Success for Emma in Belgium

(May 08, 2010)

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The 13th – 19th April saw my first international competition for 2010 in Moorsele, Belgium. Eddie and I competed as part of a team of seven riders plus two self –funded riders from Great Britain. This year I was competing as an individual as the ‘team’ for the team competition was made up of the performance squad riders – Lee Pearson, Ricky Balshaw, Jo Pitt and Sophie Wells.

The first day of competition on the Friday saw the team test, I allowed half an hour for my working in as the previous day in training it had taken me this long to get Eddie relaxed and working where I wanted him to be. Our working-in went well and I was really pleased with our test and we won the class with 70%!


Saturday was the individual championship tests. My time was 12:26, I decided to give him the same amount of warm-up time as yesterday, unfortunately they were  running late which meant we had longer than we had planned. We could have done with going in ten minutes earlier – but there wasn’t anything I could do about that! Eddie felt a little tense going into the main arena and throughout the test, but I did my best to reassure him. The test started off really well and as the marks were going we were getting 7’s and 8’s and one or two 9’s. Unfortunately, I was just riding ½ 20 metre circle when something spooked Eddie, this meant that I lost my balance and fell onto his neck and I couldn’t manage to sit myself back up again. Luckily the judge at C was Chris Porterfield who is a British judge who I know well, so she came over as did Karen, to help me sit back up. Eddie was a star! So many people came up to me afterwards and said how lucky I am to have such a good horse as he just stopped dead and didn’t move a muscle until Karen got there to rescue me – he certainly looks after me!!

After I had  got back up, the judges had to have a discussion over what they should do as Karen had to come and help me and you are not allowed ‘outside assistance’. Anyway, they let me carry on and I finished with a score of 72.8% which meant I had won the class. However, afterwards we were a bit uncertain as to what would  happen – we didn’t know whether there would be any complaints from the second placed team, Italy. It had crossed my mind that I should pull out, but I asked advice from the team management, but this was an alien situation to everyone and so nobody knew what to do. Anyway, after a lot of discussion I decided that it was the right thing to do for both myself and Great Britain as a team to stand down from the competition – at the end of the day I knew that I had the winning score, and it was the right thing to do.


On the Sunday it was the freestyle-to-music or kur. I used the same music as I did at the Europeans, but with a slightly altered floorplan to fit in the new movements for 2012. The test went really well, although just like with my Gold medal winning performance at the Europeans, it apparently looked better then it felt!! – I suppose it’s better to be that way round! I was pleased to score 73.3% which meant I won the Class!


What a fantastic week, I was thrilled with the way Eddie went and the results we got!! It was a shame about what happened on Saturday, but these things unfortunately happen and have to be dealt with! – and I don’t think that stepping down did me any harm in terms of respect!               

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