Bonnie Fishburn – November down time

I can’t believe we are only a matter of weeks away from Christmas. This year seems to have flown by. Through November my team and I have been having some down time. Florence is on maternity leave, Percy is having a well earned break and Arrow is busy growing whilst Frankie and Elfie have been ticking along, working about 3 days a week. I’ve had an enormous autumn clean on the yard, where all the stables got emptied of bedding, power washed down and then all the wood was treated. I also laid rubber in the 4 stables that hadn’t already got it.

We’ve had a few outings through November, my first of which was after a late night at the North Shropshire Hunt Ball. Elfie and I headed off to Southview for the BRC Area 20 Novice SJ qualifiers. We were jumping for Tushingham and District RC. It was the first time Elfie had competed indoors jumping but he was a complete star. He jumped two fantastic rounds just having an unlucky 4 faults in each, but I was thrilled with him.

My next outing was at Tushingham Arena with all the boys. Elfie jumped a super double clear in the 75cm for 2nd place in a big class and Frankie kept a lid on it (just about) to jump clear in the first round of the 95cm, followed by a little bit of a hairy jump off to finish 4th. It was all a little bit of an experiment and learning curve for Frankie, going out in the lorry with his family and trying not to explode and having to perform. He had Percy on board for moral support whilst I rode Elfie. Percy and Elfie were really well behaved. Frankie is getting there!!!

On 19th November I headed with friends to the Tushingham & District RC AGM and Awards Evening. To say I was shocked is an understatement at the awards I received. Elfie and I were 2nd in the 75 jumping and 1st in the 80cm Combined Training. Then Florence and I were 2nd in the Novice dressage, 2nd in the 105cm jumping and 1st in the Elementary dressage. Then we also took Runner Up in the Senior Dressage and also won the Senior Club Overall Champion for 2016. A very good night and completely unexpected.

And then my final outing of November was to Tushingham Arena for the Macmillan Charity team jumping. I rode Elfie for the Tushingham Trojans in the 85cm class and he was a little dude, just having an unlucky 4 faults in the first round but flew round the second round clear which was timed. He loved it. The team finished on 4 faults after the 2 rounds, we all had fast clears in the jump off for 3rd place. In the 95cm class I rode Frankie with the Tushingham Trojans and we had a super first round and the team went through on a score of zero but apart from Janes Byrnes super star pony, Lucky, we all had faults so weren’t placed. Frankie just got rather excitable in the second round as usual. I must practise keeping him sane and going for clears rather than speed, but easier said than done at the age of 17. That’s why eventing suited him, because he only jumped one round in a day!!!