Blog Post from pupil Sally Hancock

Blog Post from pupil Sally Hancock

I recently competed at Burnham Market British Eventing 100 open. 

I walked the course the night before with a friend and instructor. I had never been to this venue before so it was very daunting!

My pony Noffy, is a superstar and very experienced, but even so, the course demanded respect and you can never take anything for granted.

In between my Dressage and Show Jumping, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to speak to Old Culfordian and 2008 bronze Olympic eventing medalist, Sharon Hunt, who is in charge of the Eastern England U18 eventing squad that I am in. I spoke to her about the more challenging fences on the course and she was able to advice me the best way to ride these fences.

I walked the course over in my mind, a strategy that I always use, and remembered the tactics to calm my nerves that I had been taught by my sports psychologist earlier that week.

We never do too much warming up for the XC as we have just done the dressage and SJ, and Noffy doesn't need much warming up. He also always gets very excited just as we go into the start box, so we have to plan our strategy in advance to get our timings right. I have to be led in due to him getting very strong and excited.

There were 21 fences on the track over very undulating terrain and this included a jump in and out of the water, quite a technical line over a corner, and a bounce of the drop. Noffy was foot perfect and I needn't have worried at all, we jumped a beautiful clear and finished 12th in a very competitive class.

A brilliant day and our next outing is on the 30th September, at Little Downham British Eventing.

Sally Hancock