From Benita: 

September 17th, 20014

Today I competed at Purston Manor Horse Trials with both Jessica (“Miss Dynamic”) and Aoife (“Cooley All Out”) in the BE100 class, which is equivalent to Training level in the US.

Due to a bit of scheduling mayhem, I had to school both of them xc the day before to make sure that they were prepared for the move up, and so they were both a bit argumentative in dressage having not flatted the day before as per usual. However, they’re both so lovely that they still managed to score quite well with Aoife getting a 30 and Jess getting a 32!

Aoife ready for the day!

Aoife ready for the day!

Show jumping was on grass and it was on quite of a slope so I was a bit nervous how my girls would handle the undulating terrain, but they were both super.  Aoife had a silly knockdown at one of the smallest verticals and Jess was her usual super careful self and jumped clean!  I was quite nervous going into XC because the course was super hilly and very very long (the optimum time was 6 minutes!).  I wasn’t sure how they both were going to handle the combination of the bigger jumps, more technical questions, tough terrain, and length of course so my plan was to set out a bit conservatively to make sure that they both had enough energy to get home and focus on giving them both a confident ride.

Aoife was first to go and she was a xc machine!  She tackled all of the technical questions with ease and didn’t seem to notice the increase in size at all.  She even came home inside the time, which was an added bonus because I let her pick the pace.  I was happy I got to ride Aoife first around the xc and so I could figure out how all of the combinations rode because Jess is definitely the greener of the two, however, from the start Jess was great and cruised around the big track to finish clear with just a few time penalties!  I’m so thrilled with both of my girls and looking forward to the next competition!  Overall, I think BE100 is a bit tougher than training level in the US (the speed is faster, 485 mpm, and the technical questions are much more intense –there was a skinny bending 4 strides to a corner and a proper sunken road with a skinny as the “D” element) and so I’m so impressed with my two 5 year olds for cruising around the XC like total pros!

Jess gets a well deserved pat!

Jess gets a well deserved pat!