Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Great Britain: Annie Joppe’s endurance blog: on the edge of a nightmare

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Annie Joppe - 10 July, 2017

Fitness preparation continues for Fantom and we were lucky enough to enjoy a ‘guided’ interval training session on Dartmoor recently. The going was just right, not too wet, and not too dry and we completed six uphill sessions each of over a mile, interspersed with walking down and steadily progressing between each climb. This succeeded in raising heart rates far more efficiently than any work on the gallops possibly could and I was so pleased with Fantom’s performance and attitude. Unfortunately after that we had four days of driving rain, which meant work on the grass cross-country course ceased.

I am now just back from a weekend in Norfolk. How very idyllic you might say, but our weekend was focussed on Chiara’s first FEI competition; indeed her first race and the biggest occasion in her young life.

As usual the King’s Forest competition was a superbly organised event with an excellent venue and facilities and everything was in place to make things as easy as possible for the competitors.

We had decided in advance to leave Cornwall on a Thursday to avoid the ridiculous gridlock of holiday traffic coming into and out of Cornwall on a Friday. This had the added advantage of giving us a day’s breathing space before the competition which was on the Saturday. We had a straightforward journey with a stop at Bristol Airport (nearly on the way) to collect stalwart crew member, Kiwi, who had flown in from Holland.

There had been a fair amount of rain just prior to the ride, just after the organisers had marked the course which had the dire effect of removing most of the markers. But they were actually superheroes and, almost single-handedly, drove 350 stakes with coloured loop markers into the side of the forest tracks (six different loops of up to 20 miles long!) in time for the competition...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/blog/annie-joppes-endurance-blog-edge-nightmare-625814#IGGuu1tDPPr1LGwO.99