Exams, a foal and the U25 champs
Izzy Chaplin tells us about her summer – a juggling act of studying hard for her exams, working with Vincente II and crossing fingers that the recently retired Taijdora is in foal.
Many of you will now be aware I decided to retire my mare, Taijdora (Dora). After sustaining an injury at the end of the summer we felt that she has never fully recovered and was starting to struggle with some of the work. She has been an amazing horse and we have achieved so much together including getting on the Great Britain training squad at junior level, winning the young rider medium championship at the BYRDS Home International last year and taking me to the Nationals 2 years in a row. I couldn’t ask for any more from Dora and we went out on a high at Keysoe under 25’s high profile competition early this spring by winning one of our classes and getting brilliant scores. I will miss competing Dora but luckily she can now start a new career as a mum. It is still early days but she has had her second scan and they have found a heartbeat so we are very excited to announce that she is in foal to Everdale. It will definitely be a very exciting summer next year.
However, thanks to the generosity of Coral Ingham, I have the ride on the gorgeous stallion Vincente II (Vinnie). Since my last blog I have taken him out to a few competitions. Our first competition was in March and we took Vinnie to Bury Farm. I did the tests H/C so that my score wouldn’t count towards the placings as I wanted the first few competitions just for practise so we could get to know each other a bit better. Vinnie was brilliant and we achieved 69.5% in the advanced medium so I was absolutely thrilled.
It was then a bit of downtime for both of us as I was preparing for my summer exams but luckily I passed all my exams with a 2:1.
After my exams it was straight back into focusing on competitions so I booked into do our first young rider test at Hartpury Premier League. The young rider test is the same test as the PSG, and is ridden at international competitions for riders aged 16 – 21 riding horses. It includes 4 and 3 time changes and half canter pirouettes. But before this I took him out to do an advanced medium locally as he hadn’t been out much. We had a few mistakes so didn’t achieve the marks we were hoping for but a really positive outing.
As I was on at half 8 in the morning we decided to stay the night at Hartpury. It was an interesting experience as I had to be more aware of what was going on around me due to Vinnie being a stallion but he was as good as gold. In the test our trot work was really good however he got slightly away from me in the canter work and decided that he knew the test better than I did so had a few communication errors which were costly. But we now had our first test at this level complete so still a good experience.
Recently we took him out again as I found out that we have been selected to represent team Southern at the Sheepgate under 25s championships coming up in a few days so needed to get a bit more practise in. Vinnie was brilliant and was listening to me so much more and had a huge improvement in the young rider test. Although we still had one mistake it was a big learning curve and I felt we were becoming more of a partnership.
Now I am looking forward to Sheepgate and I will keep you updated with how Dora is doing!