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Sarah-Jane Brown 2018 Review

Our final competition of the season was an exciting one. We represented our Riding Club Threewaters Riding Club in the new Arena Eventing Qualifiers. It was a packed weekend of competition with two arenas running and competitors from two neighbouring areas competing. The courses proved the right balance of challenge and generally those with no penalties were placed.


Fliss was up first and I was a little nervous how she would cope as she is still a bit green with fixed fences particularly in an arena, but equally 90 should be well within her capability. We were last to go in our team which meant I was focusing on warming up rather than able to support the rest of our riders. All I can say was Fliss was awesome, she gave me a super confident forward yet careful clear round fast enough to be inside the time and clearing the influential joker fence at the end. 


Final placings were decided on closest to the optimum time not the fastest so to be honest it was luck on the final placings. Well luck was on my side as there were only 4 clear rounds and we were closest to the optimum winning the class. sj 2018.jpg

Winning round  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucjonkPQTmU

Ellie by this time had been on the lorry a couple of hours and felt she was missing out. By the time we were ready to get her out and tacked up she had morphed into a very hyped up supercharged pony. I sometimes think I should feed her less and then remember she only gets a little Alpha A anyway! She was anchored enough for me to get on and I even had some excited bucks in the warm up. The warm up fences were treated with distain and I could only hope that once in the ring she focused on her job. Luckily I needn't have worried and she was super, popping round the show jumping and then having a blast over the cross country fences. The joker I was a little worried about but she picked her toes up and popped it for a clear inside the time.

Amazingly there were only 6 clear inside the time and yet again we were closest to the optimum to complete a double win! The teams were 4th in the 90 and 3rd in the 100, I qualified both individually for the championships at Aston Le Walls in March which is very exciting. 

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Winning round https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGsi6UyVxYI

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This rounded off a great year, while we may have had a quiet one of the eventing front with various weather conditions and other factors limiting runs. I have been reviewing the horses performance and it has really brought home what a lovely pair of mares I have. Considering this time last year my confidence had hit rock bottom, I wasn't even wanting to ride Fliss and was totally lacking confidence we have come a huge way and I am enjoying them again.

Ellie

My project pony (that I planned to sell this year) has been a revelation, huge fun and as a result came off the market! She has competed in all affiliated disciplines 

Dressage

11 classes at British dressage

58 points (all at Novice)

Average score: 69.5%

4 wins and 10 top 3 finishes

Show Jumping

38 classes at BS (British Novice to 1.05)

17 Double Clears

7 wins and 23 places 

174 points

£310 prize money

British Eventing 

6 runs this year at BE90 and BE100

2 wins and 5th at 100 2nd and 6th at 90

5 Double clears - only 11.6 penalties total added after dressage all season

Average finish score 30.95

Miscellaneous

Reserve Champion Working Hunter Pony Stithians Agricultural Show

5th Riding Club Area Dressage

Winner Riding Club Area Arena Eventing Qualifier at 100 level

I think it is safe to say Ellie has been simply awesome a dream to have and produce as well as fun and competitive to take out. 

Fliss

Fliss has been with me just over a year and has competed less focusing on strengthening up and establishing her way of going yet she too has been very successful and great fun to produce.

Dressage

2 affiliated classes

A 3rd place

Average score 65%

Show Jumping

38 BS jumping classes British Novice to Newcomers

19 Double Clears

3 wins and 14 placings

180 points

£252 winnings

British Eventing

2 runs BE

Double clear 80 and 90

3rd BE80 Bicton

Miscellaneous

Winner Riding Club Area Arena Eventing Qualifier at 90 level

Double clear in winning team for Area 51 (Cornwall) qualifying for national BS championships

Both girls have done no competing in December but plans are already being made for 2019, weather permitting we are hoping to have an early start to the season. They will go to the Riding Club Arena eventing championships at Aston (only 7hrs drive) 10th March that hopefully both run in the 100 at Pontispool the following weekend (this will be a step up for Fliss) She will then hopefully establish at this level while we are aiming to step Ellie up to Novice. Quite daunting for a 14.2 pony!

I have started saving big time as with two horses out eventing funds will be tight but hoping to enjoy them while I can. They will also both hopefully consolidate their dressage and show jumping.

Christmas has been quiet, some lovely hacking and looking forward to getting back in the swing of the training.

Follow the journey at www.shoestringeventing.co.uk

Happy New Year to all

January 4, 2019  |   Share:

Suregrow Wagon

One of our Suregrow Fertiliser wagons in the Scottish Highlands

December 10, 2018  |   Share:

Winter Paddock Care Advice

Without doubt Winter can mean limited time for many people with daylight hours restricted but it is still important to remember to look after your paddocks.

Regular management throughout the Autumn and Winter months will help paddocks flourish by the time Spring arrives.

Keep an eye on the condition of your paddocks and try and spend some time at the weekends thinking how best to keep them in decent order.

During wet periods paddocks can easily get poached so try to rotate the land regularly to allow the grass time to rest.

If poached areas occur, perhaps around gateways, try alternating different entrances. Matting can be laid to protect the ground in Spring, but during Winter try wood chip or straw to absorb the moisture.

A daily check of your boundaries, fence and gates should be carried out to ensure everything is secure and cannot cause injury. Remove all droppings, weeds or rubbish that maybe in the field.

When Spring arrives identify if your paddock is lacking nutrients. You may want to give your grass a boost with Suregrow Fertiliser, ideal for sustained grass growth it helps to stimulate root development and strength.

Suregrow CSM Contains over 70 minerals and trace elements, and acts as a soil conditioner and improves the eating quality of grass which will give your paddocks a much needed refresh after the harsh weather.

Specialising in the care of grassland for horses and ponies, Suregrow has a range of products including fertilisers, mineral and trace elements and grass seeds specifically selected for horse and pony paddocks, as well as the ultimate in arena and ground care management.

Suregrow products include Suregrow Fertiliser, CSM, Paddock Grass Seed Mix, Fast Grass, Meadow and Laminitics Grass Mix.

field 2.jpg

November 19, 2018  |   Share:

Winter Paddock Care Advice

Without doubt Winter can mean limited time for many people with daylight hours restricted but it is still important to remember to look after your paddocks.

Regular management throughout the Autumn and Winter months will help paddocks flourish by the time Spring arrives.

Keep an eye on the condition of your paddocks and try and spend some time at the weekends thinking how best to keep them in decent order.

During wet periods paddocks can easily get poached so try to rotate the land regularly to allow the grass time to rest.

If poached areas occur, perhaps around gateways, try alternating different entrances. Matting can be laid to protect the ground in Spring, but during Winter try wood chip or straw to absorb the moisture.

A daily check of your boundaries, fence and gates should be carried out to ensure everything is secure and cannot cause injury. Remove all droppings, weeds or rubbish that maybe in the field.

When Spring arrives identify if your paddock is lacking nutrients. You may want to give your grass a boost with Suregrow Fertiliser, ideal for sustained grass growth it helps to stimulate root development and strength.

Suregrow CSM Contains over 70 minerals and trace elements, and acts as a soil conditioner and improves the eating quality of grass which will give your paddocks a much needed refresh after the harsh weather.

Specialising in the care of grassland for horses and ponies, Suregrow has a range of products including fertilisers, mineral and trace elements and grass seeds specifically selected for horse and pony paddocks, as well as the ultimate in arena and ground care management.

Suregrow products include Suregrow Fertiliser, CSM, Paddock Grass Seed Mix, Fast Grass, Meadow and Laminitics Grass Mix.

field 2.jpg

November 19, 2018  |   Share:

Sarah-Jane Brown 2018 Review

The event season is over and it has certainly been a funny one. With the wet start and events cancelled left, right and centre, followed by a period of dry and hard it has meant we have had limited runs. Saying that as I spend periods in the dark side both doing dressage and show jumping we have certainly kept busy.

Ellie (my 14.1 project pony) has run 7 times this season, sadly missing her last run to finish at Bicton with a very slight virus. Whilst we may not have had quantity we have certainly had quality with six out of seven placings, no cross country penalties, only a single pole show jumping and two wins at BE100. Real feel we are ready to tackle a novice sometime next year.

Our last run at Dauntsey which is always demanding was nearly as satisfying as her two wins. Haven't competed at Dauntsey for a few years now and it has always been renowned as a top end course that asks plenty of questions at all levels. Really good to be able to take Ellie who is now well established at this level and see how she coped. We were also in a very hot section with the top riders including this year’s Badminton winner, a WEG team gold medalist and a host of other WEG team members. I actually love testing ourselves with the best, the commentator XC said how unfortunate I was to be in such a hot class but actually to do well in this company is a huge achievement.

Dressage was probably my least favourite test, with an extra halt and 15 meters circles. I seemed to have a crisis about these circles and usually end up with them the wrong shape or size. Luckily this time we nailed them and did a very sweet test. The main areas to work on are our downward transitions particularly from canter to trot, this was a bit abrupt and fell on her forehand. However, I was chuffed with a score of 30.5 with the best in our section being on 27. Always nice when I judge comments 'Lots to like about her'. (Not sure if that meant the rider had less to like or I am just being over sensitive?) 

Show jumping was a bright course which was jumping quite well. It is not unusual at Dauntsey for a local eventing celebrity to steward this year it was none other than Mark Todd manning the gate. The warm-up was pretty hard (everything else was fine) so kept my time here to a minimum and just jumped four jumps before going in. I can't believe how much this phase has improved this year and she went in and jumped a super round, we did have a lucky tap at fence 7 but the pole stayed up and we completed a clear round. 

So onto Cross country and I was slightly worried it was certainly the toughest course Ellie has jumped to date with a variety of boldness and technical questions. It started nicely with three flowing forward questions before fence four a brush with a decent ditch in front in the dark under the trees jumping out in the light. Ellie paused going into the darker bit but once she understood what she was jumping powered out over the brush. A simple fence followed before a usual looking combination with a pole over a single upright log holding it on the turn to another identical fence. I wasn't sure how well she would read it and got her back to a more showjumping canter but she understood the question easily turned for the second part locked on and was away. A good hedge followed then a style before a small step up on the angle to a skinny house which she locked on and understood easily. We then turned over the ditch rails and down to the quarry with a rail in before coming up and out over a meaty corner. We had a bit of a duff stride to the corner and had to get quite a short one in meaning it was easy for her to run out, she had no intention of this and popped up and out easily. A few easy fences followed before the first water, for these we cross the river but a log was situated on the top of a bank down under the trees, she kept quite low but there was no hesitation, through the water and up and out over a big brush fence. The brush fence was big enough as we were coming up the hill it was made even bigger by the fact that I stood her off a stride meaning she had to grow pony wings, this she did with ease and made nothing of it! A couple more fences before the last water and unfortunately I made a costly mistake and took the track to the novice water meaning I had to circle turn back to the correct track jump the boat down to the water, through and up over the skinny rail (see video). Sadly this mistake cost us 2 time faults which was frustrating but actually eventually only cost us a single place.

I was delighted in such a competitive section to finish 5th on the same score as Jonelle Price. 
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Fliss only ended up running twice on the event circuit with two double clears at 80 and 90 but she struggled with her frame running with her head on the ground which is a tad disconcerting. Experiments with tack including bitting and nosebands has eventually found a solution, the drop noseband with a chain at the back has stopped her crossing her jaw and plunging her head down with a nice rubber bit so if she crosses her jaw she is only fighting herself.

She did her first affiliated dressage last month and showed her versatility by being in the places in a strong class. She will have a winter ticking over both on the flat and jumping. Ellie has had a few weeks off and is now back in work and like Fliss will have a fun winter with a mix of training, competition and hacking.

For me I dread winter, luckily with the help of Suregrow grass should see me through but I find it hard with working and no school forcing me out on the roads which are increasingly dangerous. I am trying to ensure we have plenty of things to look forward to over the winter to keep motivated!

I have already booked another training session with Caroline Moore, am representing the riding club in dressage and arena eventing, have outings in dressage and show jumping planned so hopefully we will be ready to get a good start eventing in the spring.

It is sometimes the simple things that give the pleasure. The fact that Kensa (2 year old daughter of my advanced mare Sarnita) was good to come in and have her feet trimmed with her field mate Tommy was very satisfying. As far as the babies are concerned they have been pretty much left to their own devices to grow up with plenty of good grazing and shelter but minimal other attention and handling. They do lead well now but otherwise will be left another 18 months to grow and mature naturally.

To keep up to date check out my website www.shoestringeventing.co.uk

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November 6, 2018  |   Share:

Success for Caroline Powell

Suregrow sponsored rider Caroline Powell was on winning form at Eventing Waregem. CHANCE ENCOUNTER won the CIC** with a super double clear, SERGEANT CRISP came 6th in the same class, and the super cute MISTER HIGGINS came 2nd in the CIC* finishing on his 30.7 dressage score!

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September 28, 2018  |   Share:

Suregrow Support Allerton Park Horse Trials

Suregrow had a fantastic time sponsoring the Intermediate and Open Intermediate classes at Allerton Park Horse Trials. Congratulations to Paul Burgess, Isabel White and James Sommerville on winning the sections.

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September 18, 2018  |   Share:

Team GBR take Bronze in the Dressage Grand Prix.

Team GBR took the Bronze medal in the Dressage Grand Prix at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina, USA.

HR_WEG18_TRYON_DR_GBR_HESTER-27582 - low.jpgThe team, made up of Charlotte Dujardin, Emile Faurie, Carl Hester and Spencer Wilton, helped the team to achieve qualification for Tokyo 2020 Olympics following two days of competition. 

Suregrow sponsored rider Carl Hester, based in Gloucestershire, took to the U.S. Trust Arena with Lady Anne Evans, Ann Cory and his own Hawtins Delicato. Producing some stunning work with the ten year-old gelding, the pair were rewarded with a score of 77.283%, a personal best in the Grand Prix with Del [Hawtins Delicato].

Said Carl: “I knew I’d have to have the ride of my life today and I did.  I had 77% in my mind as my target, not that I told anyone that, so I couldn’t be more pleased but I’m surprised!  Earlier in the week I didn’t think he’d cope but I rode him early this morning in the arena in walk and he felt relaxed so I thought I might have a good ride. He absolutely put his heart into that test.”ith Lady Anne Evans, Ann Cory and his own Hawtins Delicato. Producing some stunning work with the ten year-old gelding, the pair were rewarded with a score of 77.283%, a personal best in the Grand Prix with Del.

Charlotte Dujardin, based Gloucestershire, with Mount St John Freestyle, owned by The Mount St John Stud, entered the arena just before the final session. With the stunning nine year-old mare, the duo shone in the Tryon sun, producing a stunning test to score 77.764%.

“What an amazing horse to come here and do that!” said an elated Charlotte. “To cope with the environment and produce a test like that, I’m over the moon with her. There’s a lot of expectation on her and I’m so proud that she didn’t bother with anything; she’s so exciting for the future. There were a couple of mistakes but easy to fix and I couldn’t really have asked for more from her, she’s a real trier.”

Spencer Wilton and Emile Faurie put the British team in a promising position after completing their tests yesterday, scoring 72.795 and 74.581 respectively.

In the end it was Germany who took Team Gold after finishing on a final team total of 242.950. The USA finished second with 233.136 just ahead of Great Britain in third with 229.628.HR_WEG18_TRYON_DR_GP_GBR_TEAM-37929 - low.jpg

Photo credit John Stroud.

September 18, 2018  |   Share:

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