The Highs and Lows.......
Although my first 5* is what we have been working towards for many years the days leading up to it were business as usual with all the other horses competing at Broadway and Wellington. They all had good steady runs ready for their 3 day campaigns.
Bicton certainly showed how an event should be run from all angles, and what a difference when everyone is pulling together. Nothing was too much trouble. The horses, owners and riders were looked after with first class attention. Nothing was left to chance and all the wonderful volunteers were only too happy to help. A big thank you goes to Andrew Fell and his amazing team. Also, to Chedington Estate and Elite Eventing.tv. and all the sponsors. A Final thanks must go to NFU who had an owners marquee on XC day. Screens to enable them to watch all the action with complimentary drinks and food flowing all afternoon - this was greatly appreciated.
Safe to say that the journey to my first 5* didn't go to plan. Having loaded up and ready to leave to have dressage lessons on the way, we noticed air coming from under the cab! Not a good start - We quickly unloaded and put 2 horses on the small lorry to get to our dressage session to put final touches in place. Mum stayed behind and got the mechanics out to sort the lorry and luckily this was ready to go on our return .
Having planned to leave at 8.15 we eventually left at 1.15!
The horses travelled well. I took The Partner and Ballycoog Breaker with me to keep them in work, as they are both heading to Blenheim.
Thursday was trot up day and Vinnie just about held it together - I now know when he is about to misbehave so can prevent it from happening - such a spoil sport!!
Friday was dressage day. With Vinnie having worked well on Thursday evening and feeling really good, I just gave him an easy leg stretch in the morning and kept him relaxed. Our dressage wasn't until mid afternoon and both Vinnie and I were in a really good place.
Vinnie pulled out his best test ever and what a day to do it! Our first 5*! There were two big enough errors which prevented us from topping the leader board but to be sitting in 3rd behind Pippa and Piggy was quite something!
My main aim was to go to Bicton under the radar and enjoy every minute. However, with the Horse and Hound editorial and the Eventing Podcast series that wasn't going to happen!! Having said that , I did actually thoroughly enjoy all the various media chats and podcasts. I look forward to doing more of this in the future.
Sadly, cross country day was very short lived as we had to retire after fence 2. I had felt a change in Vinnie's gait and knew that not all was well. It has been confirmed now we are home that he has injured a tendon and will be off for next season.
As gutting as it is our aim is to give him the best opportunity for a full recovery so that he will be back competing in 2023.
He is very happy and content and looking every
bit a 5* Horse.
We are now focussing on Blenheim where The Partner and Ballycoog Breaker Boy are both competing and this is followed by Osberton.