I had Zidante making her first team GB appearance at Fontainebleau in the Nations Cup team. We were fourth to go in he team, so had our test on the Friday. Zidante was an absolute star, she tried her hardest for me, didn’t get tense at all and did, what I felt was her best test to date. We scored 40, which was good enough to put us into 4th place.
The cross country was a stiff test for so early in the season, with lots of accuracy questions and big waters. She flew round and gave me a fabulous ride, she was super at a the tricky corner combinations ad felt very grown up. However, we did manage to score an unfortunate 20 penalties at the last water. I over rode the drop in, not taking in to account how much braver Zidante had become since last year and she jumped in too big and we missed the arrowhead that was in the water four strides later. It was a real shame as she didn’t even see the arrowhead as I didn’t manage to get her anywhere near it, I am sure had I of been able to have kept my line she would have gone clear. It was a huge disappointment to have had this error, when we had been given such a great opportunity, but Zidante came home well and as far as she is concerned she thinks she did a lovely clear, so she is happy!!
The show jumping was big and square, with a tight time, but Zidante skipped round it beautifully and finished well within the time. I was thrilled with how she went and coped with the whole event and am now looking forwards to our next big outing.
Ceylor LAN was competing I the CIC* and at only six and the beginning of the season, this was quite an ask. As I was going out with Zidante I felt it was worth taking him as it would give him valuable experience and if I felt the track was too much too soon for him I would only dressage and show jump him. However the track was lovely, it was educational, not too big, but with plenty of fair questions.
Ceylor LAN excelled himself in the dressage and did an extremely grown up test, his only real errors being not halting square, so we will have to work on those!! He scored a 41.3 which led the 104 strong field!!
He then jumped an immaculate clear in the show jumping, but unfortunately had two time faults as I took him a bit wide on the turns as I was trying to keep is balance and rhythm, he is such a big horse I just felt he needed to be given a bit of time. This was still good enough though to keep the lead.
Ceylor LAN gave me an excellent ride cross country and was super at all the accuracy questions and the big waters. He found twisting though all the woods tricky so we lost a bit of time through that section and picked up 1.2 time faults. This unfortunately dropped us to 3rd place, missing the win by 0.7 of a penalty, but I couldn’t have been happier with how he went and his result. Before leaving for France I would have been happy just to have given him experience and gain a qualifying result, so gaining such a good placing was fantastic.