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  • Writer's pictureOllie Ratcliffe

Para Home International

Friday 3rd June 2016

We headed off to the Para Home International me mum and Sky. We had a good journey down to Vale View. When we arrived one of my team mates was already there and was decorating the stables, for the best dressed stable competition. We settled Sky into his stable and I helped Julie to finish decorating the stables.

Before long the rest of our team had arrived and it was time for the trot up. Mum and me got Sky ready and he looked super, really shiny. The rest of the team was ready and so we headed off to the main arena.

I am pleased to report all the horses passed with flying colours.

It was then time for the Opening Ceremony, all the teams paraded in with their mascot and in their team colours. We used my friend Julies dog Handz as our mascot, Julie had made him a green saddle and bridle with a green lead and bandages. Us the Central team all wore our green clothing, which we had managed to buy thanks to sponsorship. We all looked super smart. The oaths were read, the GB National anthem sung and the Para Home International was officially open.

Some of the team after putting the horses to bed headed to the restaurant where fish and chips were being served. We had a great time, but before long it was bed time.

Saturday 4th June 2016

I wasn’t on until much later on in the day but we had to feed Sky breakfast and we decided to do the arena walk. Mum led Sky around the arena he had his big boy pants on and was a very good boy! He looked super smart and really was showing everyone his super walk!

Sky went back to the stable to chill out and mum and me had our breakfast and cleaned the tack. It was time to support the first Central rider of the day, who did a very good test and got the team of to a great start.

Belief it or not it was time for lunch! I had a nice healthy salad. In the afternoon I was competing but so were the other 3 team members and we were all really close together.

It was time to go and get Sky ready. So I scooted off on my Quingo scooter to help mum she had already put on his Equilibirum massage pad, which he was really enjoying.I left them to it and went and got myself changed, putting on my Lancer Boots and Stixtox. Before finally putting on my jacket with the England flag on; back to the stable to help mum finish getting Sky ready.

Mum got on as she was warming him up for me, he was very cheeky! It was time for me to get on he felt super, nice and forwards. So we practised some movements from our test and before long we got the call to go in the arena.

As Sky had done the arena walk earlier on in the day he didn’t look at a thing. Mum walked around the outside of the arena with me, the bell went and I felt ready.

The test went really well and I was super pleased especially as this was my first time riding the Team Test in a competition. We had a few mistakes which would be costly.

We didn’t have long to get Sky washed off etc before going to watch my other team mates compete. Sky had lots of carrots and we headed off back to the arena.

Both team mates did two good tests and some more good scored added to our overall positioning.

I was delighted to find out that we had achieved just over 70% and the highest score of the day for our team.

All our scored added together, with one score being dropped as they only count 3 scores left us in 6th place over night, all to play for tomorrow.

Now it was time for tonight’s evening entertainment, which was an Italian themed evening. Only I and Julie went to this but it was a fab evening and we had lots of fun, the food was really good to.

After late night check to see Sky very happy stuffing his face we went off to bed.

Sunday 5th June 2016

We decided to do the arena walk again, Sky was a very good boy. Then it was time for breakfast; before going along to support my team mate who did an even better test than yesterday and got another good score.

My time was near to lunch so we had an earlier lunch. Before doing exactly the same routine as yesterday and getting Sky ready to compete. Mum warmed him up again and thankfully he was less cheeky.

I went into to do my test wanting to improve on yesterday’s mark. It was a much better test, no mistakes. I wasn’t working as hard, Sky was a lot more forwards off my leg and the contact was better. I was disappointed with the mark and a lot of people thought I should have got higher but we still achieved just under 69%.

The other two team mates competed and did better tests than yesterday, but again their scores were lower. But we had a different set of judges to yesterday.

It was then time for the prize giving we had no idea where we had come. All the teams gathered outside the indoor arena. We had our team central banner which we carried in with us. We got called to go in and we were the 4th team in and funnily enough we finished 4th!! This was amazing especially as 2 of the team members including myself were doing Gold level tests. Which across the board get scored harsher!

We got a nice rosette for finishing 4th and had lots of team photos. It was them time for the closing ceremony and the Para Home International was declared shut.

It was home time, we had a good trip back home! I cannot thank everyone enough for making it possible for me to compete. All the sponsors that supported the Central team and of course my home team and my wonderful sponsors.

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