Bonnie Fishburn’s blog: THE wedding blog!

It’s the chat we’ve been itching to have, and the blog we’ve been itching to share … Bonnie Fishburn’s wedding blog! And a great big recap of all the competitions before and since:

“It’s been 8 weeks since I last spoke and so much has happened since then. The biggest thing being that I have now become Mrs Hollins. I will tell you more about that later. On the first weekend of September, Florence and I headed the 113 miles to Lincoln for the BRC National Championships. We were riding in 4 dressage tests and got rosettes in everything. First up was the Novice Riding Test where she did a foot perfect test for an amazing 91.36%… she led for some time but then three people crept up on us pushing us down to 4th. As a team Nantwich Riding Club also picked up 4th.”

“Next was Novice 30. Again she did a foot perfect test but the judge was a little harsh only giving us 66.15% to put us in 9th. Then it was time for the Pairs with Hayley and Molly. Florence and Molly are a lovely little pair and they gained a very respectable 69.64% for a National Champs to finish up 7th. Not bad considering they had only worked together 4 times. And finally we had the Team of 6 for Nantwich. We only started training for that 2 1/2 weeks before and none of us had ever done anything like it before. So to end up 2nd was a great achievement. That was my last competition for close on a month while we finished planning our wedding and got married.”

“I had always dreamt that one day I may ride to my wedding and I did. On Saturday 26th September 2015, my beautiful homebred Percy took me to church. He was an absolute star and took me perfectly the mile and a half to church. I rode side saddle and wore a huge princess style dress to which he wasn’t fazed at all. The amazing hat company Patey very generously made me the most stunning ivory laced top hat to ride in, and hand stitched beautiful sparkly beads to it and a tulle veil. It couldn’t have been more beautiful and suitable to ride to my wedding in. It was truly an amazing day and many people referred to it as a fairytale wedding.”

bonnie wed

“My first event back after the wedding was with Percy. Having had 6 weeks off eventing on the lead up to the wedding, I headed the 156 miles down to Little Downham. I think somebody had switched into holiday mode!!! His dressage wasn’t terrible in any particular parts but was just a little narky all the way through resulting in an embarrassing mark of 40. Then showjumping he warmed up beautifully and jumped 1 and 2 beautifully but then it went downhill from there having 4 down. By the time it came round to Xc luckily he switched on again and jumped an impeccable clear, I didn’t push him for time, treated it more like a schooling round after our first two negative phases. He came home with 8.8 time, which I was very pleased with having not pushed him and delighted he’d remembered what eventing was all about by then, popping all the straight routes no problem. I half wonder if the long drive down and overnight stay may have played a part in his performance somewhat. As it was the first time stabling away with no company, so maybe he had a restless night which could explain a lot.”

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“So next it was on to Broadway with Percy for the Novice. Our day started really well with a dressage of 32 which was quite well placed in the section, I think about 7th. But then in the showjumping he showed quite a lot of discomfort in his mouth and actually almost stopped at a fence but motion carried him forward and he crashed through the fence. He then jumped the majority of the course much better but then did the same at the last fence, when I half halted him he threw his head back smacking me in the face and then had the fence down. He had his wolf teeth out recently and I think this may be giving him a little bit of discomfort. I decided that I wouldn’t run cross country because I didn’t want to cause him anymore pain. It was very unlike him to behave in that way.”

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“I was a little nervous for our final event of the season after the disaster at Broadway, but Percy and I travelled the 100 miles to Lincolnshire for our final run of the year at Norton Disney Horse Trials. After the previous event our main aim was to just have a nice final run to end our season. I thought he did his best test at Novice this season but the judge said I rode cautiously and we only scored 35.8 which was disappointing but I was really pleased with how relaxed and settled he was. Next up was the showjumping and he jumped an impeccable round, lovely rhythm and super careful, leaving all the poles in their cups. The cross country was a nice track but with plenty of skinny combinations and super tight on the time. He headed off a little spooky but as soon as we got to the first question at fence 6 he put his professional head on and sailed round the rest of the course. He was actually the 5th fastest in the section to come home with only 2.4 time. This helped pull us up from 28th after dressage into 9th spot and also gain his first BE point. Fabulous way to finish our season. So proud of him.”

“We just had a couple of riding club dressage qualifiers to do before Percy could go out on holiday. The first was the intermediate qualifiers held at Tushingham. Florence had 72% in D10 for individual 4th and team 2nd. Percy had 72.8%, including two 9’s for his canter work in N30 for individual 5th and team 4th. I thought they were really good results in large classes. The second qualifiers were at Somerford Park. Both Percy and Florence were competing in the D10. Florence did a nice test but was perhaps a little more sparky then normal but got a disappointing score of 66.25% which is very low compared to what she has been getting. Percy then got a 68.3% and actually finished 6th, so that was a better result. Neither team that they were on for Nantwich was placed, so not a great day.”

“It’s now time for Percy to have a little holiday. I’m going to keep working Florence through November and have a little dabble with affiliated dressage.”