Equestrian Life
BLOG: What a year!

Liz and Lizzie at the Victorian Dressage Championships - Photo Liz Sobecki

Liz and Lizzie have had a successful year!

© Liz Sobecki

 

By Liz Sobecki

I could not have asked for a better competition year this year with my darling young mare, Matavia Furst Lady, aka, Lizzie. Even if we only did start our competition year after half the year was already over!! I am already so excited for the competitions in 2017!

After an extremely successful Country and Spring Championships, I entered Lizzie into the Treasure Trove 2 Championships here in South Australia. I have never in my life ridden in such horrible conditions, let alone competed in them! In the first test, we got hailed and rained on, accompanied by a little wind. That didn't seem to faze Lizzie, which I was absolutely over the moon about! She performed a neat test for a score of 77%! In the next test, my gosh…I have never experienced such wind before! I really did think that I was going to be blown out of the saddle; the wind gusts that hit us were insane. But we powered on to complete the test with a score just shy of 82%!!! Lizzie and I ended up as the Preliminary Champions and Lizzie won her first ever rug :) It was certainly a day I will never forget, that's for sure!

 

Liz and Lizzie - Photo Liz Sobecki

© Liz Sobecki



Then I decided to give her a couple of weekends without any competitions, as I knew we had a big week in December coming up for the Victorian Dressage Festival. I attended a Di Jenkyn clinic the week before we travelled to Victoria, and it was just what the doctor ordered! I was blown away at the work Lizzie was producing, she got better and better each day. I am so very lucky to own such a special mare. After the Di clinic, it was time to start packing…

The 2016 Pryde's Easi Feed Victorian Dressage Festival was Lizzie's first interstate competition. It was the furthest that I have ever towed her, and she travelled like a dream! She was feeling rather fantastic when I unloaded her and walked her around the complex, I think she thought all the banners up and whatnot where there just for her, hahaha!! She curled up in her stable quietly and thought it was quite alright being in the old barn. The next day the sun was shining and it was perfect weather for our first training session on the Werribee Equestrian Centre's grounds. Lizzie went around in both the outdoor and indoor arenas like she had been there a thousand times before! Before this day, I had never ridden her inside an indoor before, so I was extremely pleased how she took the decorated indoor! Very brave :) Then it was time to wash and plait before the competition started the next day.

 

Liz and Lizzie at the Victorian Dressage Championships - Photo Liz Sobecki

Liz and Lizzie at the Victorian Dressage Championships.

© Liz Sobecki



Ew. I woke to pouring rain on the roof of Hotel Rowville. Luckily inside our float we were nice and dry, but man, making a dash to the stables, which was only about 20 metres or so away, was enough to get us soaked. Great, rain, wind and thunderstorms were predicted for my test times for the day. I took Lizzie out for her morning lunge and we both got a drenching, and looked like drowned rats before the day had barely begun! I got changed, hopped into the saddle, and off we went to the warm up arenas. Lucky for us, the rain slowly eased just before it was time for us to ride our test. Lizzie warmed up beautifully and trotted down the centreline with her game face on! This was Lizzie's first start at Para-Equestrian, and it was so exciting to finally be riding her at FEI level and onto our dream of the 2018 World Equestrian Games. Great test, happy horse, happy rider! As soon as we halted and saluted, the judge at C exclaimed, "wow, nice horse!" This made me proud as punch! Only an hour or so later was our second test of the day, which once again, there was a little rain and now wind on top of that. But once again, Lizzie put her best hoof forward and sand-danced like never before! Gosh, I love this horse.

Freestyle day was next up. Lizzie had never performed a freestyle before, so I was unsure as to how she would react. But once again, she was perfect and I could not have been happier with her! The scariest thing was the plank that had been removed at A so we could enter, that had been just left on the ground next to A!! Overall, the freestyle was a success, as was the entire week of competition. Lizzie and I ended up the Grade III Para-Equestrian Champions and missing out on Champion of Champions by only 0.1%!!! What a way to end our competition year, I am still so over the moon about it all!

 

Liz and Lizzie at the Victorian Dressage Championships - Photo Liz Sobecki

© Liz Sobecki



Here is a little video compilation of our Dressage Festival experience for 2016: www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZCDLJG7OQw

I would like to thank my amazing sponsors and supporters for everything they have done for both Matavia Furst Lady and I, we couldn't do it without you. In particular:

 - QJ Riding Wear
 - Equistyle Quality Stocks
 - Rocktape Australia
 - Bonnetts Saddleworld
 
Now it's time for a quiet couple of weeks over the Christmas period, I can't wait to get back competing in the New Year!

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and an even happier New Year!

Happy riding :)

Liz Sobecki

 

Liz and Lizzie at the Victorian Dressage Championships - Photo Liz Sobecki

© Liz Sobecki

 

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© copyright. Equestrian Life. Tuesday, 17 September 2019
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