The big day has finally arrived! In Alice & Fab’s fifth blog installment, follow them on competition day, from an early start for the arena walk to a post-test beer and a lap of honour around the stable. After a tricky ride – but with glimmers of brilliance – Alice and Fab took an unexpected 10th place in the Petplan Equine medium restricted Area Festival final with a score of 65.81%, taking home a championship rosette in their first season at the level.

Alice also teaches us the “championship chop” plaiting technique – much to trainer Keith Robertson’s dismay. There’s an important song stuck in Alice’s head that should help her to “let it go”, but unfortunately Fab’s proper name still proves impossible for the commentator.

Tomorrow’s blog will see us say goodbye to Fab, for now, as she hitches a lift back to Hertfordshire with a generous friend, along with an unmissable blooper reel from the past week.

About the Area Festivals

The Area Festivals were set up to give amateur riders of all levels the opportunity to enjoy taking part in prestigious championship-style dressage shows. There are 19 Petplan Equine Area Festivals held at leading dressage venues across the UK from August to November each year. The shows give amateurs the chance to compete in true championship conditions and enjoy the experience of riding in the atmosphere of a top show.

Competing at the Area Festivals is an achievement in itself and more than 3,000 riders taking part each year. Those riders placed first to fourth at prelim to elementary and riders placed first or second at medium to prix st georges at each Area Festival during are invited to compete at the Area Festival Championships at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships.