Hickstead CDI** July 2018
Words fail to describe how incredibly proud I am of this little man.
18 months ago we thought we had lost him when strangles hit our yard and his body went into over drive. By the grace of God and an incredible veterinary team at Somerton Equine Hospital led by Heinrich Zieg, he recovered and has gone from strength to strength.
With scorching temperatures we made the decision to break the long journey to Hickstead and travel in two days. So having left home at 4.30am on Monday morning, we made it to Hickstead by lunchtime on Tuesday. In time to get well settled in and have a light work out in the afternoon. Happy and settled in his surroundings he worked well once he put his mind on the job and stopped finding things to look out and make work more entertaining!!
Wednesday was trot up day and not being on until afternoon I worked him in the morning before the heat got to bad and had a chance to work in both competition arenas which was very useful and his work was really on form. Trot up came and his first experience of anything like this, he behaved perfectly and passed with flying colors.
Drawn at 16.10 on Thursday in the PSG, meant an early morning ride out for us, which was very pleasurable and enjoyable. Confident and content I drifted through the day waiting for the afternoon to come around. Unfortunately as the afternoon came so did the heat… By the time I had to do my test it was 35° or so!!!! Struggling to cope with the heat, he looked after me so well and we put our best foot forward and got some really really positive comments and delighted to come away with a 64.20% in our international debut.
Drawn earlier today at 11.18am I felt more positive than ever, excited that it wouldn’t be so warm as well, but I guess I was wrong… Again my test came around it had made it to 30°!! The warm up was going super, until a close encounter and quick reactions to avoid an accident caused a moment’s concern when my finger started to swell and I couldn’t take the pain of holding the reins in my right hand! Forced to make a quick decision as the clock was ticking, there was only thing on my mind and that was making it to the arena to show off how well he was going. With a grimace or two, I took up the reins and didn’t look back… His test started much improved on yesterday’s PSG and I was thoroughly enjoying it, his trot tour was lovely and expressive and he managed to hold his nerve and walk, unfortunately as the canter tour went on he got stronger than I could hold with my hand and as he felt me not the usual support he paniked in both his pirouettes proving to very costly but I got him back to finish with a class extended trot! Scores a little varied with a 7% difference in judges opinion but happy given the circumstances to come away with a 62%
It’s been a huge learning curve and incredible international debut, I am so proud of how Ludwig has coped with everything and taken it all in his stride. Definitely will make us both stronger for the future and can’t wait to see what else this horse can do with me
Thanks as always to all my team both here with me and at home keeping everything going to allow me away on these trips, huge thank you to my parents for without I wouldn’t be here! And to my sponsors Alan Ward of Saoirse Saddlery and Dressage By Design
So lovely to have such a great bunch of fellow Irish here competing, huge congratulations to you all, your amazing and thank you for making this experience for me one to truly treasure and remember