This is Selena at Bellaney Rock at the Red Hills event. Photo by Diane Flowers.

This is Selena at Bellaney Rock at the Red Hills event. Photo by Diane Flowers.

Some days it’s easier to blog than others. When a much anticipated competition outcome is less than expectations and hopes, it takes a day or two to find a positive aspect to blog about. I am happy to say that is not a worry as I write my report of Selena’s rides at Red Hills.

The format at Red Hills CIC*** was in keeping with the new FEI guidelines. The event took place over two days with dressage and show jumping on the Friday and cross country running as tradition demands on the Saturday. I think one good aspect of this format (which I don’t think I like) is that the most spectators are on the Saturday for cross country and they will leave knowing who won on Saturday night. Personally, I think having the show jumping first at this level, changes the sport.

Selena was riding the three boys in the three star and a friend’s horse in the one star. Friday dawned cool and sunny and the dressage tests were ‘OK”. The friend’s horse, had taken a serious aversion to working in the ring and had put in an argumentative ride leaving Selena at the bottom of a huge one star division.

The three boys all put in good tests. Not their best, but a decent try. It’s only the third time in the ring this year and only the fifth competition Selena has EVER ridden Rocky. With 37 top class starters, Woody was 20th, Rocky was 24th and Solo was 29th. Again, Solo had put in a fairly steady test, still using his Chill Ultra and all getting better every outing. The boys all showjumped and all three of them had one unlucky rail. Selena was dispirited and felt that she had had “a mediocre day”. The one star horse had show jumped clear and moved up a few places. At the end of the day, Woody was 18th, Rocky was 20th and Solo was 24th.

I woke up Saturday and started checkin ‘Live Scoring’ long before there was anything running. Finally, about twenty minutes before I had to start teaching the first reports came in off the cross country course. It was the Open Intermediate division and it sounded like carnage. Early reports had retirals, eliminations, rider falls….eek. I promptly felt very sick and rushed off to teach so that I wouldn’t have time to worry.

By the time my head popped out the arena two and a half hours later, Woody and Bellaney Rock had both gone around clear and Solo was out on course. The results for Solo took HOURS to come up, my phone was running out of battery because I was checking it every five minutes. Finally the placings came out. Selena had ridden the only two cross country rounds inside the time on Woody and Solo. Bellaney Rock had had a fast clear with three point two time penalties. Selena was thrilled with her rides. There was a Canadian team jog after the competition, all three boys attended and were in good form.

Selena’s final cross country in the one star was another double clear, moving the mare up the boards again. Woody finished fifth, Rocky tenth and bad boy Solo, finally getting his act together, came 12th. Altogether a very satisfying weekend, now to perfect the show jumping and improve the dressage before ‘The Fork’ in April. Hard to believe but the Fork is ‘on the way home’ and the horses will all be back in Canada by April the 8th. As things stand, the plan is for them all to do Bromont CCI*** in June.

With the boys looking like a million dollars and running like superstars, we are often asked what we feed. The boys run on Purina Agribrand’s ‘Trimax’. Colombo was difficult to feed and until we started him on Trimax we used to change his grain every few months to keep him interested. NOT the best routine to keep his digestion in good shape. We now feed all our upper level horses Trimax, they run like rockets, they stay sane and they keep their condition. Selena took half a ton of Trimax with her from Canada.

This week in Canada we have managed to get the horses out and do a little hacking around. We are only able to walk on the paths, but the horses are really loving it. Being indoors starts to pall round about now, and the fever to ride outside begins. The counterpart to that is that our paddocks have thawed, and now have to be rested through the spring. With a limited number of fenced in acres, we carefully manage the ground during the wet Spring, so as to maximise the grazing throughout the Summer. We don’t want any broken and trampled baby grass roots, mangled by big iron feet breaking through the mud.

The clocks went forward this weekend. There is nothing ‘springing’ about me when the clocks go forward….nothing…..