Well in contrast to February last year when there really wasn't a lot to report on, this last month has been rather busy for everyone here at Woodington!
As well as our regular Emily Ormerod & Cheryl Bezants clinics, Heather ran some flatwork and test riding clinics which proved very popular & we hope to run some more of soon. (when Heather can fit them in!)
Heather then put on her judges hat & headed off to judge at various Petplan area festivals and regional championships around the South of England.
For those wondering what Denver is up to he is absolutely fine but we've decided to give him a bit of a quieter life.
He was starting to find some of the more collected higher level work hard and rather than run the risk of breaking him we've backed off and found him a lovely sharer who rides him three days a week.
It's a shame he never actually got to do a grand prix but we have done pretty much everything else there is to do with him!
He owes us absolutely nothing and if you'd have told us we'd be competing at PSG on him, (never mind up to Inter II) all those years ago we'd never have believed you!
Mandy has had another exceptionally busy month. As well as having her judges coordinators hat on organising all the judges and writers for the BD winter championships in April, she's been a judge herself at the Petplan area festival at Kingston Maurward as well as at Moreton. She's also had a very successful month competing!
After having something bothering him in his ear at Quob affecting the contact and his attention in the test, Ryan more than made up for that at his Petplan area festival at Kingston Maurward. They did a beautiful test to finish on just a smidge off 68% and in 2nd place in the medium silver section which qualifies them for the winter championships at Hartpury in April. Huge congratulations to Mandy, Penny & Ryan.
It's not been all about Ryan though, James has made his BD debut this month too gaining his first official BD points. He's had two outings, the first to Sparsholt where he was very grown up, even when he knew the beautiful Lizzie had arrived and he couldn't resist chatting to her a bit during his second test! They ended up on 67% & 65% with placings in both the novice classes.
The other outing was to Quob, a new venue for James and he not only did a beautiful test to finish 3rd on 69% in novice 37a but then stood quietly on the lorry while Mandy rode Ryan in the medium.
Alison & Lizzie have had a very busy month too! Starting at Sparsholt they had a very 'educational' day as the BD show coincided with the student open day and just as they were doing their PSG test in the office arena a large group of prospective students and their families descended on the car park at the end of the arena! Lizzie actually coped very well with just a couple of unscheduled halts and a very impressive rein back across the width of the arena affecting the flow of the test somewhat but continuing away from that end of the arena like a true pro!
They then had far quieter outings to Quob and a pre regional outing to Wellington where Lizzie did some lovely tests finishing second at Quob and in the placings at Wellington in some really strong advanced medium classes.
Then it was off to Kingston Maurward for her first area festival. Doing your first Petplan at PSG is quite an ask for a relatively inexperienced horse as it's a hard enough test as it is without having three list 1 judges sat at tables up on plinths in the arena complete with tablecloths and houseplants! Lizzie coped brilliantly and though there were a few mistakes in the test there was also some really good work, we were thrilled with her and collected an 8th place rosette to take home for Norman.
It was then on to Lizzie's first regional championships two days later at Wellington where they had an early start being first on at 8am in advanced medium 98. Lizzie didn't seem to mind though & did a lovely mistake free test to finish 10th in a really strong silver section. They had one day's break before heading back for the advanced medium freestyle. Lizzie felt understandably a bit tired after a busy few days but pulled off a mostly mistake free test which was good enough for 9th place. We are over the moon with her as to come away with top ten placings in all three classes is quite an achievement considering how little she has really done.
Thank you to Kevin Sparrow, Lottie Elizabeth Photography & Tlovellphotography for all the lovely photos.