Gaby Struel - August Blog

Well what a busy month it has been for the horses and me!! We've had highs and lows, and a trip to A&E! 

On August 3rd we took Padmay to Summerhouse where she had a lovely double clear in the Dodson & Horrell Amateur Qualifier but just missed out on qualifying. We then had a pole in the jump-off of the British Novice.

Padmay and I had a lesson with Paul Crago on 6th August. I learnt a lot from him and he said he could see a lot of potential in Padmay. We finished off the lesson by jumping a full up 1.10m track, which Pads just knocked one fence (funnily enough it was the smallest fence on the course!). I was very pleased with how she has improved since her injury!
Gaby Aug1 
Next, I took both Yeti and Padmay to the Senior Amateur Finals which was at Wales & West, 8th - 10th August. We had an amazing first day (Friday). Firstly, both horses jumped double clear in the warm up, with Yeti getting placed 11th out of 80. I was then selected to jump on the Welsh Team with not just Yeti, but Padmay too!! There were 4 in the team, and I jumped clear in the first round on Yeti along with my other 2 teammates. This meant Padmay didn't need to jump the first round because only the best 3 scores count, but 3 of us went clear meaning we were already on a score of 0.
Gaby Aug2 
Padmay then jumped in the second round, just rolling a pole on a big oxer going into a double. She jumped great, despite this being the biggest course she has faced and only the second time she has jumped on grass. My 2 teammates laid down 2 more clears, meaning that if I jumped clear on Yeti we would win gold - no pressure!!

I remember the feeling I got coming over the final fence, a double of uprights. We had gone clear to win Gold for Wales! I was over the moon as jumping on the Welsh Team has always been an ambition of mine, let alone with 2 horses and to win Gold!

The next day Padmay had the second-to-last fence down in the jump off of the warm up, but she jumped better than ever and felt a lot more mature. This was her first stay-away show and she coped really well with the atmosphere. In the Championship class Pads had a super clear in the first round, but both parts of the double down in the jump off, but I was very pleased because this was the first time I have done tight turns on her and she jumped the rest of the course clear. Unfortunately (due to a rider error) I had a stop on Yeti coming out of the double in the Championship class. We jumped the warm up after this class, and we made up for my mistake by getting a fast double clear and coming 10th out of 80, so one place up from the previous day!

Unfortunately the final day was cancelled due to the horrendous weather flooding the arenas. It was a shame because we were doing so well, but there was no point in ruining the all-weather surfaces or risking the horses on the waterlogged grass.
 Gaby Aug3
On 10th August, we sold Tommy! We hadn't been planning on selling him, but  two little sisters who are at our yard have been riding him and playing with him for a few months, and so we decided that this would be the perfect home for him. He is on the same yard in the same stable so I still see him every day. We are good friends with his new owners too. I went along with Tommy and his new owners to their first show, where Tayah jumped clear in the 1'6. She and her sister Sienna took Tommy in the 'Pony the Judge would most like to take home' novelty class. They won the class, along with a huge cup which was nearly as big as Sienna! I am so pleased to see them having as much fun with Tommy that I had all those years ago!
 
On the 18th, we arranged to get some photos of Yeti and me in our Likit kit. They were taken on the drive at the stables where the scenery is beautiful with a big lake. Here is one of the photos!
 
Gaby Aug4
Unfortunately later that day I sliced my big toe on a sharp piece of gravel, so I ended up spending the evening in A&E. Luckily the wound wasn't too serious and didn't need stitches - just a good cleaning out and some steri-strips. I was meant to be taking Padmay competing the next day and then XC schooling later that week, but Yeti and I had already qualified for the Championships of GB which was a few days later so even though my foot wasn't too sore, I wanted to save it for the Champs just to be sure.
 
I received my GCSE results on the 21st. I was thrilled (and so were my parents) to get 6 A*s and 5 As! One step closer to my goal of qualifying as a veterinary surgeon! My mum surprised me with tickets to go to Lausanne, Switzerland, to watch the Swiss leg of the Global Champions Tour in September! This was the best results present I could have wished for and I am so grateful to be going.

Mum, Yeti and I left to go to The David Broome Event Center for the Championships of GB on 23rd August. We didn't jump the warm up classes because we couldn't get there until the Saturday so we just jumped the Championship Heats. Heat 1 was on Saturday, Yeti and I were drawn first to go. We jumped a fast double clear but with 70 left to jump in the Heat, I was knocked down to just outside the top 10. The next day, we jumped another fast double clear to be placed 10th out a very competitive class of 70. I was very pleased with Yeti because she did everything I asked of her and gave it her all. I haven’t received the photos yet so unfortunately don’t have any to show!

We took Padmay to her first ODE on 31st August at Chepstow Racecourse. We weren't expecting much as the ground was very wet and Pads is very inexperienced Cross Country. We had planned to go schooling several times in the last few weeks but every time it was cancelled due to ground conditions, which was frustrating! We had a dressage score of 44.0, which I felt was quite harsh but after looking at everyone else's they all had unusually high scores so I didn't mind too much as we now have a few things to improve on. Next was the Show Jumping phase, where we jumped a lovely clear. Padmay was extremely green on the Cross Country, having a couple of refusals but she jumped the spooky fences (hay wagon, pheasant feeder and trakehner) first time. To get some more experience, the next day we took Padmay back to Chepstow for schooling where she jumped round the whole course. I was really pleased that she jumped straight into the water with no problems at all because this was the fence that we'd thought would be her nemesis! I am awaiting photos from Padmay’s cross country round, so instead here is one of her at the Amateur Finals.
Gaby Aug5
I am now back in school where I have just started Sixth Form. We've got a few plans already for September; firstly on the 6th we will be taking Yeti to Badgworth Arena for the Dodson & Horrell National Amateur Second Rounds. If we qualify, we will be going up to Aintree in November for the National Championships, so fingers crossed! On Friday the 12th, Mum and I will be leaving for Switzerland for the GCT and returning on Sunday 14th, I am so excited!! Then on the 27th and 28th, we are jumping in the Derby classes at Wales & West. Yeti loves derbies so hopefully she will be jumping as well as she has been during the summer!
 
I hope the weather hasn't been ruining everyone's plans!!

 

Written by Gaby Struel, #teamlikit at 11:00, 12 September 2014
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