We set off from Edinburgh at 11am on the Sunday morning and drove down to Beverley, Yorkshire - of course making the mandatory McDonald’s stop at Alnwick on our way down. Once we arrived at Bishop Burton we registered, then headed out for dinner with the Glasgow team.
On Monday, we drove the 10minute drive from Beverley to Bishop Burton, successfully avoiding all cows grazing by the road on the way! Then we drew our horses for the first round. Andreas, Hannah and Charlotte rode the team test first and rode a lovely, 90% synchronised test – the other 10% was when Charlotte’s gorgeous little grey pony couldn’t quite keep up! Caledonia was then up with her individual test and she rode a beautiful, accurate test.
Then we had to wait for the results… unfortunately none of our riders got through to the final 8, but Caledonia had just been pipped by the eventual individual winner by 2 penalties and was delighted to finish 9th individually in the dressage.
Then I was up with the first round Championship dressage. Sophia, Caitlin and I (the 3 Scottish individuals) rode our test together as a team test but were judged individually. Excitingly, I progressed to the next round, alongside fellow Scots Sophia, Leona and Lisa. I had an interesting 2nd round test, which was not the most harmonious at times, but I still very much enjoyed it. Leona made us all proud to be part of team Scotland when she qualified for the 3rd round on the Tuesday morning, giving us something to get up for! Leona rode a lovely test and ended up in 6th place individually. I finished 13th out of 42.
On Tuesday afternoon, we had the Trophy show jumping. The course was not quite the maximum height of 95cm but was technical and well-built, making it a nice challenge for our team. They all jumped very well, finishing with 2 clear rounds and 2 with just a single fence down. Unfortunately, none of the riders progressed to the final. Overall the team finished a very credible 5th place, and managed team 4th for their team dressage test. We celebrated with a chippy and stayed in to watch Love Island together that evening.
I was the only one competing on the Wednesday and I was very nervous in the morning. I drew a beautiful and responsive first round horse, which I really clicked with, and so I had a huge smile on my face after my clear round! I was rewarded with 4 9’s for my collectives from one judge and went through to the 2nd round. The second round horse I had was huge and very scopey, and I felt like a pea on top of him! He jumped a nice round for me… bar fence 6 where we demolished the fence – whoops! Unsurprisingly, I was knocked out after that round and unfortunately so was Leona who also made it into that round. I finished 10th in the Show Jumping.
Then it was a tense wait for results. Many riders had excelled in one phase but less so in the other, so by being consistent in both phases Leona and I soared up the rankings. Leona deservedly came 3rd and got the bronze medal, and I was extremely pleased to finish 6th! After the prizegiving we had a very quick photoshoot and then set off for the long drive home.
We all really enjoyed our time at Nationals and hope we can send more people down next year. Thank you to Hannah for driving us and Tannoch Stables for training us this year. And huge congratulations to Glasgow for coming 4th overall and 3rd in the dressage, and thank you for cheering us on all week!
More photos can be found in our photo gallery.
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