April saw the team head off to Quirindi International with “My Locky” competing in the CCI 3* S and “Heart of a Warrior” in the CNC1*S event. This was our second event for the year and after an early 4 am start we arrived early afternoon to give the horses a short work out. Both horses performed quite nice dressage tests. Brooke made a couple of errors in the 3 star test which proved costly however she did a good job considering this was the first time she had ridden the test. Both horses show jumped well with “My Locky’ having a rail (rider error) and “Heart of a Warrior” going clear.
The cross-country course was beautiful with some good questions asked of both horse and rider. “Heart of a Warrior” went round first and gave Brooke quite a challenging ride. Chester is still quite new to this level and Brooke ended up with a split lip after he took a dislike to one of the fences. However, she managed to pick things up, with a bloody face jumped everything else, and completed the course. “My Locky” was next out and he warmed up beautifully. They both had a great start jumping through a tricky line like pros. Unfortunately, Brooke misjudged a distance later in the course, causing her and Locky to part company. Both horse and rider walked away unscathed with only a few bruises and a massive lesson learnt. This is where a huge Thank you to JVA comes in. JVA has been of great in providing assistance with the purchase of an air vest and Jockeys helmet for Brooke. These were both put to the test and the air vest deployed when Brooke came off. Because of these, when she hit the ground, Brooke was not hurt (apart from a bruised pride).
After a few days R & R we were back into things continuing with our preparation for Melbourne International. Horses do not always abide by the rules and unfortunately, Locky has slipped in the paddock and sustained a strain so our Melbourne trip is now off. With some time to allow him to heal and careful physio, he will be back out again soon. This means “Heart of a Warrior” is getting lots of attention and this weekend we head to Tambourine Equestrian Group for their event. Chester will run in the CIC 1 star event. Brooke has also been working with a client’s horse and will be riding “Jazz” in the EVA 60 class.
Once again we would like to thank JVA for all of their help and support. It is always great to know that Brooke is safe as she rides out on cross country due to the safety gear she wears.
(Written by Trudy Dougall)
Image 1: Brooke and "My Locky" at Quirindi.
Image 2: Brooke and "Heart of a Warrior getting in some show jumping practice.