Today has been such a special day! I rode Bobby early this morning to see that he was feeling good – and he was, so the horse inspection was not a worry for me. I made sure that I watched some early show jumping rounds, and for all of our team it was a very good day – all six of our horses show jumped clear, so all the hard work we have done paid off.
I am very, very proud of Bobby, he did everything he could for me this week. As a team it was wonderful to win the gold medal again, and for Michael and Sandra to take individual gold and silver.
I was sad that my parents had to leave before the end but they had to get to the airport. They will also miss our celebrations this evening – we have decided to stay here tonight after all so that the horses can have a good rest before the drive back to Germany.
It has been a great week, despite the rain yesterday – thank you Scotland!
Photo credit: Horst Streitferdt
I woke this morning and did my last pedal around the course – in total I walked it three times and pedalled it five. My plan had been to warm Bobby up a bit in the morning, but he was too excited so after 15 minutes I took him back to his stable.
After breakfast it was time to watch the first couple of hours of the cross-country. The weather was bad and, as expected, there were many mistakes at different fences. Dirk [Schrade, German pathfinder] had a good round although he said that the ground was very slippery. That made me change my mind about the studs I was going to use – I decided to put three in each hind shoe, with a really long one on the outside, similar to what I did in London .
As I like to do, I went back to my lorry for some toast and cheese and a nap for an hour or so, before coming out again to watch Sandra’s round. I heard that there was a hold on the course, and that the ‘haggis’ had been taken out [fence 21b] as the ground deteriorated, but it was hard to find out how long the delay would be. The first time I got Bobby ready I ended up taking him back to the barn again, and starting over.
I finally got on to warm up about 25 minutes before our new start time. The ground at the warm up had got pretty deep so I only jumped three fences before we set off. By the time I went [Ingrid was number 62 out of 66 runners] there was no good, fresh ground, so Chris [Bartle] told me not to worry about the time but to ride what I felt. Bobby didn’t slip but I was aware that I needed to keep a perfect position and balance.
I was a little bit down on my minute markers – 15 seconds by the third one, but I decided not to chase him and to let him canter as he wanted because of the ground. He jumped perfect through all the waters, the only ‘moment’ we had was at the coffin [fences 23 and 24ab] where he chipped in a half stride and I tipped forward. Luckily he galloped away from the fence and it was OK.
He finished full of running having really enjoyed himself. He’s so smart and bold, a good fellow! So now he is back in his stable, and having done the press conference I will go back and take him out for a walk and some grass. Tonight we will all have a bit of a celebration – if not tonight, when? We will all be travelling home tomorrow.
Today has been about the dressage. I rode first thing, with Chris Bartle helping me do some cavaletti work before we ran once through the test. Bobby felt good so it was quite a short session. After that it was time to go round the cross-country – for the fourth time. Again I was with Chris, and we looked at all the alternatives so that I have everything straight in my mind.
I do a lot of horsemanship work with my horses, on foot, all by voice. Bobby was a bit excited by the atmosphere and the wind, so it really helped him; he is always looking for me, walking right close to my shoulder – it’s important that he feels safe with me, and I with him, and it builds the trust between us.
With Bobby happy and in his stable I then watched some dressage, the German riders and some others too – I enjoy riding dressage so I wasn’t nervous about today and went back to my lorry for a nap!
As we warmed up for our test the wind was blowing and Bobby was quite excited. He kept looking towards the cross-country fences and I had to keep telling him he had one more day to wait before we could do that. This is where the horsemanship work I do really helps – by the time we went in to the arena he felt so round and soft. I could ride him positively and forward because he was supple and expressive – he did exactly what I wanted in there, with no mistakes and really listening. Our last halt I could have stayed there forever, he wasn’t moving. It was the best he could have done.
There has been quite a bit of discussion today about some of the dressage marking. An event horse, especially for this sort of cross-country track, needs thoroughbred blood and judges should not just look at cadence and flashiness like perhaps they do in pure dressage. They should mark the riding, the correctness and rhythm of the horse, his suppleness for his type. You can’t change a canter, and event horses have to gallop across country. For me I was a little disappointed with my mark [Ingrid scored 37.8 for eighth place] but my trainers and I were really pleased with how Bobby went, which is all that matters.
Now I will go and cycle round the course one more time – I like to do that because I can feel the terrain. I will have a quiet supper with my close family and make my plan for tomorrow.
So tonight the Germans lead the competition, with Sandra first and Michael third. But tomorrow is another day.
I arrived at Blair on Monday having spent two wonderful days at Burghley, watching some of my team-mates taking on the huge course and receiving my prize for winning the FEI Classics series.
I had given Bob [Horseware Hale Bob] his final gallop on Saturday and he felt fantastic.
Our journey to Blair was incredible; the countryside and scenery is amazing here – it’s a bit like being in New Zealand. I am definitely a big Scotland fan!
I spent Tuesday and Wednesday quietly working Bob. I normally ride him twice a day, doing some polework in one session and spending the other running through the dressage test. I try and keep to a similar routine at an event, and I also take him out once a day and work him in hand, which really helps me bond with him and get him on my wavelength. He feels very fresh and really well, and he is the perfect weight. He sailed through the trot-up and I really enjoyed the opening ceremony in the main house, which was spectacular.
The cross-country course is what we all expected. The horses are going to need to be confident and we will need to ride with our heads and be very sharp and focused. I think we will also need to have good safety seats down all those hills!
I’m going to watch some dressage now before I take Bob out again. We do our dressage tomorrow afternoon and I am hoping for a good test and some good weather!
After a fantastic result at the end of July at Aachen CICO3* Nations Cup 2015, the German team are feeling on great form and we all can’t wait to get to Blair Castle for the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 and put in a competitive performance.
I am lucky enough to have two horses up for selection to compete for Germany at the European Championship, FRH Escada JS and Horseware Hale Bob.
I am a great believer in keeping my horses out as much as possible and all my horses are turned out once a day, sometimes twice. I like to lunge the horses once a week and I always used cavaletti poles to help improve the horses gait and suppleness.
I only work the horses once a day and I like to keep their work varied to make sure that they are fresh every time I ride them. I am careful with my horse’s legs and like to clay them after a competition. They will have ice packs with bandages overnight to prevent and swelling and to ensure the horses will be healthy the next day.
I hope to see you at Blair 2015; it’s going to be a fantastic Championship situated in a beautiful location. If you would like to keep up to date with my progress please follow my social media channels Facebook: @IngridKlimke Instagram: @ingridklimke
My two horses Horseware Hale Bob and FRH Escada JS are feeling great particularly after a successful trip to Aachen at the end of July for the Aachen CICO3* Nations Cup 2015 where I won individual gold with FRH Escada JS and silver on Horseware Hale Bob and to top it off we won team gold! We are now preparing for the Longines FEI European Eventing Championship 2015 and the German team and I are feeling very positive and we can’t wait to travel to Blair Castle in a fortnight.
I am very lucky to have two horses that are available to compete at Blair Castle, both of which have been going well in these last few weeks as we get closer to the Europeans. My main concern with just a couple of weeks to go is keeping the horses happy and healthy. They will both follow a similar training plan to include a mixture of cantering, dressage training, lunging and gridwork.
Horseware Hale Bob and FRH Escada JS are heading for the Europeans although I am only allowed one horse in the team so I will need to choose closer to Blair 2015. Both horses are very fit and are full of running, I like to canter them both and do interval training on the hills every 5 days. As you can see from my picture the horses love cantering too!
I hope to see you at Blair and I look forward to giving you an update on our journey to Blair in next week’s blog. In the meantime you can keep up to date with my progress on my social media channels Facebook: @IngridKlimke Instagram: @ingridklimke