It was with great excitement that we were packing and getting ready for the show. I felt well prepared and that I had done as much training and schooling as I could with Tommy. He felt fit, happy and a formidable partner to have going into this event.
Once we arrived, the environment was electric. So many people and horses bustling around, with so many friendly faces.
Our warm up felt amazing. Tommy was with me and on the aids for everything I asked, and I felt confident going into the arena.
Some days though, horses are horses, and even the best laid plans can come a little unstuck. While Tommy had some lovely moments in the test, he was a little distracted and was looking to add a few of his own.
While we did not achieve the scores we were hoping for to land us in the top 5, I was proud of how Tommy handled the environment and how quickly I could refocus him on the job, relying on the training and partnership we had built in the lead up to the event. These are the moments that are humbling and remind us that a horse and rider are a great partnership, and while sometimes a win might not be measured by ribbons, we are always on a journey of learning and growing, which is sometimes the more valuable lesson.
This is Tommy’s strong suit, and the discipline he loves the most. His athleticism and strength really shines here, and so did our result!
We had one rail down in the first round and ended with an 11th place finish. I was excited to compete in the second round but given our placing, was going out to just ride the course and really enjoy the last event of what had been an incredible weekend.
Tommy pulled one out of the bag and jumped a super round finishing in 3rd place, boosting our overall standing to 5th place and landing us in the prizes.
I was thrilled to have placed in such a difficult class, competing against professional riders in a discipline that is not my main focus.
While we only had a little nibble of the million on offer, it proved to me the talent of Tommy and the TB, that all good performances take time and loads of training, and that having a flexible mindset and simply riding the horse you get on the day is what the journey is all about.
I was inspired by the magnitude of the event for both the number of competitors and the organisers, who managed to run competition across four disciplines and multiple levels. I was inspired to have such an amazing event to compete at with such great company, and I am excited to see what they have planned next!
For now, it’s a well-earned short break for Tommy, back to the dressage ring for me, and who knows what the next Equimillion event has in store!