Shhh don't tell Adelaide!
My first blog and I'm not really sure where to begin. Since my last post you could say life has been a bit of a roller coaster however to tell this story we need to start at Tamworth CIC3* in August 2017. Entered on Ned O’Reilly and Adelaide hill there were plenty of emotions heading into this event, as it was my first eventing start back since April 2016. To say that it didn't go to plan would be an understatement. After an incident in the warm arena with an official I did my dressage tests on both horses and then promptly withdrew them. Disappointed and feeling deflated this was not the comeback to eventing I had planned. 2016 was a year that has and will forever change who I am and my outlook on life, the tragic deaths of Olivia Inglis and our very own working pupil Caitlyn Fischer made me loose hope for the sport I had once loved so deeply. This alongside the untimely injury that stopped Adelaide's Campaign to Rio was very hard to deal with, I was no longer sure I wanted to be an elite eventing rider or coach let alone go to an event. I can honestly say I found rock bottom, and I can tell you now it was not a pretty place to be.
Luckily some pretty special people stepped in and helped me rebuild myself. Prue Barrett kindly told me to stop putting myself under so much pressure wise words that I use everyday in my outlook on life. Equestrian Australia offered me support with Behavioural strategist Warren Kennaugh who helped me understand that I must learn to operate differently as my old way of life was not going to work for me anymore as so many things had change. The new motto was accept the new different. I made some big changes and focused a little bit more on me. Some days I hated the new different but over time I could see the benefits.
For my next start I dropped both the horses back to the CNC2.5* at Sydney Eventing. They went well finishing 2nd & 5th. I then felt I was ready to go 3* again, I wanted to do it and prove to myself that I was able to get this box ticked off. We were soon heading to Melbourne CIC3*. Both horses did good dressage tests and ok show jumping rounds. Adelaide and Ned were both awesome XC just picking up some time, this meant we finished out of the top placing’s but I’m ok with that. I left Melbourne with the attitude one event at a time.
The next big event was Adelaide CIC3* with Adelaide Hill. For the first time I asked Matthew and William to stay at home. I wanted to just be a rider and focusing on the goal I had to set- Winning. Adelaide was super all week and we managed to achieve our goal and stand proudly in first place on the podium. Adelaide had finally won at Adelaide.
For the first time in a long time I sat down and made a plan. A plan that I thought was realistic and achievable. I decided to aim Adelaide for Sydney 3DE CCI3*. I worked out which events he would run at in the lead up to the event so he would be in peak fitness. I wanted him to go well and I wanted the qualification for WEG. I was confident that if we could perform well in all three phases that we would be hard to beat.
I can honestly say that it was not until after Sydney 3DE that I considered ourselves competitive for the selection onto the Australian Team for WEG. After planning the trip of a lifetime 2 years ago and it all going so wrong I had come to the conclusion that the dream of taking a horse overseas to compete was probably not ever on the cards for me again and that was ok. I love what I do and to come and win again at Sydney was a huge emotional challenge.
Adelaide and I have had a fantastic run of events with winning our last three CIC3*'s and most recently the CCI3* at Sydney. With this in mind we are now looking to take Adelaide to the UK & Europe. I feel that this will give Adelaide the best preparation possible for WEG. At this stage we are planning to do Barbury CIC and hopefully make the Aussie Team for Aachen CIC3* - Nations Cup.
So this week Adelaide will under go several veterinarian examinations to make sure that he has pulled up from Sydney 3DE feeling 100% fit. As I certainly don't want to embark on another fundraising campaign to head overseas if Adelaide is not up to performing at his best. It would not be fair to Adelaide nor my team mates if he was not in peak condition.
By the end of this week a decision will be made on whether we begin a campaign trail for WEG. Stay tuned.
Crazy eventer life.