Science Supplements Cup

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

Natalie Ireland – What a week!

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Well I can’t believe it’s over a week ago that we were camped out at Badminton for the Mitsubishi Motors Cup, wrapped up to the max and loving every minute of it! We had quite the start to the week, once again the wagon broke down; this is a bit of a recurring event for us but luckily my instructor was joining us for the week so she kindly chauffeured Oscar for us. A quick scramble from all of my family got everything transferred into the cars and we were on our way.

We were number 307, so we on for dressage bright and early on Tuesday morning, which was excellent for us as Oscar gets very excited at pony parties, and this was no exception. As I was getting ready (about 20 mins before getting on to warm up) I realised I’d picked up the wrong suit bag, and didn’t have my jodhpurs or stock shirts! Luckily my instructor’s daughter had spare jodhpurs in their wagon and I was lucky enough that Ailsa Reeve had given me one of her beautiful, handmade stock shirts to wear for the occasion!

Despite the minor stress, Oscar and I managed to hold it together in the arena and score a respectable 31.8 in the dressage. Then it was all day to walk the cross country and relax before the jumping on Wednesday. I went on the Yogi Breisner course walk, which proved very insightful and well worth the time; he really had some fantastic tips, especially for me to use on my other ponies and some top pointers for the big day!

Wednesday morning came and the dreaded show jumping! We aren’t exactly good at show jumping so it’s more a case of getting through it rather than excelling. The course was great, with lots of turns and lines so a bit more complex than what we usually get. My instructor was again on hand to work us in, and thank goodness, as Oscar was performing his usual pre-show jumping acrobatics, so it was super helpful that she could focus us both on the job in hand. We completed with two down, and honestly I was over the moon with that! And most importantly, it meant we could get to the fun part…. So a quick change and off to the cross country.

I’m so lucky as I know Oscar is super cross country and I didn’t have any worries about the course. I knew that if I showed Oscar his fence, he would be jumping it, and boy was I right! We took every straight route and he flew them, making the time without issues and still full of energy. It was the most fantastic fun as the course had some real questions and I will never forget the experience; I think Oscar would have gone round again if he could. He really is amazing, clear cross country in the time at 21 years of age! I didn’t want that experience to end, but we made sure to get the video and all of the pictures so that we have them to look back on for years to come. Looking at the future, we have a Mitsubishi Motors Regional Final qualification for this year, and we’re certainly going to use it. Who knows, Cherokee Brave may be back at 22 – fingers crossed.

Thank you so, so much to everyone involved in making the Mitsubishi Motors Cup happen, it really is a wonderful opportunity for amateurs and well worth aiming for – Well done to all competitors!