Sorry, I have not been updating this blog much recently but we have been away on a little trip to Germany and Holland!
Whoop, Zoe and I decamped to Germany for 3 weeks, staying and training with Dutch dressage legend Ellen Bontje around Mannheim CPEDI*** and Roosendaal CPEDI*** international shows. We had a fantastic time, we learnt so much!
It was very kind of Ellen to let us stay at her beautiful yard, just south of Frankfurt. It was great to watch really good riding all day as well as train with her each day.
The first of our big shows was Mannheim CPEDI *** held during the 2 week long MaiMarkt. WOW, totally amazing show, huge arenas, huge atmosphere, so many people and horses, such a beautiful venue. This was easily the biggest show I have ever competed at and my first show outside the UK. The competition arena for the Paras was quite imposing, complete with fake grass around the outside and pretty judges boxes. Ellen came down and warmed us up for our first test, we gave a creditable performance to finish 8th. A mishap in the warming up for the individual championship test unfortunately impacted our performance on the second day and we ended up 10th but we made the cut, based on our combined scores, for the freestyle, where we finished just shy of 70% and 8th place.
Roosendaal CPEDI*** was a much quieter affair but Whoop arrived in the mood to party! He calmed down to give solid performances for 7th in the team test, 5th in the ind. champ test and we made it into the freestyle, where we came 5th. There were many of the same combinations at both shows as some of the European national federations were using them for team selection for the European Championships in August.
We had a great first time experience, competing at this higher level and made many new friends along the way. I have lots of great photos I will add soon!