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Bromont: What does it take to complete your first CCI*

I thought that going to Bromont was going to be just like any other away show, I mean really,  how different can a CCI 1* be from any other horse trial?  Well-

Rachel and Just By Chance

Let me tell you was I ever wrong!  Leading up to Bromont, Katlyn had us practice jogging more then I thought necessary.  First off, jogs are actually quite stressful, for future reference you can never practice enough!  My horse is a very lazy jogger and the ground jury is very picky.  I was terrified that he would take a wrong step!  Thankfully all the practice paid off and he was perfect!  But on top of having to present your horse perfectly turned out, you have to look good too!  It’s not exactly easy to look nice when you’re working out of a barn so for future I’ll have to plan better for that.

Next on the list, dressage!  Well that’s not quite the same either.  It’s more exciting but it’s also more stressful.  You get to wear a shadbelly which is really quite fun…..but beware…… its not just buy and into the ring you go!  Always leave time for alterations before a big competition.  After dressage is done you can relax, and it’s on to the fun stuff!  Cross Country Day!  Now this all seems pretty normal, except for the fact that the jumps seem bigger, the questions more technical and the course significantly longer then your regular horse trials.  Lucky for me I felt really prepared and had a fantastic trip around the course–Chance finished a very tough course with a bit of time and I could not have been happier with him!!

On the final day of the competition, you have the final jog and show jumping.  The jog starts fairly early so I felt like I was up before the sun to get Chance and myself looking our best for the final jog!  Braids in, coat shining and feet polished, Chance was ready to make his way down the jog strip.  I made a quick change and off we went.  After being accepted at the final jog, we got to move on to show jumping.  Personally, I find show jumping quite stressful!  It’s the last phase and it can play quite a factor on final placing’s.  After a not so great warm up I think we jumped the best round of our eventing career together.  We finished with one rail in 22nd place of 45 competitors.  I could not be prouder of how Chance performed!!

Thank you to Karl Slezak and the rest of team KSE for helping me be so prepared for my first CCI 1*.