Blimey, what a whirlwind few months! It’s safe to say that since the beginning of the year we’ve had a few ups and downs but here goes!
Let’s rewind back to (a very cold) January! The year started off just the way I had hoped, both Doogie (Keystone Diego) and Tebby (Laurentina) were feeling great and gained some super scores in the first shows of the year, which was great preparation for the Regional Championships the following month. During January we also managed to make it up to Gareth Hughes with both horses where we had some very productive lessons and apart from the freezing temperatures it was a great way to start the year!
Then came along February, which was a mixed month to say the least! We started off the month with a super show at the Merrist Wood Regional Championships with Tebby who was an absolute super star to qualify for nationals in both of her classes (Novice Gold & Novice Gold FS) with huge 70%+ scores…go Tebby! We were lucky enough that our sponsor, Chess Jones Equestrian LTD came to watch Tebby that and video her tests for her vlog series (link to vlog at the bottom of this post!). A few days after Tebby’s regional debut was Doogie’s turn to contest in the Elementary Gold FS class. Our class was the last of the day and we didn’t compete until nearly 8pm, and in sub zero temperatures you can imagine the motivation levels were not peaking too high, haha. Considering competing at this time is very usual for Doogie he didn’t let it phase him. After a super warm up we went into the arena to do our test and unfortunately we lost some of the spark we usually have in the arena which meant I played the test quite safe and we unfortunately had a mistake in one of our simple changes and when you have 3 judges that proves costly! Despite the test lacking a bit of “wow factor” he still paced 9th with a respectable score of just under 70%. We decided to split Doogie’s regionals up and do his Novice and Novice FS class a few weeks later at Wellington… however Doogie clearly decided that competing in the unusually freezing/snowy weather was not for him and a few days before the Wellington Regionals a teeny weeny cut on his fetlock got infected and caused his leg to blow up like a tree trunk! So clever Doogie managed to wiggle his way out of competing and got a few duvet days instead… fortunately a week later after some antibiotics he had a normal sized leg and was back on form raring to go. A shame to miss the regional as he would have had a great chance of qualifying for nationals – onwards and upwards!
Part 2 (March & April) coming tomorrow!