Finnegan and I are now back in Yorkshire after completing our first year at university.
The last few months have been incredibly busy, as I have been both eventing and competing with university in BUCS matches.
We had a very pleasing start to the event season, whilst looking for our CCI3* qualification. During March/April I was on vacation from uni, so was able to start the season from home. We picked up some early placings with a 2nd at Lincoln in the Intermediate-Novice and a 7th at Burnham Market in the Intermediate.
At the start of May, we went back to Oxford and planned on competing in our first 3* at Rockingham before taking a few weeks off before my exams in June.
However, as always with horses, plans change. Whilst jumping some unfamiliar horses around the 1.10 at Royal Windsor Horse Show, I, unfortunately, had a fall leaving me with some broken ribs and liver damage. Although I tried to continue riding, I quickly realised competing the following weekend at Rockingham would be a bad idea.
3 weeks later I was back on board competing for Oxford’s first team at the BUCS National Championships. This was a 3-day competition held at Bishop Burton, with knock out rounds in both dressage and show jumping. This was my first time riding anything other than Finnegan since my accident, but I managed to win my first jumping round, and put in a good performance in the dressage, helping the team to become National dressage champions, and 5th overall.
Although I had an amazing time at Nationals, I had only 4 days until my first-year exams, so had to drive straight back to the library and get cramming. Once my exams finished mid-June, I was able to start riding Finnegan properly again, so that we could have a second chance at our first 3* at Barbury this weekend. After picking up a 5th place in the intermediate at Great Witchingham on Saturday, I am feeling confident and excited about being able to compete at such a prestigious event!
Over the summer my aim is to try and get most of my 4* qualifications in. In order to do so we plan on getting more 3* experience at Burgham, and then the long format event in August at either Millstreet (in Ireland) or Blair Castle.
After his long format run Finnegan will have an easy few weeks, whilst I go to the USA on a riding tour with Oxford University Equestrian Club (of which I am now president). The tour is from 11th-23rd September, where we will train at and compete against Dartmouth and Centenary Universities, as well as trying out some American riding disciplines.
With the weather warming up, I have moved back from fleeced lined jodhpurs to my Just Togs Ladies Rider Tights, which not only are ridiculously comfortable but also have a pocket on the outside for my phone whilst out hacking. The air vents in my Defender Air hat also keep me cool both training and competing on hotter days.