04 July 2011

A new post from Tori Trafford!

On this 4th of July holiday, I feel it's only fitting to offer a new post from our UK correspondent -- Tori Trafford --  across the pond in our former motherland (or at least one of them. Besides being a dominion of the UK,  parts of the USA once belonged to France, Spain, and Mexico, not to mention a few of my relatives -- the Native Americans). That said, we yanks most strongly identify with our former status as part of the UK -- at least in this mid-western neck of the woods.  Tori has been busy.  She offers us British eventing news, updates about her own competition summer, and some great Tim Wilkerson photos.  Thank you Tori and thank you Tim! Read on... ed)

And what a month it has been in the UK!

There are lots to be updated on – what about the spectacular finish at Luhmuhlen where Piggy French just missed out on her CCI**** win!  I can imagine the pressure at the level when you go into the Showjumping is phenomenal but many congratulations to Dibowski for a local win! 

Everything to play for in the HSCB FEI Classics Mary King still number one after her amazing one-two victory in Kentucky.

Miners Frolic Tinas Cook Olympic ride is currently fighting for his life – he was withdrawn from Badminton this year after a lump on his withers developed – Tina reported that it could have been an insect bite. However it’s soon come to light that Miners Frolic has had an adverse reaction to an antibiotic treatment and is currently in vet hospital – I wish him the very best and a speedy recovery!

We had reports from the lovely weather man that Britain is now officially in a drought – but – since they said that the heavens have literally opened! More on this now to bring you up to date with my ups and downs this month.

So Tina and I were at Great Tew and all I can say is what a disaster!
Tina was warming up fantastically in the Dressage arena and I was so confident that when I went down the centre line my face was beaming four movements in and that’s when it all happened. The horse in the Dressage arena next to mine started to rear up; I had spotted the horse warming up playing around so kept my distance as Tina gets nervous of other horses jumping about around her. Then the little horses literally exploded and galloped of with the rider straight at me so I stopped and moved out of her way needless to find Tina grinding her teeth tail clamped and nearly dancing on the spot, Piaffe eat your heart out!

I was gutted leaving the arena Tina was still upset and so was I and when I went to check my dressage my heart sank at the 43.5! I checked my sheet not only was I marked down for stopping and moving out of the way of said collision it just commented all the way down tense and not moving forward. I was amazed the Dressage judge wasn’t a little more lien ant especially as she saw what had happened and what made it worse I had all 8’s to start off with I think if the scoring had continued that day I would have won my section but alas it was not meant to be!

To top it off worse Tina had a stop in the show jumping – I think my heart wasn’t in it and Tina didn’t feel her normal self but we still set off and went clear cross country so I had put the day down to a bad experience and that we have all ups and downs.

Then it was off to Catton to do the Novice track – this is my local event and I wasn’t on till the afternoon which gave me the whole day to sort the other horses out and get plaited up in time.

Catton Park is very hilly the course designer uses great use of the area and places fences in places that if approached wrong made it difficult. 

And about that drought well we the UK, where placed in a drought famers couldn’t use rivers to water crops everyone was effected and every BE event made every effort to make the ground good – until Catton. The heavens opened this made the top layer of the soil greasy and this caused problems in the show jumping and cross country. Despite our last hiccup Tina jumped beautifully however she slipped on a turn into the double and had both down, which was a shame as I’m sure we were set for a clear but knowing this I decided to take Tina steady around the cross country. To back this up I had heard Andrew Downes had just fallen off on the flat as his horse had slipped and he had come off so my decision was set. 

We flew the course it was fantastic and once again Tim Wilkinson was on hand – I had a handful of time faults but I was so pleased as it’s another qualifying result for CCI* at Weston Park which is this season’s goal.

To top it off I went and did some pure dressage at Vale View despite Tina sticking her tongue out at the judges as she thought it was funny to get her tongue over the bit, her and Natalie came 3rd and 4th in the first Novice test with both over 65% and then in the second novice test I came 1st and 2nd with over 69% so all in all I came away a lot happier.

Next month will be Buckminster Novice and the new Cholmondeley Horse Trials reopened since 1958! So looking forward to this event, plus maybe a new arrival all going well!

Plus I have a new motto true to the Trafford clan – ‘hold fast that which is good’

Until next time you can always follow me on twitter, look for: @Traffordeventin or Facebook: Trafford Eventing until next month!

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