A Change of Scenery
My February started a little differently, as we celebrated a big birthday for my mum (I won’t say which one, other than it ended in a 0!). We surprised her with a trip to Tromsø in Norway to search for the Northern Lights, something which has always been top of her ‘bucket list’.
On the first day, we went out on a boat trip around the fjords, which are absolutely stunning. We sat and enjoyed the scenery whilst the other group on the boat put the effort in fishing. They caught some cod, which the captain of the boat then made into a delicious fish soup – you could tell the fish was really fresh! That evening, we went dog sledding. The huskies were really friendly and we were able to go up to them and give them cuddles, so we got our dog fix! It was fairly eventful as most of us ended up falling off the sleds and my sister, who is a vet, had to resuscitate a dog that had got caught up in the lines. By the time we got back to where we started, she had made a full recovery and was back to her normal self.
The following day, we started out at the Sami week festival, where they were doing Norwegian lassoing. It was not quite what we had expected but it was interesting to watch. We then went to the Polaria and had a wander around all the sea animals before watching the seals train. We finished with a lights chase to try and find the Aurora. It started off looking quite promising, but sadly it clouded over so we didn’t get to see the lights. We had a fantastic time and will have to go back next year to search for the lights again.
When we got back, it was all systems go in preparation for the regionals. We took Tank (Headmore Wimoweh) and Wilbur (Headmore Wrubinstar) for a practice run to Crofton. Tank had only competed once since the Nationals and Wilbur not at all since then, but both went well to finish with scores between 70 and 73% and complete their Advanced Medium summer qualification in one outing.
Then, it was off to the Regionals. Tank started with his Medium Open, where he produced a consistent test to finish on over 70%. He was in the lead for about three hours until the penultimate combination just pipped him into 2nd, but he qualified for the final nonetheless. We then contested the Advanced Medium Music and, despite getting spooked just before we went in, he still finished 4th with over 72% so fingers crossed for a wildcard.
The following day, I started with my trainer hat on to help my client Devan warm-up her horse. She rode fantastically to finish 2nd and qualify for Hartpury in the Advanced Medium Restricted. It was then Tank’s turn again in the Advanced Medium Open, where he produced yet another fantastic test to score over 72%, but this time he held on for the win and got his moment in the limelight! Clever Tankie!
Our Regionals didn’t stop there – the following week, we headed to Merrist Wood for Wilbur’s Advanced Medium. He was a bit nervous, as it was dark and very cold, which led to a few little mistakes. He still finished 7th with nearly 69% in a strong class.
It was then Tank’s turn again to finish off in the Medium Freestyle. I was thrilled with him as I put more power in and he answered. Sadly, one judge marked us down but we still finished 4th with over 71%, so fingers crossed for another wildcard. We will also be hoping for wildcards for clients Nicky and Karen, who both finished 4th in their regionals.
Now, some really exciting news! As I write this, I’m about to pack to head off to Doha with Del (Headmore Delegate) for the invitational 5* at CHI Al Shaqab in Qatar. It’s very exciting, but also quite scary so wish me luck. I’ll be sure to tell you all about it in my next blog!