Jersey-based pony rider Lily Fenn, 14, was making her first visit to the Blue Chip championships at Hartpury with her pony Buddy Budweiser
The show is very smart and held at a lovely place. The drapes, flowers and arched entrance make it special, but it has a much more laid-back, easy atmosphere than the Scope Festival.
It’s nice to see the jumping from the trade stands at the side of the ring, but they can distract the ponies. In the coral championship, my pony ‘Buddy’ peeped and knocked a pole down in the combination right alongside the trade stands. He’d jumped fine in the sapphire championship before that, but perhaps he didn’t notice them first time around!
I found the courses technical and although it was a nice ring, it was quite tight. There wasn’t much room for error. I wasn’t nervous, though, just excited to be here and to get in the ring and jump!
I jumped in a warm-up class on Saturday ready for Sunday’s championship classes, but arrived late on Sunday after we got held up in traffic at road-works. I didn’t get chance to walk the course for the sapphire and was a flustered and worried I wouldn’t remember it. Once I got in there I felt calm and I jumped clear, although there was a little blip with a wiggly line to one oxer. Buddy was great and gave an enormous leap over it to help me out.
The second round went well, but I was first to go in the jump-off. I was apprehensive whether to go for a clear or push against the clock. I didn’t hold him enough to the double, though, and we had four faults for seventh place.
It’s still good for my first time here, and I won a hat, t-shirt, gift voucher and some money. I enjoyed myself and hope I qualify for next year.