Lakes and Craters 3 Day Event

I was excited to be heading off to Camperdown to Lakes and Craters 3DE, on of my favourite events, at my all time favourite venue. It is hard to beat the natural beauty of the lakes and big hills. It is always a spectacular backdrop for cross country, with a lot of work having been put into aerating the surface. Geisha was entered in the CCI 1* 3 day event (long format), her first 3 day, while Hughie was stepping up to his first 1* event in the CIC 1* (short format). We had a slight issue getting Hughie’s national passport finalised in time, with my vet’s stamp spilling and leaking on the document which made it tricky to get it approved, delaying the process. This meant we were waiting outside the post office in the horse truck at 9am on Thursday morning hoping it would have arrived! Thankfully it did and we were on our way to Camperdown! 5 hours later and we had arrived just in time for the first horse inspection, and we quickly prettied Geisha up and trotted over for it! Needless to say she was accepted. I then spent the rest of the afternoon riding horses while Alice my groom plaited them up.

On Friday Geisha warmed up well for the dressage, but became a little tense in the test, causing her to do a few uncharacteristic things like strike the ground in the halt before her rein back, and do a flying change at the end of her medium canter. I was a little disappointed, given she had been going so much better, but was pleasantly surprised to see we had still scored over 60% and were sitting in 3rd place. Hughie had his first crack at a one star test and true to form did not disappoint, putting in a solid and reliable test to be sitting midfield. The two EvA 80 horses also had a great dressage day, with Chuckle sitting in 4th after a super cute test, and likewise with Ruby sitting in 5th! I had a busy afternoon walking cross country courses and getting ready for the big day of jumping ahead.

Saturday kicked off with the CIC 1* class show jumping, and Hughie was obviously feeling quite fresh because he made a fuss tossing his head unnecessarily, but left plenty of air over all the jumps for a clear round. Next up was the EvA 80 horses; Ruby jumped clear show jumping and clear cross country, just picking up some time penalties on the hills to slip out of the placings. Chuckle zipped around clear and under time, but unfortunately had one rail down show jumping, leaving her in a 5th place finish. She is proving to be a ripper little eventer, having had three placings from her first three eventing starts. With the small classes finished it was time for the 1* cross country. Geisha was first out on course, and gave me the most amazing ride coming in clear and under time. She made it feel so easy, just tackling everything so bravely and being incredibly rideable. Hughie then went around the similar but slightly shorter CIC 1* track, and proved he was well and truly ready to have made the step up to 1*, jumping like a machine and coming in just a touch over time. There’s still a bit of fine tuning to do to make the round smoother but I was stoked with him, and equally happy with the result, which was 3rd place for his first 1*!

With Geisha being in the 3DE, her show jumping wasn’t until the following day. It was actually quite nice not having to pack up and drive all the way home after a big day. With Geisha sitting in 2nd overnight, I was excited to jump on Sunday morning. She passed her trot up, and we were soon warming up for the jumping. Geisha was a little flat feeling, and I knew she was tired after the big gallop on the hill the day before. I was disappointed to have two rails down when she usually jumps clear, but she tried hard and I had to be happy with a 3rd place finish!

All in all it was a very successful event! I am aiming Hughie at Melbourne 3 Day Event if I can get him qualified in time, and Geisha is stepping up to 2** at Ballarat HT in a few weeks which is really exciting!

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