From the 8th to 11th of September I was competing in a National Championship in Jakubowice, small town near Wroclaw. Although we didnot win a medal, for me that competition was one of the most important and fulfilling. I went there with two horses – 8 year old Contendro Lady and a 9 year old mare Countess of Highfields. I am really proud of how they handled this Championships!
Webegan on the 8th, with horse inspection – the moment when official vets are checking whether the horse is healthy and can compete, by judging his condition and movement while the rider trots with the horse in hand. Unfortunately, the inspection was unlucky for us. During it one of my horses kicked me and I was limping for the whole four days. Well, as you may guess, in this sport there is no place for complaining - so three hours after this accident I was already in the saddle, waiting for the official training on the main area. Horses are by nature really flightily and spooky, so for majority of them, it is really important to familiarize themselves with the parcour. Luckily this part went without any problems and both horses seemed relaxed and healthy.
We started with the first semifinal, a classic competition against the clock – every knock down (an obstacle felled) is a 4 second penalty which is added to the actual riding time. Final places depend on the total time of the ride and penalties added together. The course was really tough, and even the best riders, such as the medalists from last year, did not finish it without mistakes. I was satisfied with this day - both horses jumped well, and my results were giving hope for the medal.
Regrettably, next days weren't that good - I got scared of height and difficulty of obstacles, and that has clearly impact on my results. All parcours were really technical and there was only a few riders that finished without penalties. Even though, my horses were jumping amazingly and a lot of professionalspraised our work. It was our debut in National Championships, so I am quite happy with the result. I have left Jakubowice with a lot of new experiences, and big hopes for the next year.
I am extremely thankful to my parents, trainers and grooms who had put their heart, time and emotions in my starts. Also big thanks to whole J.W. Piasecki Equestrian team and friends from school, who were crossing fingers!