After coming back from Sentower, I went to a couple of shows. Still on a roll from Belgium, I managed to qualify both History and Dakota for the grade C and the 7 year old final at the spring championship show! However, due to the timing, we didn’t manage to go.
After meeting Carron Nicol at Sentower Belgium, she offered me the opportunity of some training which I snapped up.
Carron mentioned the possibility of going to Lanaken for the Z Tour at the Zangershied Stud, (a 3 week show in Belgium). Although I loved the idea of the chance to go, I didn’t think I would be allowed! To my delight, Carron managed to do an amazing job of swaying my mum into letting me go with her! I was so excited – It was arranged that I could take both History and Dakota to jump in the Under 25s and the CSI***.
So on the 31st of March we left around 9pm for Lanaken. It took us about 14 hours. Luckily Carron had everything planned. We arrived a few days before the show started, this gave us time to give the horses (and us!) a good rest so we were fit and raring to go when the jumping started on the Thursday.
On Thursday the trot up was at 8am. It was a bit manic but between all of us we managed all 10 horses. It was like a well oiled conveyor belt. I was grooming and tidying the horses whilst Carron and Sanda trotted them up.
The jumping also started on the same day, but in the afternoon. Both History and Dakota where jumping! I was so nervous. But with the help of Carron and her sister, Sanda, I managed to go clear on both my horses AND got placed! I was thrilled ! Throughout the show the horses were so consistent jumping double clears and getting placed pretty much everyday! The Zangersheid was an amazing place with three big arenas – the Ratina Z arena was the main ring, Alme Z and Ramiro Z the other two arenas. Between the shows, they also opened the gates so we could go off into the forest for some hacking. The forest was immense and every tree looked the same so we made sure we didn’t stray far from the track just in case we got lost !
The second week came around so quickly! Yet again the trot up was on the Thursday! This week a few more people arrived and it was packed. This week was the CSI *** so I got to enjoy watching the top riders jump the Grand Prix which was an enormous 150cms. Penelope Leprevost was entered on a beautiful, big scopey grey horse called Gfe Excalibur de la Tour Vidal. They were fantastic to watch, she is such a stylish rider and she won!
Towards the end of the show, I started stepping the horses up to some bigger tracks. Dakota stepped up to jumping 140 and History stepped up to 135, both horses took it in their stride. I had an amazing experience and I will look forward to hopefully going back next year and maybe even be in with a chance of jumping the big tour Grand Prix !
No rest for us though … we got back in the early hours of Easter Monday. The horses were delighted about having some enjoyable days in the field and the sun was out for them. Now I’m looking forward to planning some more shows and chasing the qualifiers to Horse of the Year Show – if we the luck is with us hopefully we could be in with a chance of qualifying! ??