This was the first ever event to be held at Littleton and so we were going there not quite knowing what to expect. The grass dressage arenas were not the flatest but Effy coped well considering her age (5). She stayed quite balanced through most of her test, performing some really nice transitions and staying consistent in her outline. Unfortunately she nearly fell over going into the final halt when she tripped over a divot which meant she dropped a few marks, however still scored an impressive 27.8, leaving her in 2nd after dressage.
The show jumping was held in a surfaced arena but was not the most flowing of courses, which again wasn’t ideal for a youngster, but with a little guidance Effy jumped a clear round, so remained in 2nd place heading into the final phase.
With limited space at the venue, the cross country course was full of twists and turns which I was anticipating could be tricky with a young inexperienced horse, so my plan was to get her into a good strong rhythm over the first few jumps to get her going. She set out well but was a little hard to get going, however by the second jump she was taking the bridle and getting into her stride. However as we approached the next jump the red flags came out as another competitor had fallen, and we were held in course. This couldn’t have happened at a worse point in the course for us, as Effy had just got going and then was forced to stop. After around 5 minutes we were allowed to restart but Effy had lost her focus and rhythm and unfortunately this led to two cheeky run outs at skinny fences immediately after the restart. Unfortunately in eventing, as like any sport, there are certain things out of our control and on this day luck wasn’t on our side and things worked against us. I am confident that without being held Effy would have grown in confidence around the course and finished in the prizes- however now we will have to wait until next season to give it another go!