Hoping to continue Commanche Storm, aka Stormie's, amazing record this year of being in the placings and top 10 at every outing, bar just the one occasion, and I'm super pleased to say that he managed it again!
So Stormie and I kicked off with the quite respectful leaving time for once, of 6.30am, It was extremely foggy and autumn feeling, but luckily dry - and we are thankful for small mercies!!
Monmouth's courses were lovely as always, the ground was softer than it has been of late but still excellent going.
He did what I felt was a good test, we are quite spoilt nowadays, to always be in the top 5 after dressage, if not the top 3, so I was a little disappointed to discover later that we just managed 10th after dressage. Storm has lovely self carriage and a natural arched neck like a stallion, possibly because he was cut late, he is a compact little horse and looks a little power house. When he was younger judges used to say he was tight and tense in the neck, this has improved so much so that, as I said, he's nearly always top 3-5 after dressage, almost all judges love the way he goes.
Thankfully only on one occasion has a Judge not liked his way of going, she thought he was too tight and short in the neck and over bent. The judge on Saturday felt a little bit the same, that he was behind the verticle on occasions which lost us our usual marks, otherwise she was very complementary. So something to try and make sure doesn't happen again. However if a judge likes a long and low way of going then we aren't going to score that well, but as I said, luckily most seem to like him!:)
On to showjumping, this is not our best or favourite phase, mostly due to me and on the odd occasion it's not me, storm can dangle a leg.
But I was absolutely thrilled with our round, he felt fantastic, he jumped fantastic, listened to me well, and I felt I rode well!
No winging it around the course, thinking how the heck did that stay up, or realising I'd not taken a breath all the way around. It was lovely and calm, collected, smooth, but with an unfortunate rub at one fence for 4 faults. But I've had many clear rounds this seasons that to be honest felt hair raisingly awful, and it was lovely to actually jump a round I was really happy with both of us for.
On to cross country, Stormie's speciality, and he popped round like the pro he is as usual! One of the biggest questions was probably a new corner after a train designed roll top which they have situated down by the trade stands and spectators. Stormie had his eye on the prize when going over the roll top, steaming ahead, with us both seeing a flyer of a stride, he was more than happy to jump the widest part of the corner so I had to try and direct him to the left a bit but he was already flying over like the super trooper that he is!
I hear this fence caused a few problems during the day, And when I was chatting to a friend by this fence we saw one person come off at the corner after a run out and the next rider get eliminated.
So all in all, super chuffed to have manage to come home in the rosettes yet again. Super chuffed and pleased with both jumping phases, and we both came home safe, so a fab day had!
Last event in October at Calmsden, so fingers crossed for a good end of season event!
With thanks to my valued supporter, Prosportive .