Mike and his new team head out to their first event together…
We took part in our first event with the new team on 16th-17th May. This was the first outdoor event of the year hosted by the Chester group, and it was also their first event at a brand new venue, the lovely Pentre Mawr country house near Denbigh.
The weather was especially kind to us, which always makes like easier when you’ve got four ponies, two carriages, a large dog and quite a lot of people! As this was a club event it was only run over two days, so we had dressage and cones on the Saturday followed by the marathon on Sunday.
With Anna and Louise on the backstep, Mike set off for his first dressage with the new team. Although he had driven them at the British Young Drivers training camp over Easter, this was his chance to have a good assessment of how the ponies performed during competition, and especially during a real marathon.
The dressage went well, with Mike posting a great score of 48.4 which put him in second place. More importantly, he now had a good idea of what he needed to work on before his next event, and what the strengths and weaknesses would be for each pony in the dressage phase. In the cones although he had a few balls down it was another good learning curve.
On marathon day the weather was a little cooler, which was ideal. On section A the ponies all worked well together, with Harry and Tebby settling in nicely and Admiral and Nelson swinging along in the wheel with little trouble even on the hilly ground. By the time we got on to the obstacles the ponies were well warmed up and ready to go. The first few obstacles were in the bluebell woods, and Mike drove brilliantly to negotiate the VERY tight and twisty turns. Once we were out in the open the ponies became a bit more onward bound, bt Mike kept them calm and steady, conscious that this was their first event and that our youngsters in the wheel would need to learn how to do things correctly from the start.
Despite taking things easy Mike still had the fastest time in some of the obstacles, and held onto his position from the previous day to finish second overall, a great result for the first time out!
Now Mike will be concentrating on working with the team to improve things here and there before he heads off to the next event.
Second place, Multiples
Paces & Precision 48.4, Cones 35.09, Total 199.67