Week 5 focusses on the young horse finals and the Grand Prix at the end of the week. Meaning that Culana Z, who mainly jumped out of competition, only jumped once. However, she jumped a really lovely round over a technical 1.15 course and so finished on a really satisfying note. Wednesday saw the young horse finals. All age groups are strong and the jump-off of the five year olds makes a hurdle race look slow, so isn't everyone's idea of "producing" horses. The six year olds is also quick, but the seven year olds jump a good 1.40 course and although the jump-off is competitive it is all about jumping.
Emma got Thursday off to a good start with 7th on the 1.35 speed and Luendi jumped well, with the new technique settling down. On Friday Emma jumped well again for a low placing. She felt a bit hot both in the warm-up and the ring so with the Grand Prix in mind I just tried to keep it smooth. There wasn't a hope of beating Chloe who took first, from first to go and hot off the plane, and third. Luendi jumped well again and we were definitely getting more settled.
Only Luendi jumped on Saturday for a lovely clear round. Very satisfying and I feel confident that we can progress now.
The weather was unsettled all week and Sunday's forecast was terrible. However Gemma wore her wellies all morning which kept all but the lightest drizzle at bay until after I jumped. The Classic Grand Prix was big with two difficult lines. Emma jumped fantastically but I just over rode a tiny bit into the combination and she had the front rail of the first part behind. She still finished 12th, placing every day in the final week, Nine times overall and placed in three out of four Grand Prix. She has been a total star, so consistent and she feels so well and so confident at this level now.
We finished the show with a farewell dinner in Vejer and an early night before loading up in torrential rain at 5.00.
All in all it has been a great show. Emma has been fantastic, I understand how to ride Luendi now, and in turn Shane's help with her has made me ride Emma better, Culana has exceeded all expectations and Lima may not have compete much but she has progressed enormously on the flat and with her approach to a fence which will make us both much more confident about jumping.
Gemma Jalinska has been a fantastic groom. The horses look superb and there has hardly been a sand-rash scab on any of them which is a huge achievement. I have felt calm and well organised throughout the show and confident that she would quietly appear just as I needed a jump.
Shane's help has been invaluable as always. There are very few opportunities to watch your pupils jump in the ring nearly every day and pick up on the whole picture, and in turn it took watching him on Luendi to understand exactly what I needed to do.
As always new friends have been made, and we are now on the road, tired and alternately longing to be home and dreading the English weather.