Paralympic Games

What can I say, this has been one of the most memorable experiences of my life. To come away with three medals was way more than I ever could have anticipated. Going to the games, I felt there was potential in me to medal individually, my horse had shown consistent form and my European medal in 2011 left me in a good place. However judging is very subjective and I hadn’t gotten the marks in Hartpury that I was hoping for, 8 weeks prior to the games.
On Day 1, the team test I was on near the end of the class. Even though I said I wasn’t thinking about it too much, I was conscious of marks and placings and I wanted to do the best that I could. When I was warming up, my key rivals had not gone yet but there was a Brazilian rider leading with 71%. I heard this and though oh boy, someone that I wasn’t familiar with leading with a big score I’m snookered. However I came out with 72% and 3rd place so I was pleasantly surprised.
This score was a PB in the team test but there was things I thought could have been better. The test was not as fluent and as I would like and I felt a bit confused going forward, should I try and repeat this test or should change a few small things and try to improve but take the gamble that the judges may or may not like it as much. In the end I knew I would come away happier if I changed a few things and had a test that felt better to me regardless of what others thought.
Mister Cool felt great on day 2, he was more submissive and he lit up great with the crowd. I don’t think I will forget walking out the exist and Kate turning to look at the scoreboard and telling me that you got 76%. This was a huge PB for me. Kate, Heike and my mam were in tears and I was speechless. Everything happened pretty quick after that, I was pushed through the mixed zone, had the medal ceremony, got rushed back to the village for an interview for the RTE news but one thing I can remember is when I was down off the horse after the test is my mam passing her phone, my dad had sent a text ‘She done it’. It was simple and to the point but there was something really real about it for me.
The other thing I remember is before the medal ceremony being told that the Irish team were unofficially in bronze. Even though I had won the silver, I felt more excited about this. I always keep on top of scores and statistics but I hadn’t being paying attention to the team score, probably because we were not going in with a chance of a team medal. Secretly I hoped that we could make it to 6th but I though this might be a challenge so I kept that too myself. To come away with Bronze was just incredible. I never though that winning a team medal would mean so much to me.
Day 3 was the freestyle, I had a new floor plan and new music which I was hoping would go over well but I didn’t know. I was very happy with how it went. I felt that I lined up well with the changes in music and thought that the whole thing worked well. However to me, it was not quiet as good as the previous day, but that didn’t matter because it was still amazing to get a Bronze. Maybe I’ll only get to do one great test and I think that the Mister Cool & I picked the best time to do it.

 

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