Our sponsee Taggy is going from strength to strength and climbing her way up the ranks in the horse riding world. A couple of weeks ago Cosmic CEO Julie and marketing assitant Alex witnessed her coem second in her first intermediate competition at the Bicton arena. We asked Taggy to give us her view on the last few weeks successes.
I made a hard decision last year to give up my A-levels, leave school and pursue my life long dream of making my passion for horses my career.
I got myself an apprenticeship position in a top event yard with Vicky Tuffs, a 4* event rider who has produced many top event horses including the horse she competed at Badminton in 2007.
It’s hard work! I regularly work 12 hour days and at least twice this season I have got up at 2am to get 6 horses ready to go to an event. However all this is worth while when you get to ride the quality of horses I ride and compete including this very special mare Bonza Moorabinda.
The last two weekends have been truly amazing, on Friday 24th April I went to Bicton International in the beautiful village of Budleigh Salterton in East Devon for my first Open Intermediate competition. This was a big step up for me as I have never competed at this level before. The dressage tests are more complicated and the jumps are higher at 1.25m and up to 1.80m wide with drops of 2 meters, the combinations are more technical, and the cross country must be completed in a faster time. As I walked the cross course my first thoughts were how much bigger the jumps looked. My horse, Moo has had issues in the past at skinny jumps and to my horror there were loads on this course. I had to focus and be determined in my riding there was no room for error.
Soon enough my dressage time came around and I was exceptionally pleased with the result, this turned out to be my best dressage score yet at 23.5. In the show jumping I rolled a pole, meaning that I had 4 penalties to add to my dressage score, it was now imperative that I went clear on the XC and as fast as I could so to pick up as few time penalties as possible. I was lucky enough to know Bicton well, I have ridden XC here since I was 7 years old, so I knew where I could cut corners and vital seconds off my time. I am really pleased to say that I did jump a clear round over and through all the tricky skinny’s with just a few seconds over time. On coming through the finish it was announced that I had pushed Australian 4* event rider Paul Tapner off top spot! With a few more riders left to go I was unsure whether id stay in number one position.
I was thrilled when we were awarded 2nd place, and it was great that there were so many family and friends there to share this special moment.
With only a few days in-between for a few more training sessions, Withington Manor in Gloucester came round very quickly this Saturday. This was my first under 21 trial for the Great Britain Junior team, (16-18 year olds).
This was my first chance to wear a tail coat for dressage and after a few photo opportunities with a friend it was on to the serious stuff. I have to admit I was nervous for the dressage and the marks reflected this. The show jumping was big but not as technical as at Bicton, however I still managed to have one fence down again and suffered the 4 penalties. It was now down to the cross country to make up the points. I have previously been to this course, its terrifying! It is the only course that my pony Showtime who I was eventing with in the British Pony Trials for two years ever had any problems at. Having walked the XC course twice I knew the course well and had made up my mind on how to ride the tricky fences- they had to be respected. Throughout the day the water jump had been causing many issues among the other riders, it was towards the end of the course and when I got to it Moo and I were in full swing and breezed through with no problems at all. I was ecstatic when I crossed the finishing line clear with just 1.6 time penalties. I could hardly believe it when we went to the scoreboards and I read that in my first trial I had come 3rd against all the team riders from last year.
I now have to focus on my next event at Brand Hall near Market Drayton at the end of this month, and the 3 further team trials.