Well after the first blog I was managing Castle’s fitness routine quite swimmingly (excuse the pun!), despite the rain I had increased his fitness work mainly by roadwork and in the ménage. My intention had been to start our season with one of the mid-March competitions but then the first of the never-ending storms arrived, Storm Ciara! With no time to recover Storm Dennis had arrived! Unfortunately, events being cancelled!
So, to plan B – anything that’s open!! In between the storms, we had our first stay away show this year with Castle – we trucked off to Weston Lawns (near Coventry) after getting a wild card qualification for the Arena Eventing Championship, from our placing at Bicton in the Baileys Arena Eventing competition. Unfortunately, no frillies as Castle was rather excited (happy) to see some cross-country jumps, which meant we incurred a few speeding tickets!
I thought I should take Castle to his first Combined Training event of the year, his first dressage test since Bicton last October. He did brilliantly with a dressage score of 32 and clear show jumping to win both his classes!
We thought the storms had finished no, next came Storm Jorge. So, Moreton, Epworth and Aston-Le-Walls were all abandoned. Then the devasting news Pontispool and Stafford abandoning as well.
After competing at the British Showjumping weekend at Bicton, the COVID-19 outbreak has had a big impact on the whole country. Competitions and training have been grinding to a halt with the country at a standstill. All governing bodies have been releasing statements on social media within days of each other stating cancellations upon cancellations of major events, like Badminton Horse Trials and the Science Supplements Cup. With the restrictions that have been applied by the Government, there’s more difficulty on looking after our beloved animals. I am fortunate to live on a small holding farm; however, I can imagine the difficulty of trying to look after your horse at a livery yard.
I feel sorry for everyone involved in our sport not only competitors but also organisers who had been looking forward to the new season, but health is the main priority.
Stay safe everyone and keep your fingers crossed that this blows over soon.
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