Bonnie Fishburn - 2014 Summer/Autumn

I’ve had a very busy summer as per usual and we’ve had some typical up’s and down’s like you do with horses. My first event in July was Stafford Horse Trials with Percy and Florence my two fabulous homebred horses, both jumped a double clear in their first BE100 Plus. Florence started the day on a 26.5 dressage and she led from start to finish. She gave me one of the best rides she's ever given me cross country. To win her first ever BE100 Plus was fab!!! Percy had a 32 dressage (could have been a little better if his pilot had remembered to halt at the beginning of the test!!!). He showjumped lovely and he had a clear cross country for 9th place.

Towards the end of July I had the last of the Area 20 Riding Club Qualifiers. This time it was Showjumping. Percy had to take on Frankie's role and jumped in the open which was certainly the biggest tracks he's ever jumped. I was thrilled to pieces with how he took it on. He had 4 faults in the first round because he slipped on a cow pat!!! Then in the second round he had 2 down, again one due to another cow pat and the other just because he got away from me a bit in a related distance. He showed fantastic promise. The Nantwich team won so qualified for the National Championships in September. Next was Florence in the Intermediate, she was awesome in all three rounds jumping three perfect clears. Giving the Nantwich team second place and another qualification for the championships. Florence then jumped an impeccable round in the Style Jumping class but we had a really unlucky fence down. We finished 3rd and the Nantwich team won and got another Championships ticket.

Next up was the BRC National Horse Trials Championships. Luck really wasn’t on our side for most of the weekend. Florence did a foot perfect beautiful test for 28 in 100/Intermediate. Percy had got pretty excited by the idea of stabling away but didn't disgrace himself in the dressage for 33 in the 100+. The next day we had roads and tracks, steeplechase and cross country. Florence did everything very well right up until the second last fence on the cross country, where she jumped very boldly into a combination and just had a little misunderstanding at the skinny, so we had to come again. I was absolutely gutted I hadn't opted for the long route because she would have stood in a really good position if we had jumped clear. Next up was Percy and just as I set off on the roads and tracks the heavens opened and the thunder and lightning began. We did steeplechase in horizontal rain with electric skies. By the time we got round to the cross country we were liked drowned rats and the ground had gone from being pretty firm to a churned up, slippy mess. Percy really wasn't enjoying his run but he gave it his best shot. He was caught out at the water which to be fair had caused several problems. It was a drop in, to a fish in the water, run out over a very angled skinny hedge. He had never seen a jump in water before and had a novice run out and then popped as we reapprached but I had no steering coming in to the hedge because I was so wet and had terrible grip on my reins so we ran by that to. I thought considering it was only supposed to be ran as a 100+ that fence was a very stiff question. He then continued steadily round the course but still wasn't enjoying the ground but he jumped all the other questions including the second last fence where Florence had problems. I pulled him up after that one and retired and walked home. All in all a disastrous weekend. I didn't trot Florence up the next day as we had no chance of a placing having had 20 penalties and I just wanted to go home.

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