With November being the final month of the winter qualifying season, we were trying to complete our final qualifications. This meant quite a lot of competing as I hadn’t been very organised with my 6 year olds! Firstly we took Bracks (Headmore Boadicia) and Dante (Headmore Downtopia) to Wellington riding on 8th November for an elementary freestyle to music. The class was massive but I was pleased with both horses. Bracks scored just over 73% and Dante scored just half a mark behind. Unfortunately, we finished in 3rd and 4th, so just missed out on qualifying.
We then had another competition on 10th November at Crofton Manor, again with Bracks and Dante. Dante did the elementary qualifier and it was the hardest test he had ever done. It was also very cold and windy so I wasn’t very accurate as my eyes were watering and I couldn’t see where I was going. He still scored over 67% but only finished 2nd, so missed out on qualifying again. Bracks did two medium tests. In the first she went well but had a few green mistakes, it being only her second outing at medium, but still scored over 72% and won, which was amazing. Both Mum and I were very pleased with her second test as we felt it was the best medium test she had done. It was mistake free and really flowed but we were very disappointed with a mark of just under 67%, and we finished 2nd by one mark which was very frustrating as we just missed out on qualifying by the smallest of margins!
As we hadn’t qualified at Crofton we then went to Fair Oak Grange on 12th November to do an elementary and a medium. Dante warmed up amazingly but when we went from the big outdoor warm up to the small indoor arena for the test he felt a little bit nervous. However, it was still good enough to score 70% and win, completing his elementary qualification. Bracks also warmed up very well but she was also a little bit nervous in the competition arena. She scored just under 70% and finished 2nd, once again just missing out on qualifying.
As we hadn’t managed to complete all of our qualifications, we took both Dante and Bracks all the way to Essendon and Epping Forest Dressage Group in Essex, as we could try and get all of our remaining qualifications done in one go. We did have to go all the way around the M25, but thankfully we arrived with plenty of time. My first test was with Bracks in the medium qualifier, and, although there were a few mistakes as she is still quite green, it was good enough to score over 70% and win, completing her qualification after a few frustrating second places! We also had an elementary freestyle to music with both of them. Dante went first and he came out very fresh. I was absolutely thrilled with him as he went beautifully, probably the best he had every gone, and scored just under 70%. Bracks then went in and also produced a good test, although she did have a little moment in a simple change because she didn’t want to walk! However, she still scored nearly 72% and we finished 1st and 2nd, completing both of their elementary freestyle to music qualifications, making the long trip well worth it!
Despite the amount of competing both Dante and Bracks had done in a relatively short space of time, they both kept coming out very fresh thanks to their Dengie diet and the Dengie Performance vitamins and minerals they are having!
It was also the Brightwells auction this month, and Del (Headmore Delegate) and I had been invited to compete in the medium and advanced medium champion of champions as we had done so well at the Nationals. We had to do a freestyle to music and they were very small and select classes as the combinations had been invited to compete by Brightwells. Del went very well in the medium on the first day and I was very pleased with him as there was an amazing atmosphere and it was very spooky as the arena was set up for the auction. It was judged by Francis Verbeek and Peter Engel, two top International judges, and after every test the judges spoke aloud to the audience to give their comments. They absolutely loved Del and his way of going and said that he and I had a real harmony. We scored over 77% and finished just behind Peter Storr on his advanced medium national champion. The judges said the difference was that Peter’s test was more difficult, but we were thrilled nonetheless. The following day it was the advanced medium and Del went even better than in the medium. The judges only had very positive comments to make and we scored a massive 79% and won by a massive 5%, an amazing result!
Del and I had another outing together this month, we were guinea pigs at the Albion Saddlemakers National Convention with Klaus Balkenhol and Dr Wilfried Bechtolsheimer. I was really excited and thought that it was a really good idea when I was first asked to do it, but by the time it got round to it I was very nervous and wished that I’d said no when I was asked! However, it was an amazing experience and a real privilege to be able to train with Klaus Balkenhol, even though Del and I didn’t perform to our best as he was very tense in the atmosphere in the Hartpury arena.
Wizard (Wurlizer) also got to go a party this month as I had my world class viewing. Wiz was very excited to be able to go to a party as he hadn’t been out since the Nationals. The first days riding went very well, although Wiz was a bit overexcited to be out again and didn’t want to stop doing one time changes, but at least he was enjoying himself! I was disappointed with the second days riding as the test didn’t go as well as I would have liked, but I had a super session with Monica Theodorescu afterwards so hopefully it wasn’t as bad as I had thought. The part that was scariest to me however was the interview that we had to do. I was absolutely terrified about is as I am more used to riding. The thought of doing an interview was very daunting and I had visions of an ‘Apprentice’ type boardroom, but it went much better than I had expected and wasn’t nearly as bad or scary as I had thought it would be! I haven’t heard yet whether I made it onto the scheme but I will let you know when I have heard, fingers crossed!
I had another regional foundation squad training. This time I took Dante and had a superb lesson with Jill Day, our trainer. She really liked him and thought that I was doing a good job with him. I also had another session on the mechanical horse. Michelle said that I was much better than last time but I really struggled to get the mechanical horse to half halt, we either did absolutely nothing or went back to walk. Let’s just say that I wouldn’t be able to ride it round a dressage test yet!
Riding has been in our family for generations. With my mum, Sarah, competing at HOYS and RIHS it was only natural that, as soon as I could walk, I'd end up in the saddle!
As I was growing up I joined the Hampshire Hun
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Previous PostsBusy with Parties
We like to move it move it!
Winter Regionals - Success
Horsey Husband Shopping & Party Time
Training with the Golden Girl, Charlotte Dujardin
Wrapping Up For Winter
ArchiveIt might be fright night but the horses are alright!
Wiz proves to be a star at the Nationals
A month full of fun!
National Qualifiers, Posh Frocks, and Pitty Patty of Hooves for Next Year!
Despite the weather its been a busy time for Headmore
Success in the Rain
Qualifiers, Diamond Jubilee, Boris and Polo make a very busy month!
An exciting year ahead is expected!
Qualifying for Advanced Medium....not a bad birthday present!
A sad farewell
A very special christmas present
When it rains, it pours!
Pub quizzies, shopping and the occasional dressage test
A busy month and a well earned holiday for the Headmore Team
The Climax of the National Championships
No rest for the wicked
A manic month for Alice
Building up to the climax of the summer season
Manic May for Alice
A busy and exciting April
Summer competition season kicks off!
A busy February for Alice
A fantastic start to the New Year
Happy New Year
Alice Oppenheimer joins the Dengie Supported Riders