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Tuesday 4th May - Wednesday 5th May, 2021 #SSCup

Guest blog – look out for number 371!

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Monty and Nicky at Hambleden

Monty and Nicky at HambledenHere is the latest blog entry for Nicola Holehouse and Marmalade Monty after a very successful time at Hambleden International over the weekend:

So we’re down to the final two weeks until the Mitsubishi Motors Grassroots Championships at Badminton and it’s all systems go here.  I’ve just received my number which makes it all seem a bit more real now – look out for no.371!

A confidence giving win at Hambleden

‘Monty’ had his final run at Hambleden BE100 on Friday and what a run it was.  He scored a brilliant 21.5 in the dressage (our personal best by far) and led the section by a whole 5 marks!  This did rather put the pressure on for the jumping phases but all our training with Chris Burton is definitely paying off and he jumped the most amazing, confident SJ round.  From the photos he is clearing every fence by miles.  I hope he continues like this for Badminton!

I was quietly confident for the cross country – it has always been his strongest phase and now I have the confidence to ride him forwards it is all feeling much smoother.  There were a couple of accuracy questions, but mostly I thought the course looked well within our grasps and he didn’t let me down, bounding round for a super clear with just a few time faults to finish on 24.7 and win the section.

What a confidence-building result and it also gets us one step closer to the Grassroots Championships again in 2015.

High up the leader board
So after three runs this season, Monty now lies third in the British Eventing Grassroots Horse leaderboard with 32 FP points.  He has made the step up to BE100 seem so easy. Our winter’s homework has really paid off.

Another Personal Best
On Sunday I took Monty to a local British Dressage show to try and get our final points for Summer Regionals so he can have a nice break after Badminton.  He didn’t disappoint, gaining another personal best of 71.4% in the Novice Qualifier and winning it outright, getting the final 6 points he needed for the Regionals.  He then followed this up with a very creditable first attempt at E59 gaining 66.4%.  Two personal bests in one weekend – I couldn’t ask for more!  I just hope he can impress the dressage judges at Badminton as much!

Show jumping training
This week holds more SJ training with Chris Burton as I firmly believe practice makes perfect and won’t be resting happy on the back of one good round.  I will also be taking Monty down the road to hire out the grass dressage arena to have a proper run through of the Championship test and make sure we know it inside out. I haven’t actually had a chance to look at it yet with so many other dressage tests to learn.

Hopefully after all that we will have ticked every box possible with regards to our preparation for what definitely counts as the most important and exciting Championship I have ever been lucky enough to qualify for.  Whatever happens on the day I know that I have done everything to make sure we are both as prepared as possible for the challenges it will hold.

Here is our hatcam from Hambleden – he just has the best set of orange ears! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZFyhYLsdnY