Competition News - 2005
This page contains brief accounts of our 2005 competitions
02-03 April 2005 National Indoor Finals at College EC Keysoe Bedfordshire
We were proud that Tom qualified for the finals after the awful time we have all had this year.  We travelled up on the Friday and took Tom and his cart and Janet Macdonalds pony Amber and her cart in our lorry.  When we arrived we got the ponies settled in their stables and started to catch up with old friends we had not seen for ages.  We were on early on Saturday so we were up with the lark to walk the P&P and the cones course.  Tom was full of oats and consequently the P&P was a bit variable and we ended up with a score of 49.  The cones followed straight on and we did well to go clear of driving faults but four seconds too slow so the score was now 53.  There was a brilliant show on the Saturday evening with some World Cup type driving by three horse fours and two pony fours, Karen Bassett won with her Trakheners. On Sunday we did our four obstacles and all were well driven to the capability of Tom the pony, none were exceptionally fast but all were well in touch with the rest of the field.  We ended up with195.24 and tenth place.  The competition seems to have changed since we started indoors some five years ago and is now much less small pony friendly but we still had a great time and look forward to next year.
Stop press 
We checked out our P&P score sheets and fount that our awarded score was wrong, It should have been 39 not 49 This would have moved us up to 6th place and into the rosettes had we noticed it sooner. We did let  IHDT UK know about this but they were not really interested in doing anything to remedy their mistake.

27 February 2005 Indoor Event at Forest of Dean Equestrian Centre Yorkley Gloucestershire
After a disgusting few days the sun was shining for Yorkley but it was still very cold.  Helen Broomhall  was backstepping and the transport manager was helping with organising the event. We hoped the surface would have improved from last time as we had heard that rubber was being put down, but unfortunately this was on the outside arena and the indoor was still the deep, bone dry dust that we and Tom hate, if only the owners would install a sprinkler system and give the surface a good roll.  We got 34.4 in the P&P which was OK and then went far too fast in the cones and although no balls were dropped we incurred six penalties for the too quick time.  The first obstacle was very well driven and Tom did well to achieve second best time overall,  obstacle 2 was nice and we were equal fastest with Janet Macdonald.  We did'nt feel it was right to push Tom in the last two obstacles as there was nothing to gain and the surface was cutting up badly at this point so we backed off and finished the competition with a sound pony, second place in Open Pony class and third best score overall.   

30 January 2005 Indoor Event at Gracelands Equestrian Centre near Droitwich Worcs.

This was our first event for some time because Tom has had a foot problem and the last competition we were at was November 7th last year.  Right up until ten days ago we were not sure that he would be fully sound so there was not much time for fitness training and we went to Gracelands hoping he would last out till the end, he did and he did us proud.  The P&P was OK,  we scored 30.8 which put us in second place to Janet Macdonald by 0.6 of a point, this close competition was to carry on all day.  The Cones enabled us to take the lead  because we got 8 and Janet got 10 so we went into the Obstacles with a 1.4 lead.  Obstacles 1 and 2 were very well driven and we were able to stretch our lead to 8.4 points but doing it took the fiz out poor old Tom in his rather unfit state.  Obstacles 3 and 4 were next and we decided to go as fast as possible without stressing the pony too much so chose to avoid sharp direction changes as far as possible.  We lost four seconds to Janet in Obstacle 3 and three seconds, also to Janet in Obstacle 4 so things were very tight.  In the final reckoning we won by 1.4  which was the margin before we went into the last phase.  Tight or what, but it was a cracking competition and we enjoyed the closeness of it all.  Thanks are due to Helen Broomhall (lightweight backstepper) for enabling this win to happen, we could not have achieved it without her help and expertise.
This was the last visit to Gracelands because its a bit far for the Indoor team to travel in one day and the local chap won't attend the event because of some personality conflicts.  It's a shame because we always enjoyed this venue and were made most welcome by the owners.