Alfie was in fine fettle this morning after a good night’s sleep and floated through the trot up. A Hume once again made this Aussie cowboy look pretty respectable and I felt very dapper trotting down the ‘runway’ next to Alfie – and I’m pleased to say this morning I even remembered to wear the right coloured trousers with my outfit!
I walked the show jumping straight after the trot up and felt the course was good but square and up to height – even the first fence was a square oxer and the second fence was a green upright going back towards the Members tent crowd – and I remember this fence had not jumped that well last year in a different position but towards the crowd again. Having said all of this, it was a fair test and I liked the track.
I wasn’t sure if I would jump morning or afternoon as I was 21st after cross country – and ended up jumping first of the afternoon session as Nicola Wilson needed to jump one of her horses out of order so she had enough time between rides.
In short Alfie went very well in the show jumping. He was really concentrating and jumping out of his skin and he felt like he was on for a clear round. Sadly I let him down four fences from home – I missed my stride as we were slightly off a fence and I pressed for the fence, he chipped in and we ended up taking the fence by the roots that then put us off our stride for the next related line. Then thankfully we were able to regroup for the final two fences.
I’m very disappointed with myself as I felt we were riding for a clear round – but that is horses and the life of an eventer – riding a tired horse under pressure is never easy on the last day of the three day event and today wasn’t my day. Alfie did nothing wrong and the exciting thing is I have a horse for the future. Alfie feels much stronger this year for the final day of competition and I feel sure he will jump his fair share of clear rounds in the future.
So we end the competition in 18th place, importantly with an Olympic qualification and four star completion so lots to be positive about, but even more to be excited about. If I can get it all right at one event I still feel sure Alfie will have a big win at four star during his career. He’s a special horse and I’m lucky to ride him.
Posted 10th May