An update from our supported rider Cara Shardlow …
July was a very busy month. I had no expectations of competing for Great Britain this year at all, I was just hoping to get back into the swing of things and doing more low key things until next year. But after our win at Somerford premier league, that completely turned things around and we were selected for Hartpury and Hickstead CDI in July!
We headed to Hartpury with only 3 competitions under our belt after the year out, so I was just so grateful to be there and was maybe just enjoying the moment a little too much and not really riding like I know I needed to. This resulted in two nice tests but far too many silly little mistakes that were hugely costly.
The standard at these shows are massive, I suppose I’m up against some of the best in the world and you need to be on form!!
I lived every moment of being there but it made me realise I now needed to up my game again.
Two weeks later we headed to regionals at Inter 1 level, he was feeling brilliant on the run up to it and I was so much more focused on the day which resulted in our best score since Somerford with just one mistake in the 3 time changes, just under 67% and 4th in a very competitive class. I was very pleased!!
Two weeks later we headed to Hickstead in a heat wave …
I’ve wanted to compete there for years and we were up against some fantastic horses and riders.
Unfortunately he took a dislike to the lovely metal horse statue outside the arena and after a brilliant warm up for our PSG, although we were first in I was feeling very confident for a good test until he saw the statue again … He obviously thought it was going to eat him as the test was then rather hot and after getting no halt going in we then made two many mistakes which was disappointing.
For the Inter 1 warm up he was being quite inattentive but this made me be much more on the ball for the test, he made me ride my socks off but thankfully no mistakes and I was thrilled. The score was a bit disappointing but one judge did give us a 67% which was more how it felt.
Every time I get to wear the GB flag is such a special moment and I still have to pinch myself about the journey we have been on in the last 10 years to do it.
He is having a bit of a rest now before we head to our first summer nationals in September.
Sandonista has been struggling for form this year and has not been out much because of this, but did come good for regionals. He did a lovely test getting just under 67% and 9th place, still never been out of the top 10 at regional level.
I’ll now get him out for winter qualifiers and work towards our first PSG.