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Brand Ambassador's October Update

Hannah Bown
Well what a comeback the boy has made. After building up his fitness slowly the goal was to qualify for the Elementary Regionals in February - the same level as last year but given the large period of time we had off I felt this was most fair on us both.

Well five months since we last went competing and one operation later Stanley and I were back between the white boards. Boy I felt rusty - it is amazing how quick everything comes up when you haven't been practicing. Our first outing was a freestyle test; it was a little interesting as he got so excited and had a small rodeo half way round, but the good bits were good and despite the judges not liking our music (time for a change I think) he scraped a qualifying score by 0.3%! Alongside the test we did just before his operation this meant we were now qualified for Elementary Freestyle. One off the list now to start collecting points for the straight class.

Elementary 59 next, a couple of mistakes from myself but he really focused this time and we were THRILLED with a score of 69%. Five points and a shiny red one in the Silver section and a 2nd in the o/a.

We had a couple of lessons after this working on perfecting some of the rusty mistakes from Wellington and finding more power and engagement. I have also been doing lots of invaluable hill work in all three paces to try and redevelop his muscles over his hind end as these were what disappeared most during his time off.

Next, we went to Cholderton to try and gain some more points. As it was a week day, there were a lot of Gold section riders out in force and warming up amongst their incredibly talented young horses was very intimidating on a little Stanley! However, it was a case of Mission Complete for us gaining another 10 points on this outing. This meant he gained all his qualifying points in just three tests.

Ele 40 we were 3rd overall with 68.08% - he felt good but dropped a little behind my leg; not enough for the judge to comment on but it did affect his suppleness. This then let the dreaded spook creep in and we lost marks for diverting round the light patch on the floor a few times!

For the next test I really ensured he was thinking forwards outside and it made a difference and he didn't drop me. Ele 53 is very busy and this kept him interested but also highlighted how rusty my test riding is – whoops! Slapped hand for lack of preparation throwing away easy marks. Thrilled to finish overall 3rd again on 69.17% but only 0.5 a mark behind the winner.

We had a couple more competitions planned for the end of the month but after a whirlwind 10 day’s we decided that there wasn't a need to go, so we spent our money on some more lessons instead. It was lovely to catch up with Sara-Jane Lanning who has helped me right from the start of our eventer-turned-dressage journey. We had a fabulous lesson working mainly on the Medium movements. He has come back stronger and better than ever and some of the work feels so grown up now. Together we decided that there is no reason we shouldn't push for our Medium qualification too. While he is green at this level he doesn't find the work hard and we have until February to perfect it!

So, a busy and productive month for us and a busy one planned for November as we try and squeeze qualification before the last day deadline!

Hope you have all had a successful and fun month with your horses and ponies.

Hannah & Stanley

Coral Herbert
Due to no fault of his own, Robbie hasn’t been to a competition in five months and this month I had the chance to take him to Burnham Market Hunter Trial. I’ve missed competing with him and was super-surprised that he won the 100 class by a clear margin! He made all the technical time-saving lines feel easy … I was not expecting to come home with a rosette and prize money!

We took my puppy, Alaska out in the lorry with us for the first time – she loved it! Everyone that walked or rode past had to stop to say how cute she is and to give her a cuddle.

We recently ran a “Bring A Friend Day” for our pony clubbers. It was nice to introduce some new faces to the yard and watch their non-horsey friends enjoy a taster into our life style and even have a go at riding themselves! I hope all their friends loved our ponies as much as we all do.

We’re part way through setting up our new classroom on the yard at the moment. I’m excited to move all the furniture in. It looks out onto our arena so doubles up as an indoor, heated, viewing gallery for spectators. We’ve also had a lovely kitchen put in it too, so we can make a cuppa and liveries can use it as a tea room/chill out area. As well as housing our yard washing machine for rug washing.

Today I’ve been busy clipping – I can’t believe Robbie has already had his second clip. So, I’m now off to take a shower as I currently have more horse hair on me, than the horses have on them…

Catch up next month,
Coral x

Jennie Daniels
I didn’t feel ready for my local one-day event this month, so decided to give my time to volunteer at the event instead. Volunteering gives you a great insight into an event and how it all works and it felt good to put something back into the sport for others.  
An outing with the Bloodhounds where we managed a fair amount of jumping, including this hunt jump.

https://www.facebook.com/362593080797241/photos/a.363334520723097.1073741829.362593080797241/6094290...

We had our last historical display of the year and it was English Civil War at a local school. Tilly is the only horse as it is just a show and tell event, but Tilly loves all the fuss and attention she gets.

Last side saddle show of the season is the Area 5 Masters Show. We came 3rd in the Open Equitation which qualified us for the Master Class where we managed to come an amazing 2nd. When we have qualified for this class before, we have always been at the bottom.  The master class is a freestyle class, but certain movements (e.g. leg yield) must be included. The first time I was in this class, I had to ask what some of the movements were. Our dressage has certainly come a long way since then.

https://www.facebook.com/362593080797241/photos/a.366298117093404.1073741831.362593080797241/6131691...

Arena eventing at a new location, Tilly found the show jumping area a bit tight and managed to have a pole down but then went clear under the time cross country. There were only five clears during the class, resulting in us still managing to come 7th in a large class.

Katie Patrick
October has been a very busy month for me on the horsey (and non-horsey) front. From squeezing in the last few events of the season to clipping and getting things ready for winter combined with starting my Pharmacology master’s degree.

Kenko has had an extremely successful first season eventing and finished on a very good note with two fantastic cross-country clears around his first novices. Having started out at BE90 earlier in the year he has skipped up through the levels with total ease gaining a few good placings along the way. I am really excited to get working on a few things over the winter alongside his owner Vicky, in preparation for next season.

Harry, having had a bit of a quiet time this season now appears to be back on good form. We blew away a few cobwebs recently at the riding club show jumping area qualifier. Harry jumped very well and the team did fantastically, qualifying for the Championships. I am hoping to keep him ticking over with some fun competitions during the winter and then get him out eventing again at the beginning of next year.

Rosie is also back in work after throwing an annoying splint which left her side-lined for most of the summer. She is only four and a late foal too so we gave her all the time off she needed to come properly sound again. Thankfully all is now well and she is back in ridden work. She really is such a sweetie and I can’t wait to get her out and about to some training sessions and small competitions soon.

In non-horsey news I have been very busy starting lectures for my master degree in Pharmacology. I am studying in Nottingham so fairly close to home and I can still look after the horses. It’s going to be a lot of hard work but so far, I am really enjoying the challenge and the horses provide a very welcome break from my studies!

I have a few training sessions coming up and a winter camp to look forward to in February which will provide a great opportunity to get Harry and possibly Rosie up and running before the first events come around in March-I’m sure they’ll be here in no time!