In my last blog post about Withington Horse Trials I said that Katherine Begley qualified for Chatsworth Horse Trials and Chatsworth was today so as it was her first advanced and was the last event before her horse Supplejack retired I headed up to the Peak District for the day from Exeter.
The day started as usual with the dressage which went well ignoring a few exuberant changes by Jack, though I got a shock as I have not shot in a full size dressage arena for ages and as such forgot just how long they are which unfortunately limited the amount of times in the test where I was able to take photos of her as I had not positioned myself accordingly.
After the dressage due to a 4 hour wait and due to Katherine wanting to walk the course for a third time we headed out for a course walk, it was a great course to walk around with very big and technical fences. It was also quite exciting as all the spectators had to stay the other side of string but because I was walking the course with a competitor we got to go up to all the fences for a proper look. The ground has improved significantly in the last few weeks thanks to some welcome rain finally arriving so there were no concerns there as the ground was soft to walk on.
Next up was the showjumping which was a massive course and this was shown by the number of poles that were knocked down by the riders preceding Katherine. Katherine’s round started and for the first half of the course her and Jack were jumping spectacularly and it looked like they were all set for a clear round, though unfortunately all good things come to an end sometime and due to a small self-confessed rider error they came up short at one of the jumps despite how hard Jack tried as unfortunately at this height any rider errors are going to cause faults. This also very nearly caused Katherine to depart from Jack but due to some very good glue she managed to stay on, but unfortunately not before having to turn a circle to get her stirrups back, after this the next jump went down too but then they continued to have a great rest of the round. So leaving showjumping they had picked up 12 jumping faults and 20 time penalties.
Finally it was the cross-country where they had a superb round, if you ignore the small hiccup at jump 3 which lead to a stop, but the rest of the course went very well and all the direct routes were jumped. But they finished their first advanced together and Katherine’s first advanced ever which is excellent as it was by no means a small course! And now after a great last performance it is time for Supplejack to enjoy a well earned retirement.