Area SJ 2019

The weather was perfect for the Area SJ at Geldeston – sunny but not boiling, and I arrived in good time to walk the courses, then watch the first few riders jump the 80cm. It was clearly rather slippery and I was glad to have studs. I went back to the trailer via the secretary’s to drop off my passport and to check that it was OK for me to take Becca’s place in the style. It turned out it was too late for that but then they offered me Emma’s place in the other team so I accepted that. Of course by now I was getting short of time, as usual, so didn’t have time to do the thorough grooming I had planned, just tacked up quickly, changed and jumped on. Luckily Sue spotted that I’d forgotten to take Lolly’s tail bandage off and did the honours!

The course seemed pretty tricky when we walked it but rode OK although I took some longer lines than I’d planned as a result of a little over-enthusiasm in the horse department. We went clear, which seemed like a good start, and then moved across to the style ring. After a bit of a wait we managed a clear in that too although I wasn’t convinced the style had been great. Back to the 80cm and the jumps seemed to go up quite a bit for the second round and the orange and blue parallel that had looked big before now looked really big! Lolly wasn’t the least bit bothered though and happily jumped a second clear round. Pleased with a job reasonably well done I set off back to the trailer only to hear Lucy calling me and asking whether I was doing the jump off. I hadn’t even thought about the fact that those with double clears jump off for the individual placings. Apologising to Lolly for having let her think she’d finished, I handed my mother the can of Seven Up that I’d just opened, climbed back on board and went in to jump first. This was definitely the biggest course we had ever jumped but after a slightly sticky start as we struggled to find a route to the first fence Lolly took it in her stride and jumped her fourth clear of the day.  Having very little experience of jump-offs I didn’t try to go fast and so was comprehensively beaten by Shirley and one or two other speed merchants but I‘m proud to say that we weren’t the slowest clear and ended up 5th. Of the 30+riders who started the competition, there were only nine double clears, four of whom were Finn Valley and six who jumped three clear rounds. Our teams were 1st, 4th and 5th in the 80cm and individuals were 1st (Shirley), 5th (me) and 6th (Pip) – fab results.

It also turned out lucky for me that I took Emma’s place rather than Becca’s in the style as that made me part of the winning team! It had obviously gone better than I thought as we were third individually too. All in all a very successful and enjoyable day.