Piggy March: French journey woes, and the judging of eventing dressage

  • High British occasion rider Piggy March on the ups and downs of her journey to the younger horse World Championships in France

    I’ve simply returned from the younger horse World Championships at Le Lion d’Angers, which has lengthy been a favorite occasion of mine. This yr was no exception with sensible homeowners on the market and a few beautiful horses who’re thrilling for the long run.

    It was the primary time I’ve made the journey overseas off my very own again reasonably than with the British group since Brexit. The unknown side contributed to the stress – the French finish is so badly signed, we spent an additional 90 minutes driving round – which wouldn’t be a difficulty for skilled travellers. However the reality a lot time is wasted isn’t good for anybody and is detrimental to horse welfare.

    If horses should wait for 3 hours for a cursory vet test and the stamping of a carnet, there must be a secure space the place they’ll depart the lorry and stroll round, which isn’t at the moment allowed.

    General, the brand new guidelines added 5 – 6 hours to journey time, which is so irritating. I hope it’s a piece in progress and may enhance – to go overseas is at all times such an thrilling journey. I additionally hope Britain can hold placing on instructional occasions for younger horses, so the necessity for overseas journeys isn’t too nice.

    The opposite side of Le Lion which was disappointing was that the dressage judging felt uneven between Thursday and Friday; the opponents have been all speaking about it.

    Andrew Bennie, president of the seven-year-old floor jury, is likely one of the finest eventing floor jury members, with a optimistic method and a practical understanding of occasion horses. He’ll reward potential and a accurately skilled and ridden horse, which retains athletic horses with the required blood for five-star within the combine beside extra dressage varieties.

    He had my two horses 2% aside, which I felt was right, however the different judges have been extra damaging about my horse on Thursday. Discrepancies included a 5.5 and a 9 for a 10m circle. They have been giving low marks for poorer work, which by the tip of Friday they have been forgiving.

    I’d definitely discover it exhausting to be a choose and I’m not normally one to make a fuss about this, however 5 of the highest 10 horses got here from the second half of Friday, which feels unbalanced. There was once a number of dialogue concerning the emotion of Friday afternoon sending marks up, however this has largely disappeared lately. I hope this was a one-off and judges can proceed to carry a normal. It was nonetheless a fantastic occasion and the younger horses achieve beneficial expertise with the large crowds.

    It was the primary time I’ve been at Le Lion because the dressage and showjumping have been on a floor, which makes it fairer when it’s moist, reasonably than the later horses acting on cut-up grass. It was once that showjumping clear at Le Lion moved you up no less than 5 locations however my two moved up one and three. Both we had a area of very robust jumpers or being on the floor performed a component there.

    Congratulations to the Costs

    An enormous effectively finished to Tim Worth not just for profitable Maryland five-star, however for all his autumn success, and to his spouse Jonelle on her Pau win. That they’re numbers one and two on the earth is a testomony to them – they’re unbelievable opponents and unbelievable folks. Each are on the prime of their sport as riders and attaining success on a spread of horses.

    Jonelle will need to have felt a bit flat having given Tim the experience on Maryland winner Coup De Coeur Dudevin, however we’ve got to go together with intestine feeling on these choices and what a lift that she was on prime once more at Pau.

    Day out

    It’s refreshing to get to the tip of the yr and step off the hamster wheel of fixed journey. I get pleasure from on the lookout for new, younger horses and with the ability to produce the horses with out the strain of an occasion.

    It’s an actual focus of mine to pay attention to what could make your horse a greater eventer. I don’t hunt each season for the love of it – I spend a lot time on a horse that I don’t notably need to get muddy and moist for hours on the searching area – however it may make an enormous distinction to horses, hardening them up, educating them, bettering their footwork, steadiness and mindset as you cross unprepared nation.

    ● What do you get pleasure from about winter? Write to hhletters@futurenet.com

    • This unique column may even be obtainable to learn in Horse & Hound journal, on sale Thursday 3 November

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