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Holly talks becoming affiliated and her British Showjumping experience so far!

"Practise like you've never won"

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How did it all begin?
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Let's start at the beginning. This year didn't quite take the route that I'd originally had in mind for Cynthia and I [Holly and Cynthia are ambassadors for DVR, Holly studies Equine Physiotherapy in Essex]. After returning to Essex after our Christmas at home, Cynth just wasn't quite herself. A visit to the vets later and she was diagnosed with severe musculature pain on the thoracic region of her spine. That same week I had arranged to take her to an arena hire for some jumping practice - this wasn't going to happen. Fortunately for me a good friend, Michelle, offered me the ride of her Irish bred pony Charlie to take instead. This is where it all began. Following this outing I started riding Charlie to keep me in the saddle while Cynth took some time out. We ventured to our first show together, just to a local unaffiliated competition, achieving 3rd 70cm and 4th 80cm, plus a few qualifying tickets. Charlie has previously been registered as a BSJA pony and so knew the job well, perfect for teaching an amateur like myself the ropes.
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Our first affiliated competition
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April arrives and Charlie and I are starting to get to know each quite well, a few circumstances in line and we decided to take a leap of faith and register with the BSJA to enable us to compete in our first BS competition at Barleylands E.C and begin our journey in aiming for the Amateur championship. Prior to this we had a thorough, brush up lesson with Jane Hart, which really helped me to iron out some old habits that had crept in (they will certainly die hard) but also opened my eyes to a different technique of riding to improve Charlie’s tempo in approach to a fence. We continue to work on this but already I can feel a massive improvement in her ride ability.
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May 2019: End of Uni, on to Wales and West.
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Post Barleylands the final semester of uni took over any spare time I had and so the horses took a bit of a back burner - much to my disapproval. However, we wasted no time in getting back out after I finished my final exam, we packed the lorry and trucked off to Wales and West the next day. It’s been a busy time but now sat in the back of the lorry has given me 3hours to finally write this blog! So far Charlie and I have achieved a double clear in all our 85cm amateur qualifiers, placing in the top 20 amongst 40-45 competitors per class.
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The next step?
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We are currently aiming for the 85cm amateur championship. At present we have qualified for the 85cm Second Rounds however we want to directly qualify for the championship. To do so we must achieve 5 double clears; so far we have sustained 4 out of 5 of these double clears so the immediate aim is to achieve our 5th and final clear. Following that we will look to stepping up to the 90cm and get her consistent at this height and then who knows where…
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5 TOP TIPS IF YOU'RE PLANNING TO AFFILIATE WITH BS
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  1. Find a good friend for help and support! Mine is Michelle – without her support I couldn't have imagined this opportunity arising.
  2. Always offer a hand, often the reward will follow at some point.
  3. Check out any membership deals because you might be eligible – this will save the pennies!
  4. Take any opportunity that comes along and be grateful for them!
  5. Enjoy the journey and the experience!
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