Well, what can I say, the last few weeks have been absolutely manic and very exciting. I have been going to quite a few para parties with Blue Chip Forever aka Jools. He has been absolutely brilliant and such a star, I really am loving every minute with him. To be honest I don’t know where to start.
After a very short time together we have been bringing home lots of scores in the 70’s and numerous wins. The first exciting big weekend we had was at Bicton arena for the Inter County Competition. Jools did find the stabling very unsettling and definitely wasn’t himself. I have never seen him so uptight but as soon as he went to be ridden he was his normal self.
The atmosphere was brilliant as it was so busy with lots of different competitors. I knew it was going to be a good experience for the both of us. I chose to ride three tests over the course of the weekend, so it was going to a big test physically for both Jools and me.
Jools was brilliant in all three tests and the comments were all lovely. We need to have more activity throughout to start getting bigger marks and I think our biggest homework is the free walk. The best surprise for the weekend was that I was then named overall para champion. I couldn’t believe it. To think what Jools and I have achieved in such a short space of time is amazing.
There wasn’t much of a recovery time as we were off to Keysoe the Thursday afterwards for the para home internationals. Thankfully Jools and I managed to see our physios before we left so both feeling in top form. It was such a joy to be part of the South West para team and experience our first team competition with such a lovely group. Thankfully I chose to go up a day earlier, so I could give Jools an extra day to settle and it was so worth it. He was much better in the stables, so I will definitely be doing that again.
The competition was another great experience for us as we had to do a trot up, and opening ceremonies so it was all completely new for the both of us. Jools looked absolutely stunning the whole weekend. My friend Vicky who was looking after him did a fabulous job with him. I cannot thank her enough for making him look so beautiful.
I chose to just do the team tests required over the weekend and I was so pleased I did as on Saturday at one point I didn’t think I was going to be able to ride I was feeling so poorly, thank god for Lucozade sport is all I can say!! That sorted me out. Both our tests were very consistent with some good marks especially for his halts and entries. Again, we just will need to be working on the activity and free walk. He is covering the ground I just now need to get Jools to take the contact more forward. I loved watching everyone else in the teams and seeing how they all ride with their horses. It really is incredible, and everyone did such a fantastic job. It was also so lovely to see how much we all supported each other. Not only from everyone in our team but all the supporters and family members that came.
Everyone rode so well which meant after the two days of competitions the South West team were named the winners!!! It was amazing to be named the winners at prize giving. Not only was I part of the winning team, but I was also the grade 2 individual winner. Jools really has been proving himself to be such a good fit for me and I think we are working so well together.
I have to thank my whole team for everything they have done to get me and Jools to these brilliant competitions and feel so supported. Yaz has been doing a top job with them all at home and had the most important job while I was away and looked after Blossom and Bluebell. Knowing they are in safe hands while I’m away gives me one less thing to worry about. Jools was also so very grateful for his new Bedmax shavings bed Yaz had ready for him, he was definitely making the most of it.