Shelford Manor was mine and Mally's second BE90. It's not an event I have ever had any experience of, but I shall definitely make the effort to return! The ground was just fantastic given the drought we are currently in the midst of, plenty of grass cover and alongside watering and aerovating, I had no worries running Mally on it.
Walking the XC the day before, I thought it was a fairly straightforward course, nice and flat, with a few questions. There was a corner which concerned me slightly as Mally has never met a proper corner before! and a few meatier fences, which I tried hard no to obsess over! My plan of action was to trust her steering and accuracy when it came to questions, and just keep kicking on!
So on to the actual day, I began warming up for Dressage and instantly knew it wouldn't be a good score! We haven't done much proper schooling recently due to lack of time, and she warmed up fighting me every inch of the way! The test itself was certainly not her best and the judge agreed, giving us 43, which put us last!!
Had a short break and caught up with my friend also competing, who warned me it was very easy to miss out No8 in the SJ, as she had just done! So I mooched over with Mally a bit early to watch a few rounds and refresh my memory, only to have the first few miss out No8 or fall off, and completely confuse me!
After making sure I had the right course, I warmed up and Mal was flying, so only popped a few and went it. She jumped a beautiful round, I was so chuffed with how grown up she felt! I even managed to jump ALL the jumps in the right order, although I was so busy congratulating myself for remembering No8 that No 9 snuck up on me and I buried Mal in the bottom of it, so we ended up with just 4 faults - which she didn't deserve!
A quick change and onto the XC, again Mal warmed up fabulously! Practised angling the roll top a few times to make sure she was switched on and we went to the start box.
Mal decided to remind me early on she was a baby, and went green going over the first few, by fence 4 she was getting into the swing of it, and by 6 she was flying! She stormed around after that, jumped the corner brilliantly and flew the drop-sharp left-skinny combination very professionally!
The last fence looked enormous to me, but we got a super stride to it and it felt like she was flying! So finished with big grins on our fences. We must have been motoring as despite a sticky start, we only got 4TPs.
Nomad Horse Washers were sponsoring the BE90 sections, so had provided washers to use free of charge at the finish. They were wonderful, but unfortunately I couldn't persuade anyone to buy me one!
Found out today the we finished 15 out of about 25 starters on a score of 51, so although it's not wonderful, I am over the moon with her.
Eland Lodge Unaff ODE a week on Sunday is our next venture, then we may attempt one more BE90 before the end of the season, and then Mally gets a well earned rest before starting her other job of being a hunter gets under way!