Birthday Celebrations for Victoria Bax – Blog

Alberta's Pride enroute to a 2nd place in the Riding Club 90 qualifier

Birthday Celebrations for Victoria Bax – Blog

Courtesy of Victoria Bax ’s sponsors Aloeride & Golly

The past month started very well indeed as it was my birthday, so a new dressage hat and body protector were on the cards for starters!

Both Alberta’s Rose and Alberta’s Pride headed to Keysoe actually on my birthday to contend in the Area 8 Riding Club’s Team Horse Trials.  This was to be Alberta’s Pride’s very first 90cm ODE and he certainly didn’t disappoint! He started by pulling a super dressage test out of the bag scoring 27, followed by the most super dooper double clear and inside the time to finish 2nd!  I was one very proud owner/rider/trainer of my talented five-year-old.

Alberta's Pride enroute to a 2nd place in the Riding Club 90 qualifier
Alberta’s Pride enroute to a 2nd place in the Riding Club 90 qualifier

Alberta’s Rose however didn’t quite fancy dressage that day and sadly produced a far from below average dressage test! She then made up for it well by producing a double clear inside the time to finish in 2nd, including her first ever double clear round at 100 level.

Alberta's Rose enroute to a double Clr at Riding Club Qualifier
Alberta’s Rose enroute to a double Clr at Riding Club Qualifier. img credit Equuis Photography 

The icing on the cake also is that I have just recently found out their super results have qualified them for the National Riding Club Horse Trials at Swalcliffe in August! Wow how amazing for a five and six-year-old in their first attempt at qualifying and a great birthday present for me?!

Four days later Crystal Ka and I headed off to Little Downham to content our first full on Advanced class.  I was feeling confident and was satisfied I had done everything possible to be prepared for it.

We warmed up very well indeed for our dressage test and low and behold we managed to keep everything together throughout the test and scored 34, which for our first Advanced test to score 64% I was thrilled.

The showjumping was huge but very rideable I thought, so was very pleased to complete (Sadly we rolled two poles enroute though)

The cross-country was enormous from fence four onwards and pretty tricky with lots of skinny type combinations, although nothing I didn’t feel confident dealing with. We started well and were storming round gaining confidence over every fence as we went.  I felt like we were really getting into our stride and Crysto was really listening and responding to me. We sailed over fence seven, the most enormous ditch/brush fence and then prepared our short approach to this rail/ditch/brush coffin type complex.  The rails into the combination were very upright and on an angled approach to the ditch so I knew I needed to get Crysto back to me and settled in the contact so he could actually see what he was doing and that we could pop over the rails on the way in without issue. This we did beautifully, then looking ahead and focussing on keeping our line to the ditch then brush and “Bang” down we went.  The next thing I knew I was sitting on the floor just the other side of the ditch.  Gutted is an understatement.



 Crystal Ka jumping the advanced ditch/brush just prior to our incident.
Crystal Ka jumping the advanced ditch/brush just prior to our incident. Victoria Bax

I wasn’t really sure what happened until my husband appeared, little did I know that he was standing at the fence with his camera in hand and yes he remembered to keep clicking away.  After looking a the photos it appears that Crysto was very very firmly focused on the brush ahead of him and simply didn’t look down and very sadly cantered straight into the ditch, sending me flying as he went down.

As I managed to stand up I had immense pain in my right ankle and was unable to weight bear on it.  The paramedic crews had to assist me into their vehicle so I could be checked out by the doctor.  Fortunately, it turns out that nothing was broken and I had managed to tear some ligaments in both sides of my ankle which is what was causing my pain.  My husbands photographic evidence shows that my right ankle was right underneath my backside as I sat down and rolled over on it, so I think again I have been very very lucky not to break it.

This meant my husband had to be my emergency driver and drive the lorry home whilst I sat with a cold boot round my ankle for the majority of the journey!

This injury meant that I have been pretty much laid up for the best part of the last three weeks, resting it and willing it to repair quickly so I can get back out there again.  I have also been using my arc equine on myself which hopefully has been speeding things up a bit.  I have spent less time riding but more time teaching over the last few weeks.  Including also doing some ditch work practise with Crysto in the arena on the lunge over rubber mats and tarpaulins in the hope that our incident will not cause us any problems going forward.

Sadly this also meant I’ve had to withdraw from the last couple of events so my youngsters have missed some much needed runs in order for them to be ready for their forthcoming Championships.  I have now rearranged my eventing calendar to give them both priority to ensure they are well prepared. This sadly means that after Crysto’s next run at Barbury Intl he will have a short break from competing.

Thankfully yesterday my ankle felt strong enough to jump, so we headed out to a local course with Crysto to take on some ditches.  I was very very relieved to find that he was absolutely as normal and his little incident does not appear to have had any negative affect on him. I’d even thought maybe even done him some good in a funny kind of way, as every time we jumped a ditch he actually put his head down and looked at what he was doing which is something I have always struggled getting him to do.  In hindsight I’m not surprised this actually happened, in fact it probably really should have happened years ago!

Still we both appear to be getting back to it so on-wards and upwards and until next time…



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