Ballarat International 6-7 May 2023

Ballarat was our first competition on the mainland, and Roughy’s first CCI Competition. He competed in the CCI1* OTT section, thanks to Racing Victoria.

Being a CCI event, there was a lot of atmosphere at the competition and warm-up areas. Roughy completed a commendable dressage test, with 63% which I was happy with for a new test.

Sunday was Show Jumping and Cross-country events for Roughy. The show jumping was a little sticky, with Roughy looking at the fill a little more than usual so resulted in 2 poles.

I was not sure how Roughy would react to the small Ballarat cross-country course.  It is a tight course with lots of twists and turns and back and forth from the float areas and many jump types he hadn’t yet seen or trained over. Again, we started out a little sticky but with support he grew confidence and flew around the remaining course without looking or questioning anything.

I often find with younger or green horses, while they are still learning, you do need to nurse them over the first few jumps. You need to be supportive and encourage them, but getting forceful can stress them, and doesn’t seem to help them down the track.

Roughy completed the cross-country with some time faults but no jumping penalties, to finish 22nd overall. After cross-country, there is a quick vet check which I find interesting to gauge their fitness and recovery level. Thankfully, I find the Thoroughbreds recover extremely well with cross-country and Roughy had no problems.

Back at Yarra Valley Eventing, we had a few lessons with Emily Anker working on Roughy’s dressage. I have found his dressage to be the hardest to develop on him, as he is a little laid back and seems to ‘coast’ through the work – he holds a nice frame and moves well and does everything you ask of him and averages a low 60% in dressage. While he does like to sit in his frame, there’s been a lack of energy or sit in his work that’s been preventing him from scoring a high 60% or 70%.  We will continue to put in work, and thankful for Emily’s teaching and advice.