Yesterday was the final of the Riding Club Western Region Autumn League. I had qualified to jump with Tizzyin the Intermediate section, but as we’ve only just started back again after an 8 year break for both of us I wasn’t expecting to do awfully well.

On Saturday the weather was appalling – really cold with lots of wind & rain, so I was actually dreading Sunday as although the actual jumping would be indoor, we’d have to warm up outside & madam does not like wind & rain – can’t say I’m a fan of it myself either as it happens! But thankfully Sunday dawned dry & sunny so off I went to plait Tizzy & load my stuff into the jeep. Once all that was done & I’d changed my clothes we loaded up & headed off, with a small pit-stop for brunch on the way!

Anyway we arrived in loads of time so I entered my classes and then had a wander about, chatting to people & having a look at the classes before mine. Had put myself down near the bottom of the board for running order as I like to watch others jumping before I go in, so walked the course & then went for a cup of tea before I got Tizzy out. Then of course I got chatting to someone which delayed me a little, and as is always the way cos I was rushing Tizzy decided to do a bit of a dance while I was tacking her up which delayed me even more, anyway to cut a long story short by the time I got down to the pocket to warm up there was 2 horses left to go before me, so we had the quickest warm up ever with just 2 practise fences & straight in to jump – hadn’t even time to think about the course never mind anything else, so just set off around it in a nice brisk canter (quite a few people had come out with time faults so I was taking no chances) and finished up with a clear round within the time allowed.

There were only 6 clear rounds out of 22 horses, so at that stage I was guaranteed a rosette and was dead proud of myself – I’d already done better than I thought I would, so anything after that was a bonus! Got drawn 5th to go in the jump off, which suited me nicely. The first person went in & had a nice clear in a good time, then the 2nd person went in & flew around, knocking 2 seconds off the time, the 3rd rider had 4 faults in a slower time, the next person in also had 4 faults, but in a time that would have put her into 2nd if she’d been clear (leaving her in 3rd), then it was my turn, I had decided we’d nothing to lose – the time to beat was 29.66 so I just went in & went flat out – Tizzy loves jumping & thankfully never stops so we took some fairly hairy angles to some of the fences & finished in 29.27. Hadn’t known how well we were doing till I heard the cheering as we went through the finish, to say I was thrilled was an understatement! The last guy to go had a pole down so we won!

Delighted wasn’t the word – I have a 16 year old mare who’s back in work 2 months after an 8 year break so I was very happy with her & by the way she’s going she’s obviously happy to be out & about again too!

Had also entered the Intermediate & above Top Score, but decided not to bother going in it after that, figured I was better to quit while I was ahead and I didn’t want to ask too much of my poor mare either, she went brilliant for me in the Intermediate and I was happy to leave it at that!

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