We would like to welcome Alyson Parker to e-Venting as our Badminton Blogger. We will be following her progress in the run up to and at the big event where we shall also follow her round with our cameras covering all the action. So over to Alyson:
Well it seems an age since we qualified for Badminton Grassroots last autumn but suddenly we are planning and entering the events the horses will do in the run up to the Championships.
Meet my boys :
Mo (Moloko) is a grey 15.3 18 yr old gelding – as Irish as they come with a great big (but very handsome) head and LOVES his job. We bought him when he was 11 for my son, Steve, to do pony club and they completed several JRNs and the PC Open Eventing Championships at Draycott in 2008. Steve gave up the year after but I kept Mo and have had a brilliant time on him as he is the most awesome horse. He is a bit big for me, as he is very big built but we have a good partnership and I love him.
Joe (JJ Malone) on the other hand is a 17.1 10yr old bay gelding that we bought from Peder Damgaard in 2007 as a just sat on 4yr old. He was a perfect 16.1 when we bought him but so narrow you couldn’t get a hand between his front legs so growing was inevitable I suppose. Although he is Westfalian, he has the stature, mannerisms and disposition of a giraffe with a tiny little head and lovely kind eyes. Joe has temperament to die for, always tries his hardest and mobs anyone for polos when he comes out the ring with his “beautiful giraffe” look. So funny!!!!
At the risk of boring everyone who has heard the story a zillion times before, I am doubly excited about our trip to Badminton GR because both my boys (aforementioned) qualified for the BE100 final in 2010 but in the early spring of 2011 it all went horribly wrong and they both ended up at Newmarket Equine Hospital as in-patients having surgery – Joe for his hock and Mo for his back. It was like a bad dream – the prognosis for Mo was good following a kissing spine operation, but of course his age was against him returning to competition after, and even to my untrained eye, I could see on the x-rays that Joe’s hock didn’t look great and the Arthrodesis was a last chance saloon for him.
Amazingly, my 17 yr old Mo sprung straight back into action at Isleham last year and was 3rd in the BE100 and went on to have a great year winning his regional final at Purston on 23 double clear!
And even more surprisingly, having built up his workload under the watchful eye of Ian Wright at NEH, Joe came SOUND in April and jumped round a BE90 at Ascott under Wychwood to come 2nd on a 23 dressage ! Crikey we were back! He went on to qualify at Firle by coming 2nd on 28.5 double clear. Joe also loves his eventing and although of course I am obsessive about feeling for any unsoundness, I have to say he feels better than ever and even jumps clear rounds in the show jumping now which he rarely did before. I have kept him at BE90 to prevent unnecessary strain on his hock but to be honest, he feels great so I am planning to move him up again to prepare him for the more technical course at Badminton in May.
So we have already been out this year … Mo has been to Isleham and completed the 100 with a good dressage, 2 poles sj (eek!!!) (my fault 🙁 )and clear XC with a couple of time faults, and Joe went to Oasby last week for the 90 and WON on 29.5 double clear IN THE MUD!! Yay! Great start! Especially pleased because giraffes struggle a bit in the mud.
Aw … it is great to be out and about again, and even better that my great friend Claire Fielding has also qualified her two girls for the Grassroots – Troublesome II (April) will be doing the BE90 and Jenga the BE100. Jenga has already completed at Novice level so we are hoping she doesn’t accumulate too many points. As it is looming ever closer now, we are starting to plan our trip to Badminton and who will be coming with us – and I have started the tricky job of learning two tests. That is as well as the ones I am doing in the meantime. More of that next time.
If you see us out and about come and say hi, we all have jackets with Fielding Eventing on so are easily identifiable.