amounts of trucks etc there. It would have been like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Oh and the heat was a pain but at least it wasn't wet. Enjoy a break now .....hunting will be a relaxing change. I have opening hunt this weekend. When is yours?