Winner Tora won the fox today and jumped a super round 1.30 (video on our FB page https://www.facebook.com/Hurstwoodfarm/)
Hickstead 19th – 23rd June 2019
Tora’s first Hickstead she picked up a placing and double clears. She is straight forward to ride to a jump, will go off any stride, never gets strong just stays nicely on the bridle.
Tora had her first Hickstead experience at the Derby meeting in June. The first day was a steep learning curve for her as up to now she has only jumped at local venues and hasn’t experienced such a busy show with an atmosphere. The first class started well but she got spooked by the photographer and sponsors hut just before the last jump in the first phase and so didn’t make it any further. Therefore in the other class I rode her very forward to ensure she didn’t get too distracted, which she didn’t, but it then resulted in two rails falling.
On the second day we both got our act together and she jumped beautifully round both her classes gaining two double clears. The first of which I rode steady and conservatively but in the second I let her stretch her stride out a bit more in the jump off yet still felt we could have gone faster. I was delighted to see at the end of the class she had finished in 7th out of over 130 starters!
We returned on Saturday and in the newcomers I decided to really push her in the jump off, it so nearly paid off as she had a really quick time but unfortunately just rolled one pole due to being so quick. She then jumped a really confident double clear around a huge Foxhunter track in ring 4 which she hadn’t yet been in.
On Sunday both of Tora’s classes were in ring 2, which is the large grass ring with lots to look at and plenty of spectators, some very close to the jumps. This didn’t phase her at all and she jumped super in the 1.15, just to touch a back rail of an oxer coming into a short double. I felt she was then set up perfectly to have a good jump round the Foxhunter which was straight after. That was until I walked the course and found that the course designer had put in the humongous open water ditch which is normally saved for just the Derby classes! I was not the only rider to be shocked and cross at this being put in the fox, others complained that there was no alternative, but the course designer was not willing to compromise. I had not practiced anything like this on Tora and felt it unfair on her but I went in and she jumped superbly (and clear) up to the water where I called it a day and retired. An annoying finish to the show for us but one that I can’t blame Tora for. Interesting enough the winner of the class was a horse that had been entered for the 1.25 Derby earlier in the day but the rider had missed the class and asked to be transferred to the fox, they were one of only a very few double clears.
Pyecombe 11th May 2019
Felbridge 4th May 2019
I took three of the girls for an outing to affliated jumping at Felbridge on Saturday and had a fantastic day. Tora went in the newcomers and made the jumps feel like X poles! I also tried a few tight lines on her and she seemed to relish the challenge, next time I need to be braver and go for the really tight turns as I feel she would easily cope but I need to get out of my eventer mindset of riding steady double clears! She finished 4th, so another rossy and in the prize money.
I also jumped Tora in the Foxhunter (1.20) and she was cruising around, but unfortunately we just hit a slightly bad stride to a big oxer and she came down on the back rail so finished with 4 faults. However I was really pleased with how she jumped.
All in all the 3 out of 4 double clears and 3 prizes equals a very good day in the office in my book. The three girls have earned a day off in the field tomorrow and will be back out next weekend at Pyecombe to try and keep up the good work!
April 2019, Pyecombe
Tora had her first outing for a few months to Pyecombe in April 2019. She hadn’t been out through no fault of her own, but sadly an outbreak of flu as well as being short staffed on the yard had ruined our plans for getting out to do any jumping until now. So we finally got out to Pyecombe and jumped BS on a ticket. Tora jumped well in the Newcomers (1.10m) and only had one slight wobble in a related distance but used her scope to jump herself out of trouble and completed a double clear. We then went back into the ring to jump the Foxhunter (1.20m) and she felt great, making it all feel easy and again jumping double clear.
Tora on her way to a win yesterday in the 1.10 combined training, her 2nd go at Novice level and her 2nd win!!