On Flying Form by Emily Notman
On Friday 26th February, we headed off to Bury Farm to the BSJA Small Pony Premier show for 128/138 ponies. We always like to leave the day before and get the ponies settled into the change in environments - they always seem to perform better if we do this and are more settled.
On Saturday, I had both ponies in the Graham Heath Qualifier, which is a double clear competition and not timed, and this qualifies me for Scope Festival in August. Bailey XII went double clear and so did Take a Chance II. The courses are very technical, with dog legs and jumps off the corners and this class also had a treble combination, which is the first time the ponies had both jumped one at a competition, but it didn't faze them. I was then in the BS Special, which is only held at the five winter premier shows - three people qualify on day one and two on day two, meaning a twenty-five pony final at Pony Of The Year Show at Easter. Take a Chance II had a pole in the first round, but Bailey progressed to the jump-of. I didn't push him too much as we had already qualified for the final, but we still managed second place, qualifying for a second time.
The last Pony Premier was held on the 5th and 6th March at Keysoe. We headed off on Friday and settled the ponies into their barn stables and they seemed quite happy. My mum plaited them up on Saturday morning as she is really kind and always wants them looking smart. There was no pressure this time as I had already qualified both ponies for the Graham Heath at Scope in August and also both have qualified for the Special final at Easter at Pony Of The Year Show, which I am very excited about.
On Saturday, both ponies jumped the Graham Heath and went double clear. Bailey had a pole in the first round of the Special class, which was rider error as I didn't ride the dog leg straight and we clipped the vertical. Take a Chance was clear and he won the jump-off by an astonishing seven seconds, so he has now qualified twice for this class. To say I was over the moon was an understatement - the ponies had jumped fabulously! On Sunday morning, we jumped the Graham Heath and again both ponies jumped double clear.
After being away for the weekend, I let the ponies have Monday and Tuesday off and turn them out and get them in at night, then I hack them out every day or every other day for the rest of the week. We try to squeeze in a lesson once a fortnight with my trainer.
The ponies seem to be on top form and I am very much hoping it stays this way, as we have our second round Area Dengie competition on Sunday 21st March at Hartpury, where I am really hoping to qualify one of them as I would love to compete at the final at Addington in April as it’s one of my favourite venues.