Cara Shardlow – Autumn Blog 2019

In September I got to realise one of my lifetime dreams of competing at the British Dressage Summer Nationals!

I have qualified for the Winters on a few occasions but the Summers have always eluded me missing out on qualifying by one place on several occasions and its getting harder and harder to get a ticket with the standard being so high!

I still can’t believe Detonator and I actually got qualified especially after last year and our injuries I really had begun to wonder if I would ever make it.

Our win at Somerford Premier League got us our direct ticket to the PSG final, I still have to pinch myself that this happened. It really was special moment in my dressage career and this amazing horse just keeps giving me the most unexpected things.

Unfortunately after Hickstead CDI he had a little break but then struggled with soundness right through August. We worked with our amazing vet and farrier, but I struggled to get the work into him that we needed to prepare. It was incredibly hit and miss if we would make it, but luck was with us and off we went to our first nationals on the worse preparation ever!!

To be honest, I was not too bothered by this point what happened once we went down the centre line, I just wanted to go and have my moment in that arena, it really could have gone either way.

It was very windy warming up with the marquees flapping and scaring a lot of horses including Detonator, I honestly thought he would just gallop around. However he was just a total star, he didn’t put a foot wrong and gave me one of the best tests this year. A misunderstanding in the 3 x changes was a big shame and dropped our score a lot but to finish just short of a 67% at PSG Nationals, I was thrilled to bits!

It really was an emotional competition for me and I will remember that moment for life. We have been working towards our first Grand Prix, the one level that we have not done yet, and it was going very well until he sustained a small injury which means he is just walking for a month then back on track but all being well we will get our first one in by the end of the year.

Sandonista is on track for regional qualification at advanced medium and is doing very well working towards his first advanced.

Tango has now found a new home and will hopefully go onto great things, I will be sending my lovely big 3 year old off to be broken in the new year but he has some big boots to fill!