- 25th August 2015 by Rowen Barbary
The ups and downs of the eventing life...... - Sarah Tomkins
Here I am writing my first blog on 1st August, my 29th birthday. June could not have been more exciting for me gaining not one but my first two sponsors in the space of a week, I couldn’t thank Rowen Barbary more for their support and generosity. My season had started well with a selection of new rides gaining wins and placing and I was heading into the second half of the event season feeling quietly confident and with the new title “sponsored rider”. But how horses can be great levellers. First event back was Upton house Novice where Coton Rainbow Star aka Holly stormed the dressage achieving a 24, we went into the showjumping feeling good after spending June brushing up on this phase with Mark McCourt, only for my martingale to become unattached from my girth to be flapping around losing Holly’s concentration to knock 3 fences down, dropping us right down from top spot. If this wasn’t enough my wonderful shock absorbing stirrup fell to pieces at fence 8 on the cross country forcing me to retire. We put this bad day down to bad luck and a tack malfunction. Two days later putting Upton behind us we headed to Stafford Horse Trials with 3 horses, Hazel Radford’s 5yo Raya, Mary Moberly’s 5yo Sonnet to Shannon aka Brady in the 80T and Julie Tudor’s Bobby in the 90. All 3 horses pulled out dressage test to be in the top few of their sections. Things seemed to be on the up, Raya went forward for a lovely clear show jumping but a baby glance at the water, Brady flew both jumping phases and technically finished 3rd but unfortunately, we sacked the jockey for technically eliminating us for jumping the wrong fence in the showjumping. Bobby had a lovely round showjumping but rolled a few before a wicked clear cross country. Although Stafford may not have been good on paper we came away with lots of positives feeling all three of the horses showed great improvements and despite the technical elimination for Brady he felt ready to step up to 90 at his next event and Bobby felt ready to move up to 100. So last but not least our last event, Cholmondeley Castle on my birthday with Bobby doing his first BE100. The day started with a PB dressage for him gaining a 27.5 putting us in 2nd before jumping. The course was not my idea of ‘nice’ and that showed all weekend. Bobby again jumped well unluckily rolling 3 fences to then have a miscommunication at the barge at 5 on xc for me to end up on my feet (for the first time in a very long time) but finished with a lovely round and went away feeling he took on the combinations at this level really well. We went back for more on Sunday with Holly in the Novice where the water got the better of us unfortunately but all had not ended with Neo Du Breuil on the lorry for the OI where for a change we reversed our good dressage to the worst and our unlucky jumping phases to a fantastic clear cross country to end the weekend on a positive after such a great ride across the country in this beautiful setting. I very much hope my August blog will have much more exciting news! But it’s not all negative, we came away with positives and will work on these blips for a hopeful better next event. With the help of Rowen Barbary, these pictures of Neo are fab and show the results that Rowen Barbary ReadyMash really works, Neo is blooming, he looks and feels so much better compared to last year and he defiantly knows it #readymashextra is my number 1 choice for my horses. Now that we have the weight on Neo I am going to try adding the Sumo Muscle to his diet, I will keep you informed on his progress.