So this weekend our CEO Julie went to watch Taggy and Moo compete and wrote about her experience on the day.
How brilliant it was to go along and support Taggy and Moo up at Aldon Horse Trials this weekend. To see Taggy in action, and have chance to meet the star horse Bonza Mooribinda (Moo to her friends) was wonderful. They were competing in the Under 18 Qualifiers section of the event, and their aim is make it to the GB U18 Team this season. Moo is on lease to Taggy for the season from Matt Ryan, triple-gold-medalist for the Australian team. She’s a very well bred, trained and experienced event horse and so Taggy has such a wonderful opportunity with her. And Cosmic is sponsoring the pair for the season, which means that we get our logo on the horse lorry, on Moo’s saddle pads, and Taggy has a set of x-country colours in Cosmic blue too!
We met on Saturday afternoon just as they were warming up ready for dressage test. I was running a bit late and very worried about not getting to the right place on the very large site in time. I'd stopped on my way to ask for directions from another rider; and hadn't initially taken any notice of who that rider was, until she replied and pointed me to the right location when I looked up to recognise Zara Phillips Not a bad way to start my afternoon getting directions from royalty!.
The dressage test was my first direct experience of just how well-matched Taggy and Moo truly are. They have enormous grace, presence and timing. Whilst they were warming up they gave this impression of a pretty 'normal' partnership, relaxed and steady. But then the moment that they entered the dressage stage and the performance personas kick into action – wow!
Grace, agility, control and elegance galore! And a brilliant test score - 31.5%. After the dressage section I had chance to really get to know Moo better. Taggy trusted me to look after her whilst she settled down and we had a cuppa. The mare has a real air of superiority! Not in any way unfriendly, but she certainly knows how important she. Several times she had to be reminded that I'm on her side! Polo mints seemed to help of course.
First-thing on Sunday morning we were up bright-and-early ready to cheer on the pair in their show jumping and cross-country tests. We arrived in good time and so watched as Taggy and others in the U18 section in their warm-up. It was certainly clear to me at this point just how strong the competition will be this season. Show Jumping isn't easy to view from the ground as a spectator and its very nail-biting as you try to gauge how well they are doing based on distant movement and sounds, (and if there isn't a clunk of wooden poles its a good thing!). And they sailed round with a double-clear round. A brilliant start to the morning.
I've been to many of the local horse trials over the years, but never to Aldon. It’s a fabulous estate just outside Yeovil, and has a wonderful layout for all of the events. But best of all (particularly for spectators), the cross-country layout and viewing points are just brilliant. Which means of cour
se that our first views of Taggy and Moo in the final test of x-country were exhilarating. I'd heard Taggy talking through the course with Andrew one of her coaches before going out, and his advice was mainly based on her needing to get a good time and not hang around in between the jumps. She clearly took this advice very much to heart, and was flying at a fantastic pace across the open ground. They cleared all the jumps and sailed around the course with ease. And in a stunning time which according to Andrew was a “bit too fast girlie!”
And now I can’t wait for the next event – in 3 week time. I love horses and enjoy riding out on my Zak, and being able to support Taggy and Moo on their adventure is just an absolute pleasure.
Taggy and Moo won their section! Here is a link to the results page http://www.britisheventing.com/asp-net/events/results.aspx?meetingid=4127§ion=200