August 2008

Sparsholt College KBIS Qualifier, 16 August

We made the long trip down from Yorkshire to Sparsholt College near Winchester in August for the last of the four KBIS qualifiers for the BD National Championships.

Although I had come 1st or 2nd in all three of the previous qualifiers I knew that a lot of people would attend the final qualifier so it was important to go.

Unfortunately, I had fallen off Trevor the week before, so maybe I wasn't quite 100%. I had hit my head on landing so Mum insisted on having me carted off to hospital although I felt fine. Anyway, to cut a long story short, my test didn't go brilliantly well so I was unplaced - something I'm not used to these days. Perhaps the fall had more of an effect on me than I thought.

Luckily though, my score from the first qualifier at Hartpury was good enough to secure a place in the final at Stoneleigh for the 10th year in a row - quite an achievement.

The Championships are a week later this year (18th - 21st September) so won't coincide with my birthday as they usually do. At least it gives me an extra week to practise and get back on form!

Sparsholt was probably one of the best-attended para qualifiers I have been to, with over 20 para riders competing. The college has excellent equestrian facilities - it's just a shame it is so far away!


Paralympic Games coming soon - 7th - 11th September

It's just over a week to the start of the 2008 Paralympic Games and all the horses and riders will now have arrived at their destination at Sha Tin, Hong Kong. I will be following various riders blogs while they are out in Hong Kong, including Simon Laurens' very witty anecdotes and hopefully reports from Australian Nicole Kullen who will be challenging the Brits for a medal in the Grade Ib competition.

I read an article today that said only 73 riders will be competing in Hong Kong which is a shame as there were originally 78 places. There are just 11 riders competing in my grade (Grade III) - it's so frustrating not to be going, but I wish Eilish and her horse Youri the best of luck as the sole Irish representatives. Go for Gold Eilish! Read Eilish's blog from Hong Kong here.

Read more on the Paralympics here


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