This is what I got up to in April!
- A BEV (British Equestrian Vaulting) competition, the first of the year
- RDA Showjumping
- GLL Sport Foundation
At the end of April Cambridge hosted our first BEV event of the year. Having only vaulted on a horse a few times since October, I opted to make life slightly easier for myself by competing only in walk (i.e. compulsories in walk not canter, and freestyle in walk). I also decided, after a bit of heartache, that I should just stick with the music and routine that had been successful at the British Champs last year. Once I’d made that decision it all felt a lot more manageable!
The day of the event was incredibly wet and we were a bit down on coaches so all of us older vaulters were busy looking after the younger ones, especially the few who had come from other clubs to vault on our horses. Despite all this (and some uncooperative horses for some of the other vaulters) it was a good day and everyone seemed to enjoy it. I scored 6.363 overall – I can do better but I do have to remind myself that I was vaulting with virtually no practice and a range of extra injuries. Which leads me onto…
A week before the vaulting competition I had a go at Level 4 showjumping. The new Level 4 that has been brought out in 2018 is a course of eight jumps including one double (so nine jumping efforts) at a height of 70cm. I had previously jumped individual fences at that height (and higher) and I had jumped larger courses at a lower height, but I had never put them together to jump a course of 70cm fences. I was riding Rolo who loves to jump, but he’d just had a different saddle put on him (literally ‘just’ – I was waiting for the saddler to leave so I could mount!) which he wasn’t keen on. Uncharacteristically, he kept striking off on the wrong canter lead, and ran out at a couple of jumps which he has never done with me before. Certainly a massive part of it was me not riding particularly well but he did go better when we changed the saddle round!
We managed to film a whole round of the Level 4 class to be judged as my regional qualifier for Hartpury. Before that, though, I had a pretty impressive fall (totally my fault). At the time it felt OK, maybe a bit sore in my leg, but OK. A few days later it turned out that I had actually torn the meniscus in my right knee (and sustained some impressive bruising!). That wasn’t much fun to take into the vaulting competition!
At gymnastics in April I spent some time really focussed on competition routines. I’m entering a competition in June (just an adult’s gymnastics event) and then in October the plan is to enter the British Disability Championships. Coach Gemma has been taking me through it all and in April we focussed on getting a floor routine as well as a few extra skills on beam. I thought I was quite fit but doing a full floor routine is really tough! At the moment I’m still just crashing through it all but I hope that, once I get the hang of all the bits that require some basic co-ordination, it will all look a bit more elegant…
GLL Sport Foundation
In April I also received the news that I was successful in my application to be supported by the GLL Sport Foundation. This is really exciting because it gives me access to extra facilities, advice and opportunities, as well as some funding. I’m looking forward to flying the flag for GLL at the big events this year!