Cara Shardlow’s Blog: A new recruit!

We caught up with Cara Shardlow who has had an incredibly busy start to autumn – and some exciting news to share!

“Last time I wrote I’d just had a great regionals – unfortunately missing the nationals by one place – but in hindsight, a win at the winter regionals and second at the summers is the best I have ever done, so I’m incredibly pleased!”

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“I went to have some new freestyle tests done by Equivisions and Steph Croxford, a novice for Sando with Music from the Bake Off and a PSG for Detonator. We had chance to go and try them out at Port Royal and had great fun, although I can find them a little stressful trying to keep to time with the music. I used Detonator’s Elem freestyle for Sando thinking they had a similar tempo but I was very wrong and we ended up way ahead of the music having to add circles everywhere, but he still came 3rd in both tests. Detonator’s PSG went much better and he won and has qualified for the winter regionals; that gives him 3 classes at the regionals now early next year.”

“Detonator also went to the Home International at the end of August at PSG level competing for the North and England. We had a brilliant time, winning the warm-up and 2nd in the first team test finishing 3rd overall – he has not been off the podium in the last three years! My team finished best of the North as well, I love competing as a team and have made some lovely friends doing it!”

“The following weekend Detonator had the area festival at PSG level, it was a lovely hot day but he felt so flat – possibly still tired from the week before. I’m normally hanging on for grim death trying to keep him calm, but I was really having to push him forwards and unfortunately he dropped me in the canter pirouettes and messed the 4 time changes up leaving us in 3rd place but we needed a win to qualify for the finals. I was so disappointed, but fortunately we had another chance if I made the 8hr round trip to Sheepgate in Lincs a month later. I also thought if I was travelling that distance I could do with doing two classes so I decided to try and get my Inter 1 scores. I had never competed at this level and only had two chances to get my two scores so it was pushing it!!”

“So the week before I went out on the Wednesday and the Friday and to my surprise we did it and just before the close of entries. The classes were double the size of the previous area festival so to be honest I didn’t think I stood a chance of winning but we pulled off a mistake free PSG and won!! We were first to go in the Inter 1 and made a mistake in the 3 time changes, he added two more than we needed!! So after that I didn’t think we could win but to my surprise when I went to the scoreboard we were in the lead with only three left to go and amazingly we won that as well against much more experienced combinations. I’m so pleased and we are now qualified for Hartpury next April and we had a big photo and headline in Horse and Hound magazine which is always a thrill to get in there.”

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“Measure for Measure has finally stopped injuring himself and we made it out to our first show jumping competition it’s only taken over a year and we have missed going affiliated eventing again but he was brilliant, it was like he had been doing it all his life gaining a double clear. I then decided to take him to Northallerton as they had the last of this years ODE’s, he had not XC schooled since May and had only been twice so we were very unprepared, but he did a brilliant 26.5 dressage, clear sj and then amazed me with a clear XC and we won!!! I will show jump him through the winter and hopefully we will make it to some affiliated eventing next year, I’ve shocked myself I can still do it, maybe not quite at intermediate level anymore but you never know…”

“I’ve bought a new horse to bring on, Millie who is 7 and we should be out competing in the next few week, she had previously hacked and done a little sj so flat work is a bit of a shock for her but she is doing well. My next outing is the high profile show at Vale View with Detonator doing PSG and Inter 1 trying to gain 67% to enable us to apply to compete for Great Britain abroad, this would be a dream come true, it’s not going to be easy to get but I’m hoping next year we might get our chance, I’m working hard on the canter pirouettes which are still tricky but hopefully once we have cracked those we will manage the magic score!! Sando will also be out doing some elementary’s and his music again.”

“I’ve been having brilliant reports back from my clients and people who won Horslyx at the summer dressage competitions. A lot of people are finding them fantastic for taking to competitions and keeping stressy horses occupied while waiting for classes, also showing nervous horses which I have found them invaluable. I also had to have my photo taken at Millbry Hill my local feed store where they were promoting Horslyx for the month of August, they wouldn’t let me sit on the plastic horse in the display they had unfortunately!!”

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