Victoria Bax Blog – Going with Gust!

Victoria has been focused on the last few events before the season finishes photo credit Thoroughbred Sports Photography

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Victoria Bax – GOING WITH GUST!

“It’s been an extremely, busy month as we are heading towards the end of the eventing season. My two youngsters have really got going now and appear to be thoroughly enjoying themselves. Next up for them was a trip to Bonfleur cross-country course for another unaffiliated one day event.

Both of them produced lovely dressage tests to end up lying in the top 5. The showjumping course was causing carnage, as in typical pony club style, every fence except the first had a filler placed under it, including a couple of bullseye (round fillers) placed right in the middle of the fence to be extra scary! Both the girls coped well, making little fuss of the fillers. Then onto the cross country (which although small was very educational with lots of questions asked) and after a hesitant start, where the start box ran alongside the lorry park, both girls made light work of the course finishing clear.

I was absolutely thrilled to find out later that both girls finished 3rd in their respective sections. The following week, the girls headed off to Chilham Castle for another event where again they were very well behaved from start to finish. Both produced another consistent dressage test each, tackled the showjumping well with one clear and one with just 4 faults and both stormed the cross-country again, meeting and answering lots of new questions to finish clear.

Alberta’s Rose earnt herself a second placing and Alberta’s Elegance was just outside the placings, so once again I was thrilled with them both. Crystal Ka was due out the following week at Wellington Intermediate. We did our best to go with a packed lorry and plaited horse but sadly about an hour into our journey the weather was absolutely torrential and getting worse, so we made the hard decision to abandon our attempts to compete as it really is no fun in those conditions and I wasn’t desperate for the run, so a 60 mile round trip made for nothing that day!

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So, with a missed run for Crystal Ka, our next stop was back to Gatcombe for the CIC2*. I travelled up the day before as it is quite a trek from me, had a workout session at the event before heading off to find my local stabling. We had an early dressage the following day but I was thrilled with how settled Crystal Ka was and we managed to produce a personal best dressage score at this level. Off I went to walk the cross country course, which was definitely going to be testing, although it wasn’t huge apart from an enormous log drop fence about half way round heading into the woods. I walked the course three times more before my round the following day. We started well answering the questions which started at fence 4 with a run up a mound, a log on top then down the other side one stride to a coffin ditch, then 3 strides to a skinny house. I think Crystal Ka got the shock of his life as he lept over the log to find the ditch the other side, but he did it and on to the skinny!

We continued over a couple of big hedges and other fences before coming to the log drop. Unfortunately this is where for the first time in a long long time Crystal Ka said, “No” and very sadly this was the end of our Gatcombe. I am convinced that fence 4 had wobbled him somewhat causing him to question if he should jump without being able to see where he was going and who would blame him. I was disappointed to say the least as I can’t remember the last time he has said, “NO”. It was a long drive home that afternoon.

Crystal Ka has one more event to complete before his season finishes and he will also enjoy some time in the field getting fat and hairy! My youngest Frankie threw a splint back in August so he had a month of quiet work to allow it time to settle but I am beginning to do a little more with him again including some more jumping which he is coming on very well with. I am starting to plan ahead for my winter training clinics for my clients so although my horses will be enjoying some time off, I won’t! Until next time… ”

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Author: Suzanne Ashton Founder, Everything Horse email:

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