So I had my first attempt at producing a score for Irish selection and it went pretty well. I managed an aggregate score of 70.78%, a full 3% above any of the other Irish riders.
The Irish selection policy dictates that horse & rider combinations with the highest percentage scores from one competition (Deauville, Moorsele or Mannheim) will be selected for the Paralympics. The really tricky thing with this policy is that all 3 events are quite close together which leaves very little recovery time for horses and riders. PEI our governing body had a difficult decision to make and they decided that they would send us to Deauville and Moorsele. Traveling to both these competitions meant that horses were only home for 5 days and riders were home for 8 days. After getting on well in France I have decided not to go to Moorsele. All the other Irish are going to Moorsele to try to improve there scores and secure one of the spots for London. Its a gamble not going to Moorsele but I managed to produce a solid score which I’m quietly confident with.
Deauville is a really nice venue and the competition there was really enjoyable The first day went really well for me. I wasn’t on until late which is annoying because its nice to be on early and relax for the rest of the day but nevertheless it went well. I rode my test, got my score and placed 2nd. This was pretty good, I was less than half a percent behind the winner. Later that evening I got my test sheets and I realized that my score was added up wrong and I had actually won with 71.76%. I was really delighted, I had managed to beat not just one but two of my biggest rivals. It was disappointing to miss out on the national anthem being played but it was a great confidence boost to win.
Day 2 was not as good, I managed 69.8% which was a good solid score but my test was as good as the previous day, I got nervous and didn’t do myself justice but it was a good lesson for me and hopefully something I won’t repeat. The Freestyle went much better for me, no matter what I was going to ride on and the judges seamed to like that. I got 73.25% and there was lots of room for improvement.
For now I am taking it easy and hoping that my performance will secure me a spot for London!