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Mounted Games Championships – Results

So we all trekked down to Derbyshire, set up our penning for the ponies in the rain, pitched our tents, and at 9am on Thursday we started the first competition.

The day did not go as planned. Nerves and the pressure of the occasion got the better of the team. I didn’t deal with it in the best way possible: I was angry that their attitude had changed, and rather than deal with that by happily getting them to concentrate on having fun and enjoying their day, I basically told them off about their attitude.

That said, if they could’ve managed one more point in the morning session, they would’ve been in the run-off for the championships final.

So we had a break and started the runners up final at 1.30pm. Again we didn’t get off to a great start. I said I’d meet them for a practice at 12.30pm, and they were 25 minutes late. So that got us off to another bad start. The afternoon session went better. They qualified for three finals, and I think they were first in each of those heats. But they seemed to get some bad luck in the finals.

We ended the day 10th in the runners up competition, and 22nd out of 24 overall. They should still be proud of themselves for getting that far: only the second F&D team to do it 10 years. And they beat a lot of teams to get there. Three of them are now too old for juniors, so move into the seniors age group where I hope they do as well.

So now we have to find a way of dealing with the pressure, and putting together a team that really wants to win, and believes they can.


Mounted Games Championships

The season started off well just after Christmas, with a win in their first indoor competition. They competed in several other friendly competitions before going on to the Area competition, where they finished third and qualified for the Zone finals. They trekked up to Newcastle minus Becky, who had broken her leg. They had horrible weather and were soaked through, but finished second and qualified for the UK Championships.

We’ve had about six weeks of training for the finals, and Becky is now back, albeit in a non-riding role. I haven’t seen enough of the other teams to be able to say whether they’re in with a chance, but I’m looking forward to finding out. They’re a great group of kids, with a fantastic attitude towards the competitions and to each other. I hope they don’t take it too badly when we shout at them for not concentrating in training: I think its just because we believe they’re capable of winning if they put their minds to it.

I’m going to be so full of nervous excitement tomorrow when we travel down, and obviously on Thursday. I hope I can keep it to myself and try to get them to relax, enjoy the experience, and focus on getting it right rather than the other teams. It doesn’t matter where they finish, as long as everyone can look back on it and say they were the best they could be.