KBIS Novice Winter Championships 2018

After the stunning success of the Senior team our talented juniors Evelyn, Aliyah, Ellie and Jessica are off to the Equitheme UK Intermediate Winter Championships tomorrow. I am sure that all kit is clean and ponies/horses are raring to go and we wish them the best of luck!


Here is a personal account of the Senior team exploits to inspire them on their way.

For all you club members that are unsure as to how exactly these team competitions work and the preparation involved here is the inside story of how the seniors got to the KBIS Novice Winter Championships two weeks ago.

 It started at last years prize giving; Heather was looking for additional committee members to share out the job roles and unfortunately for Jude, she had had one too many glasses of wine and accepted the senior dressage manager role. As you know the winter dressage competitions that run at Diamond Equestrian help towards selection of the teams for the Area 5 qualifiers. Due to snow and flooding only one of these competitions went ahead this winter. However, Debbie Middleton ran some dressage training sessions which people found really helpful and Jude still managed to put forward 4 teams.

The Area 5 Qualifiers were held on 10th/11th Feb and over two venues, Morton Morrell and Solihull, with a total of 42 teams competing, the final results were 4th, 6th, 34th and 36th for our teams. Luckily enough one team qualified, this was made up of Dee, Heather, Jasmine and Jo, sadly Jo could not make the champs due to her hen do! (No commitment!) but Matt stepped as he had put up a great performance on his dark bay, Spooky, at the qualifier.

 A delighted Jude set up a group messenger chat to help us prepare for the big day! Heather's preparation with Honey, aka Princess ‘the dun’, was minimal due to lambing. At one point Dee’s partner, Paul, stepped in to help with the lambing so that Heather could ride, and en-route to one competition Honey had to be shod by the side of the road so she could compete. Dee and Jeffery (bright bay horse with feet size of dinner plates) had only ridden two tests without a caller before (as she always forgets the test or panics and has been known to go the wrong way even with a caller!) so late night training that week focused on ensuring that Jeff knew the test even if she didn’t. It was Jasmine and Rose's (pretty grey mare) first outing with the ‘old people' as she called us, as she is only just out of juniors. However the week before the event Rose decided that she wanted to climb through the stable grille to get to her hairy friends so a visit from the vet was required (don’t look too closely at the photo, she has some bald spots!)

I suppose Matt was chilled but Spooky, bless him, at times is scared of the most bizarre things – it took Matt 20 minutes to get him near the mounting block the day before the championships! So, in essence, we were really prepared! The 14th of April came along far too quickly.

When Dee went to clean her riding boots the night before she could not find them, she ended up calling in at a friends en-route to the venue and borrowing hers. She was reunited with her own after finding them on the road two days after she had put them down by the side of her trailer and driven off from her instructors yard.

Jude came along armed with a bottle of champagne and said that we could open it once we won (how we laughed - for we had all come for the experience and the food!). Heather was super organised and on first with Dee next. After their tests, Heather and Dee decided that they had not ridden as well as they might have done, settled the horses down to a nice hay net and got on with the most important jobs of the day, cooking, eating and drinking coffee! I forgot to mention that the messenger group chat had been mostly about the food that everyone would bring, so table and chairs were set up and bacon/sausage/egg batches were on order!


Jasmine arrived as we started to cook so we promised that we would save her some food for after her test. Matt was not due on until 3 ish so had yet arrived. We all merrily tucked in thanks to Gill's cooking skills, riding for the seniors is all about the promise of being fed and the odd cheeky Bailey’s coffee to calm the nerves but most of all having fun along the way. As we enjoyed the food, the long awaited sunshine and watching some beautiful horses compete, a friend from Crown Riding Club, also in Area 5, informed Heather that she and Dee had missed their presentations - at which point we realised that they had both been placed! Heather 5th and Dee 1st individually, so suddenly we were laughting hysterically as we had been so wrapped up in our breakfast we missed the announcement and mounted presentation!

At this point Matt arrived to some crazy women laughing and running around to look at the results. Jasmine and Rose decided to check out the Spillers weighing machine and on the way back to the lorry Rose decided now was a great time to get down and roll in a big muddy puddle - and she always looks like butter wouldn't melt. . . and arrived back with mud down her neck and in her plaits. So we all watched Matt and Spooky do their test, Matt had been placed 3rd individually in his section at the qualifiers so it was down to Spooky; was he chilled enough today? He went as well as we have ever seen him go despite all the ongoing distractions. Matt got himself to the lorry for his promised late breakfast and a cuppa. Additionally he had brought a load of doughnuts for us to eat! Jasmine’s result came in and was a creditable 20th. We all knew Matt had ridden a good test, but we did not know how good, so Matt, having been fed, (priorities you know!) went off to see where he had been placed.  Now, if you don't know Matt, he is calm and does not seem to get excited, however we watched him emerge from the results tent punching the air and shouting that he had a joint first.

Suddenly the enormity of a team win for the seniors hit us, Heather and Jasmine had qualified before but had never actually won, and for Matt and Dee it was their first time at the Nationals! Jasmine was particularly excited about showing off the rug she had won. So we all rushed to get tacked up, scrubbed our boots, washed the mud off Rose and went to the collecting ring. The seniors, after some time, have finally added to the ADRC trophy cabinet – they are still pinching themselves with disbelief. Many dreams came true for us that day, but without our friends and fellow members helping we would not have been there. However, our juniors are still leading the way as they qualified for the Festival of the Horse for Combined Training and the Festival Challenge, so time for a short breather and then the oldies will put their brave pants on, that is if they haven't left them by the side of the road somewhere, for the club hunter trial in May. So we will see you all there next week guys, just pray for some good dry weather! 



By the way, we're famous,  the oldies made it into H&H.    There's a challenge for the juniors!





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