14 Aug Jodie’s week at the U18 Championships
After I was notified that I had been picked for the BE 100 team I was absolutely ecstatic that my hard work had paid off, however this being mine and Herbies first Frickley I was very nervous. We travelled down on Wednesday night the lorry was packed with everything you could possibly think of, enough to last a month. When we arrived we were able to settle Herbie in and meet the team.
Thursday morning was trot up morning, we were all kitted out in our very smart FOMO jackets and GT blade sharpening hat covers. Herbie passed with flying colours as did the rest of team Scotland all looking very smart. Half of the team faced the 38-degree heat to do dressage on Thursday with everyone producing good tests considering the conditions. Herbie was raring to go on Thursday night when I took him for a leg stretch even though it was roasting.
Friday morning was our dressage day and it was an early start for us, beginning with a warm-up with Olivia Willmott; Herbie was very chilled and worked very well. Following this, we returned to the stables to bath and plait him up to ensure he was looking his best for our test at 2.12pm. I was on board an hour before my time and after watching the last of the Scots do their dressage tests, the pressure was definitely on. Herbie didn’t let the big atmosphere get to his head and kept his cool as did I. He produced a very good test to finish on 31.8 which I was very pleased with and it put us into 19th position going into the next phase. After our third course walk with the team and Sue Hendry it was time for dinner then an early bed to ensure we were well-rested ahead of Cross Country day.
Saturday morning we woke up to the sound of torrential rain and plenty of mud – a big change from the previous day’s weather but being the Scottish team we are well used to unpredictable weather. I was last to go in our team and was so nervous after watching everyone come back with good rounds in what was very challenging weather conditions. However, I didn’t let it get to us, and Herbie and I flew around the course clear inside the time with the feeling that he could do it all over again when he finished. Everyone rushed into action at the finish line and it was great teamwork as the 2* team helped to wash, ice and walk the horses, which was much appreciated. After all the Scottish were back safe and sound Sue did a great course walk with us for the SJ before Sunday.
Sunday started with the final trot up and the rain hadn’t stopped, however, we were again very smart (and dry) in our FOMO jackets and the horses stayed warm in their lovely rugs sponsored my Lindores. Thankfully Herbie passed again with flying colours then we had a bit of a wait until SJ as we were last to go out of the Scottish team. Having never done a 3day event before I didn’t know how Herbie would go but Sue helped warm us up with a short and sharp warm-up which was what we thought was best for him. He went in and had a bit of a spook but once I got him going he jumped a perfect clear round within the time. This meant that we finished an incredible 10th out of 80+ very talented u18 combinations and the highest placed Scottish rider.
It was an amazing experience and made even better with my very supportive teammates and trainers. Thanks once again to all of the wonderful sponsors that supplied us with our amazing kit – we all looked very smart and the horses very much appreciated their well-deserved polo mints!!
Photos kindly supplied by Jim Spiers