Lauren Shannon’s blog: three in the advanced at Aston-le-Walls

GentelLux.jpg

Well, this is a bit more like it! Summer, I mean. It couldn’t have come at a better time either, the Olympics are about to start and it looks like the eventers won’t have a wash out next weekend.

Luckily, the weather sorted itself out just in time for the Mulberry Insurance Services Aston-le-Walls. I competed on Friday and Saturday last week there, and I cannot reiterate enough how well run it was, with everyone being upbeat. The ground wasn’t ideal for the dressage by the Saturday, but I don’t think any of us were about to complain, we were all so excited to actually get a run in!

I had Louie (Zero Flight) competing in the advanced, as he is now heading to the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in September. He was very excited to be out and the ground didn’t help his already choppy trot, but he scored a respectable 36 and then went on to jump double clear. I say double clear in a loose sense of the term, as we were eliminated on the cross-country for missing out a fence! I was a little bit rusty from not having any events to go to for so long, at least that’s my excuse (and I’m sticking to it).

Mikey (McFly) and Gentel Lux were also competing in the advanced class, and Mikey did a good dressage, had one down showjumping and went clear cross-country. As I haven’t ridden him before this season, and we haven’t had many events to compete in together, I feel like we are just starting to understand one another a bit more now and I was really pleased.

Lux was competing in her first advanced and I was very nervous. She is a fab jumper, but as Blenheim is now so close and so many advanced classes have been cancelled, I was worried we wouldn’t qualify in time. I needn’t have worried though! Lux did a good first advanced test, scoring 36, and then jumped a superb double clear. She is so classy, and it felt so easy for her.

Maybe a bit too easy in fact, as she decided to take a stride out at the skinny coming out of the last water! She cleared it fine, but I just circled her after that to make sure she hadn’t scared herself before finishing the course. My face in the photo of it is priceless.

So now she is qualified for the eight- and nine-year-old class at Fidelity Blenheim Palace and Mikey and Louie are heading to Hartpury for the CIC*** in a couple weeks. It’s amazing that the end of the season is drawing closer, as it seems only yesterday that we were packing up for the first events of the season.

The next item on the agenda for everyone though, must be the Olympics. I am heading down on Saturday with the Olympic Ambition program, and we get to spend three days down at the Games getting a first-hand experience of what it’s like. Luckily, I will be able to watch some dressage and the entire cross-country, which is the next best thing to doing it yourself! Better pack the suncream…

Lauren

Report on Aston-le-Walls advanced sections and second part of Olympic preview in H&H out this Thursday, 26 July. Full report on the Olympic eventing in H&H next week – out on FRIDAY, 3 August (to fit in with Olympic timetable)