We started the month off with a sports massage from Lee for both me and Damo. It was great to hear from Lee how good Damo felt. I was especially tight so mine was much needed.
My new KASK helmet which I have spoken about in the past made its first appearance ahead of Hartpury CPEDI3*. My new helmet has a GB flag on it with a silver rim to represent my European Silver Medal and the front gold which represents my goals/wishes for the next colour medal.
Damo settled in straight away at Hartpury and we set up camp for the week ahead. Damo flew through the trot up after the arena familiarisation in a huge arena with lots going on; he was a superstar.
First day of competition was the team test and I couldn’t be prouder of Damo, he was such a good boy. We just need to nail the halts but a plus 70% score and 4th place (very close to 3rd). Good pony; lots of carrots and pats. He was so relaxed and listening to every aid.
Second day of competition was the Individual test and again Damo was a star. A few mistakes and not all the judges agreed so just under 70% but two judges had us on over 71%. So another 4th place, but all to play for in tomorrow’s music test.
Third day and final day of competition the Freestyle test. We came 2nd with over 71.540% and the C judge had us in 1st place. This was Damo’s fourth music test and I couldn’t be prouder of him. The music was loud and he was on fire but we just about kept the lid on everything. Rob wasn’t with us today just me, mum and dad and we did it; thank you so much to Rob for the first three days having his help was super and allowed us to have a very successful competition. The prize giving was fantastic and we got some really nice prizes from NAF. It was great to be next to Michael who had won as we grew up together and know each other really well. I wish him and team Ireland the best of luck at the Worlds. It was great to see Nick Hart at Hartpury who had come to watch me and Team Ireland; he’s my vet from the RVC and it was great to catch up and to have his support there.
This is a massive turning point and I cannot thank everyone enough who has got us to this point. Damo is growing in confidence and is so much more relaxed. Thank you to my amazing team; each and everyone has got us to this point.
It was great to see that Damo had another write up in the British Dressage magazine after his win at the Gold Semi Finals. Qualifying us for the Gold Nationals in September.
Never did I imagine just after a year of taking up Para Rowing and only getting classified in May that I would be selected for my first Rowing International. I was selected to represent Team Wales at the Home International; being half Welsh this is a huge honour. It will be my first 2k race but I hope I can do everyone proud.
Blog of Spitfire’s adventure to the Home International; https://www.douglasbaderfoundation.com/indomitable-mari-takes-on-rowing/
Blimey the weather has been hot, we managed to get up early one of the days to ride before the heat came. The other day the boys had the day off and stayed in their nice cool stables.
Bear has been going really well in training and we are hoping we will be back in the white boards soon; fingers crossed.
I had a fantastic session at Performance Herts with Tom as Fiona was away. We upped the weight on my bench press and another exercise so that’s good; it shows I am getting stronger.
We finished the month with an amazing lesson on Damo at Robs. He was so relaxed and completely ignored everything else that was going on (lots going on) but concentrated on me and listened to every aid. We had a great run through of the team and individual tests. Damo has weekly ground work sessions with Emily and they are massively helping.