We were very excited to have been picked for another Nations Cup team in Waregem, this time I was riding AMAZING VIII on the team and also riding MONARTS MASTERPIECE in the CICO***.
We had quite an eventful trip as none of the boats were taking livestock, but thankfully our truck is able to go on the Euro-tunnell and so after a quick detour we made it to Waregem late on Tuesday night. As one of the only British riders to have 2 horses in the 3* I was drawn first for the team with AMAZING and had my dressage 5th in on the 1st day. Overall I was very pleased with her test, she slightly anticipated the 2nd change and her pirouettes were larger than I would have liked. She scored 29.2 which left her just outside the top 10 after dressage. Its hard to remember that she is still coming back from 3 years break so i’m sure the more we are able to iron out any mistakes the better her marks will be. MONARTS MASTERPIECE was also very pleasing on the flat especially in his trot work, I was also really pleased with how relaxed he was through the walk and pirouettes. He was very sharp through his changes and scored deservedly low in these but I was pleased with his mark of 31.4 to leave him in touch. The rest of the British Team riders also performed great tests to leave Team GB in silver after the first phase.
Both horses jumped very well round a tough and up to height SJ track. Unfortunately they both rolled a pole picking up 4 faults each but as this is certainly their weakest phase I was pleased with how they both came out and jumped. So close were the scores that even just adding 4 pens to Maisie’s score pushed her right down the order but Team GB still held onto the silver medal position after the show jumping.
Then the rain started!
It was definitely the wettest XC day I can remember which totally changed the severity of the track. AMAZING VIII and I were one of the first combinations out on course in the CIC*** and already the ground was deteriorating and the rain was so hard I could barely see the fences in front of us! After being completely wild at the start she gave me an absolutely class ride picking up 9 time. I went as quick as we could in the horrendous conditions and ended up as one of the fastest times of the day. The course caused plenty of trouble and such was Maisie’s speed that she eventually pulled right up the order to finish in 9th individually on the exact same score as Sarah Bullimore in 8th. The team also pulled up to win the Nations Cup – a fantastic result and very hard fought in really difficult circumstances.
After giving it plenty of thought we decided to save MONARTS MASTERPIECE for another day as he wasn’t in the team and the ground was so deep by the time it was his turn to run in the 3*. It was a shame he didn’t get his turn but there will definitely be other days for this super exciting horse.
A massive thank you to Dani for her incredible work at her first international show and of course to Charlotte and Gemma for holing the fort at home.