Yesterday we went to the Western Region RC Team RDS Qualifiers. We were on Team 2 from our club so wasn’t feeling too much pressure as obviously the ‘good’ riders on team 1 would do the club proud & the rest of us were just there to make up numbers Our club actually put a few teams in as other clubs didn’t have teams so we put in extra to make up the numbers. Anyway got up at silly o’clock to get Tizzy sorted only to find something must’ve bitten her during the night & she had a huge lump on her neck – cue major panic on my part. It was oozing clear watery liquid at the top so I bathed it with warm water to see if that helped.

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After about 5 or 6 panicked phone calls to team mates, work colleagues, people at the yard qualifiers were been held at…we decided that it was most likely a reaction to a bite & to head to qualifiers anyway & see how she went in warm-up.
Anyway my hysterics resulted in me getting a stable to put her in when we got to there, which was a bonus! And the swelling had started to go down a bit at that stage.
Had a pooter around the course with the team mates, then went to tack up for the team parade.

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Tizzy seemed ok when I was tacking her up and went fine for the parade, so I decided to go ahead & jump.
I was the 2nd member of our team to jump & we were 12th out of 15 teams so I threw her back into her nice cool stable to wait till it was nearer our turn.
Anyway, first girl on our team jumped a lovely clear round & was one of the few to do so as lots of people were having problems. Because it was so bright the sun shining through the perspex in the indoor was throwing lots of shadows & that combined with some spooky fences was causing lots of stops. So when about 3 of the 2nd riders had gone I went to get Tizzy out of the stable & warmed up and in we went & we managed to get a clear round!

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Our 3rd rider had 4 faults after a stop at No 1 & then our captain went clear so we finished our 1st round on 0 & were one of only 3 teams to do so which meant we ended up last to go in the 2nd round giving us a nice break.
Our 1st rider had another lovely clear round, then it was our turn again – Tizzy was so disgusted when I appeared again with the saddle but in we went again & we had another clear round.

The other 2 riders on our team also went clear so we ended up on a total score of 0! Only 1 other team finished on 0 so we had a jump off – our poor captain was a nervous wreck – we hadn’t expected to do so well so she hadn’t even considered the idea she’d be in a jump-off. The other team went 1st in the jump off & had a brilliant round – lovely turns with plenty of speed, so the pressure was on our poor captain – she started off brilliant & was flying round but missed a tight turn the other rider had taken so then she got a bit flustered & ended up almost forgetting the last fence & having to double back to it so ended up on a very slow time. The poor girl was so disappointed at ‘letting us down’ while the rest of us were delighted to have finished 2nd which was way better than any of us had expected – so now we get to jump in the wildcard qualifier in Stradbally for a 2nd chance to qualify and Donegal Gaeltacht will be heading to Dublin to represent the West in the RDS!

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About Tullavilla

A long time horse owner returning to riding after an 8 year break. Currently back competing at Riding Club level in Show Jumping & occasionally Dressage.

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