Hanslope was a bit of a ‘box ticking’ exercise for Nahdia. To help sell Nahdia we have been trying her out on the longer distances with a view to upgrading her to Advance and qualifying her for FEI classes. Due to the FEI qualification rule of needing a minimum of 12 months after the first 40km this means Nahdia cannot participate in her first CEI1* until the end of April 2019. As such, it gives us quite a lot of scope and time to complete the necessary 2x 80km that are required to be eligible for FEI. Having completed her first 80km at Thoresby at the beginning of July it means there is only one left to do.
Looking at the ride calendar I saw that Boyton Hall was offering a 80km CER TYRO which is for horses on their first race ride. I thought this would be an ideal opportunity to test Nahdia out a bit but in order to do this she would need a further 65km or 80km ride. To compete in national race rides or CER classes the horse needs two rides of 65-80km of which one must be an 80km.
With the ground being so incredibly hard I decided we would just do the 62km at Hanslope to do the necessary ride by saving her for the Boyton Hall and doing the bare minimum that was required.
As many people know I used to be the ride organiser for Hanslope as it’s our most local event. So whilst I wasn’t the organiser this year, I still helped out with route marking, putting up signs, setting up the venue etc. It was a bit stressful trying to do that and get Nahdia prepped for her 62km on Sunday. It meant at 10pm Saturday night I had finally got to Tesco to buy ice for the next day. We did have the advantage at least in the morning though with only a 10min drive to the venue! And of course we knew where we were going on the route!
My sister and usual crew Pheobe was riding her horse Red Ruben in his first ride in the 40km class which made up the first loop of my 62km so we agreed to ride together. Nahdia was a model pony for the first vetting and for the first time vetted in her headcollar (not her bridle) – progress! We both started as soon as we could to get as much done in the cool of the morning and were the 4th and 5th horses out on course. We took the 40km quite steadily to account for Roo but both horses went well together and kept up a nice pace. Nahdia was strong as always but is most happy when in front so we stuck to that and she settled well and worked nicely. There were a few gates to do and once again Nahdia just did these without a problem. We were soon back to the venue and with only one crew person each we couldn’t do our usual efficient cooling lane process but even so Nahdia took just over 3 mins to get into vet and had a HR of 58 and a straight A card.
Nahdia was very efficient in the VG and totally switched off and had a snooze in the shade under the tree. She ate up and drank and was really the model pony to the extent that I was starting to worry because she’s never that quiet! We had a nice 40min hold which was good as most national rides only have a 30min and that extra 10min really does make so much difference. We tacked up and cooled her off again before we set out for our final loop of 22km. Nahdia left the venue without a fuss that her new friend Roo wasn’t coming too and as soon as she saw the other group of horses on the horizon she was off! We completed the last loop at 16kmph with ease. We stopped at every crew point and she drank well and accepted lots of cold sloshes. She really is turning into quite the professional.
In no time at all we were back at the venue again. I’m totally not interested in grades so after a couple of minutes we went into vet, finishing up on a HR of 55 and an A for action. Final speed of 13.5kmph and a Grade 3. Superstar girly did it again, gaining her ticket to Boyton Hall next month! Exciting times ahead for this very promising mare.