Nicki Strong’s Blog: Storming through spring!

We caught up with Nicki Strong to hear all about her latest adventures (and some trials and tribulations!) with Blue. She has had a rollercoaster of a month, but definitely ended on a high at Larkhill!

“Where is this year going? It seems a lot has happened since our last update! Back in March, Blue and I went to Tweseldown for the BE100. On walking the course I was wishing we had chosen the 90 to start our eventing season off with. It was BOLD! Fortunately, so was he. He did a slightly better dressage of 39.5, with one SJ down and a really unfortunate 20penalties where he hadn’t understood and locked onto a corner at the top of a hill. A small hiccup in an otherwise typically great xc round from him.”

“The following day I took Monty to do some dressage – he was 5th with 67.3% despite being extremely happy to be out and doing a pretty good job of clearing the warm up arena! Keeping up with our dressage theme, at the end of April we went to Sparsholt with both the boys doing the same test, Prelim 17 again. Despite some seriously blustery weather, they both gave a good account of themselves with 64.42% for Blue and 8th place, and 4th place for Monty on 66.73%.”

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“Even better, both boys qualified for the Sparsholt dressage championships with their scores – a great day for the ex-racers! In April, Blue and I went to Somerley to contest the BE100, but withdrew before the showjumping due to some seriously sticky ground. We decided to save him for another day. Great to see a couple of other Horslyx ambassadors there though, in the shape of Pandora and Ashley. Go Team Horslyx!”

“On Easter Monday, we went to Rockbourne for the Horslyx Festival of the Horse RC challenge. I was SO excited about this – a two phase competition with xc following immediately after the SJ. Unfortunately, a horrible journey there (A303 bank holiday traffic fails, and a partition coming loose and falling on Blue) led to a very uncharacteristic poor performance. We needn’t have worried though, as the following weekend with that behind us, Blue was back to his very best with a flying double clear at Larkhill BE100. We were over 30 seconds faster than optimum time (oops) – he must have thought someone was waiting at the finish with a Horslyx for him! He had wings this day.”

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“Both Blue and I then had a little mini break at the end of April; I went on holiday to California whilst he had some well earned R&R in the field. He looked and felt great for a little breather, and on 17th May we headed back to Larkhill for an open ODE which was run by my local riding club, Bourne Valley. His dressage was accurate and not spooky but lacked impulsion, for another 39.5. He just tipped a brick from the top of the wall showjumping in an otherwise immaculate round, and stormed the cross country again. I was thrilled to see that he finished 11th, the difference being I judged the pace better this time so no naughty speeding points!”

“The last few months have flown and so has Blue – we’re having a whale of a time so far this season and feel like we’re improving all the time. I hope we can continue in the same form, and am looking forward to another busy month ahead Thanks to Horslyx for your continued support, we love being part of Team Horslyx.”