And the eventing rollercoaster continues... | An Eventful Life

And the eventing rollercoaster continues...


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again....... eventing is a great leveller and sometimes just plain cruel. But in the end it’s what you do with those experiences and hard times that define who you are, who you want to be and how much you have learnt. I’d say that over the past month I have learnt a great deal!

April 2017 trip

I had three horses making the trip across to the mainland this time along with Georgia Pearce and her 1* horse ‘Ocky’. Will and Sizzle were entered in the 1* at Yeringberg HT and then the 2* at Camperdown HT and Smash was entered for the EA105 at both events.

I had a very good lead up with all three as Will and Sizzle had come back in from their respective injuries very well (Will had badly bruised feet after Adelaide and Sizzle with his ligament operation) and Smash was being super consistent


Oscar and I on the bridge getting on the boat  and Smashy (the guts) got into the chest boxes on the way over and ate half a bag of biomare


No dramas getting on the boat this time as I was very organised, (I actually allowed enough time to get fuel...) and Georgia, Oscar, Clancy (our two Blue Heeler/Smithfield 1 year old pups!!) and I were off ...

Dressage day at Yeringberg did not go to plan with all three not really performing their best... Will was a sod and threw in the towel so badly that we ended up next to last!


      A nice moment from a not so nice test from Will...                 Photo: Vic Eventers


Sizzle was unfortunate in that our judges went on an unscheduled break just before we went in, after we had been told to warm up as quickly as possible because they were running early. So as a result our second warm up was tense and the test was the same, landing us midfield... oh well! That’s the luck of the draw I suppose

Smash wasn’t too bad with just one excitable moment reflecting the very excitable warm up to still have us fourth after dressage and then have one rail in the showjumping to put us 5th going into XC.

Both Will and Siz jumped well showjumping for a clear for Siz and two for Will.


       Smash was keen on the water at Yeringberg!


The XC course looked perfect for their first events back with the ground being beautifully prepared. Smash ate up the XC like I had hoped, scoring another MER and finishing 6th (he got 0.4 time which dropped us a place - it was tight at the top) and Will did a lovely round and felt very confident.

Sizzle had a big wait before he went due to a nasty fall on the flat of the course... so by the time he went he was beyond excited. But he absolutely ate up the course like the pro he is and made it feel like child’s play. I just let him set his own pace and we just cruised. However he trotted over the line unsound and alarm bells started clanging...

I followed a few red herrings (bit of a hot knee and I thought maybe he might have stressed the area operated on) but nothing was making sense. The Ice Vibe and Swelldown were in constant use, but I was just not happy. So I bit the bullet and took him to Werribee Uni Vets... X-rays, Ultrasounds, and MRI’s later we had a result. It wasn’t straight forward in the end, but it was deuced that he has an acute tear in his Straight Sesamoid Ligament.


      Sizzle showjumping at Yeringberg                     Photo: Diggle Photography


Devastation is the only word to describe what I felt, but I had to be relieved that it wasn’t his deep digital ligament. That would have meant he would have been put down there and then, due to the fact that his quality of life wouldn’t be good. As it is the chance of recovery to competition fitness is not likely, but we are doing all we can to help him. Even if that means that he is the best rehabilitated paddock ornament ever!

So Sizzle got left at the vets to sleep off his MRI sedation and Will, Smash and Ocky were loaded for Camperdown! Despite a blown tyre on the way there we still made it in daylight and the ponies settled well.


      Smash at Camperdown                               Photo: Chris Esh Photography


Smash was first out for me and he did a super test to be placing 2nd in a HUGE EA105 class and then jumped a great clear to take the lead! Eek! Then Will did his 2** test which was MUCH improved from Yeringberg to finish in a place I have never been after dressage in a mainland 2* before... in the lead!!   Wow !

It was the best lift after what had been such a sad week and I walked my XC on cloud nine! I was realistic though when I walked the XC and saw the forecast for the next day and sure enough it began to pour...

Georgia was first out in the 1* on Ocky for an amazing round and a clear show jumping to finish 12th in a competitive field. Will was after and did a lovely round over what was a tough course for a CNC 2*. 


       Will at Camperdown                      Photo: The Lead Pony Photography


But I (literally) cantered around as it was very wet and I was conscious of his soft little feet so I didn’t want huge studs in and as a result I got lots of time. I was utterly thrilled with him though as he felt super confidant and we were even held on course which could have really disrupted our rhythm but we held it together and nailed it.

He then jumped incredibly around a very deep and slippery SJ for only one rail to finish fourth... good boy!!

Poor Smash copped the worst weather of the day for it to be POURING while he went XC. Because the EA105 shared many of the 1* jumps, it meant the footing was very deep and slippery in front of some of the bigger fences. Smashy ate up the course and felt much more confident than I expected considering the conditions!

By the end of the course he had sneakily lulled me into trusting him a bit too much, when we got to the bogy fence that always seems to pull up a few and I was more worried about him slipping than the jump! He took advantage of that and tried to keep going towards the truck... brat. You cost me a rug Smash... But hey! Lesson learnt! Do not blindly trust the Smashy.


      Smash at Camperdown                        Photo:Chris Esh Photography


We packed up in the pouring rain and wind (breaking a tree in the hurry to get out of there! No-one tell Dad!!) and got on the road back to Lara... we left for home on Monday and after a few sunny days, we finally felt like maybe we were finally dry. Thank you to Jess and Simon Tainsh for letting us stay Sunday night at yours - the ponies were very appreciative of their warm dry stables!

All in all it was a successful trip with some big goals ticked off and some much needed runs under my belt. Next up is a trip to Naracoorte HT and Woady Yallock HT in May with another Tassie rider which should be quite exciting!

Will and Smash are well and feel better than ever, and Sizzle is making a bid for freedom nearly every day. He actually succeeded in making it out of the stables last night, but once he got outside and realised it was dark, the spooky little brat froze. He is quite terrified of the scary night monsters, so stood still until I came and rescued him!!

Until next time,

Alice smiley