The weather stayed dry for the winter area novice teams' competition held at Duchy college last Sunday. We fielded two teams, the blue team consisted of Sarah Fletcher, Natalie Levans, Ali Fletcher and myself, Heather Child, and the red team was Nicky Lampshire, Stephanie Ring and Jane Angilley
– Steph and Jane having stepped in at the last minute for a first attempt at jumping in a team.
The course was well built (that means big) at 80cm and rode very well, particularly if you remembered all the lessons we had from Mel Farnworth over the winter
– unfortunately I didn't, but Sarah and Natalie did, both posting clear rounds, and Ali only had four faults, so with three scores from the four to count the blue team were on four faults after the first round. The red team had a fence down each, and with only three members all their scores counted.
The course changed for the second round, and now looked like 90cm, but again the lines were all very good if you rode the corners properly! Ali went first for the blue team, clear, then Sarah, four faults, then Natalie
– clear, finally me - no pressure then. I remembered what Mel said, found the accelerator pedal and somehow we jumped a clear round too, so now our final score for the two rounds was just the first round four faults.
Surely one team would be clear after both rounds, we started to pack the horses away when Nicky arrived to say we were in the jump off with two other teams, all four members to jump in the same order as before. Mad panic as we tacked back up and rushed to the warm up for a last effort.
The tension mounted in the practice ring as team member after team member from all the teams went clear. Ali started us off brilliantly with a clear round, then Sarah jumped an excellent round with just the last down as she took a flyer with an eye on the time. Natalie continued her unbeatable performance with a third clear round in a fast time and we managed to go clear too, although speed is never our strong suit.
The last rider of the day posted another clear round, to the cheers of their supporters, all three teams had three more clear rounds and time would be the decider. The judges added the clear round times together to give an aggregate score, and we came third with South Devon West and Holsworthy beating us by a couple of seconds. We were absolutely delighted with the way our horses had gone, and had such a lovely day (as you can see from the grins in the photos) that third place was the icing on the cake
Many, many thanks to Nicky, Jane and Steph who stayed to support us to the very end, the team spirit was amazing with everyone helping each other with practice fences, getting horses ready and everything.
If anyone would like to be in a team please let us know, there are teams for show jumping, dressage and One Day Events starting from Novice
– 80cm – to Open (much bigger) with chances to qualify for National Championships, or just for fun. I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed my day and being part of a Threewaters Riding Club team.
See you all soon, Heather Child