It has been a rollercoaster season that started off with one horse for sale and Ellie my supposed project pony diagnosed with a neurological condition.  I say supposed project pony as despite her 14.2 size she has proved herself a real asset to the Shoestring team and isn’t going anywhere for the moment. Luckily thanks to the expertise at B&W vets her neurological issue was completely resolved.

It did mean a late start to the season with us kicking off in late May at BE90 level after one run the previous season at that level. Well it certainly started with a bang at Pontispool a competitive dressage followed by a nice clear show jumping but a fall cross country at a Hay Rack where my indecision on a stride caused a total misser stride and no chance of staying on. Ellie carried on without me meaning there was an R on our record!

Things picked up from there on in and that was our last XC jumping fault although we struggled with the showjumping. With Ellie’s pony stride I often find it hard to judge related distances and in in trying so hard to get in right we inevitably get it wrong. We had solid runs at BE90 at West Wilts, Bicton, Launceston and Treborough all with mid table finishes.

We had some good training with BE trainer Jo May at Rosamond Green and stepped up to BE100 level at Treborough. Treborough is a lovely event on the edge of Exmoor with great going and spectacular views.  Courses are relatively straightforward but it was at maximum dimensions most of the way around. I walked the course the night before and certainly the nerves jangled. It didn’t help on the day when the competitor in front of me fell and we were held in the start box for 20 minutes. Ellie gave me a great feeling jumping round, she made nothing of the height and made it feel very easy. We kept our consistency for a mid table finish.

We had further runs at West Wilts and Calmsden at a 100 where she adapted to the different courses and terrains for an easy clear. We finished the season at Aldon in challenging conditions including storm Brian! She completed a super double clear for our best finish of 11th on the same score as 10th. So a little sorry we don’t have a frilly to show for our great season but can’t believe how Ellie has progressed this year and she certainly has the scope and ability for novice in the future. Not bad for a little project pony!

2018 is looking exciting with Ellie ready to continue where she left off and a new member of the team Fliss who will hopefully start her career in the summer.