Sunday, 9 August 2015

Day 2 of competition and rest day

Sorry for the down time, i have been seriously missing my trusty xperia mini phone and I am afraid the iphone6 is not as good for on the fly blogging!!

Anyway day 2 of competition started with a misty warm up

It is quite cold here like autumn in the UK, only warmer as the sun comes out (picture from Monet Smith Photography who have been taking some excellent shots!)

Individual sword was up first and i had a point to prove after a seriously iffy day 1 performance. I managed to finish 5th overall, but as usual when the pressure was on i accidently reached on a peg and missed.

Oranges were up next and again a shocking performance from me let the points score down, but fortunately the others did well for some high individual places and scores on the door for GB.

I have to mention at this point i was feeling fairly sick as i have been fighting an indonesian gastro bug since being here.... One day the team will be sponsored by immodium!! 

So just indian file to run where i bucked up my ideas and GB just missed out on silver by 2 points to Iraq which was rather gutting, but we are in the medals!

Evening was rewarding by a steak followed by a rather long bar session which is onsite, and explains the lack of blog!! 

Never ever get in drinking competitions with South Africans as they will beat you with experience. On the plus side we got lots of tips from the SA coach before the shots started, unfortunately the springbok shooters taste good so slip down easily (creme de menthe topped with amarula cream).

Fortunately as i was still under the weather i did not really partake so was a lot perkier than other team members emerging on the rest day!

So today we went to the lion park and saw lots of animals including the lions, tigers, chimps and caracals. 


The rest of the day was spent at the waterfront in cape town, which is stunning in the backdrop to table mountain


Tonight we analyzed videos of the teams performance and plan to use what we have learned from this in the final two team events, which are tomorrow

Better sign off at 0630 start tomorrow!

Friday, 7 August 2015

South Africa 2015 Day 1 of Competition

Guest blogger Tina as I'm in the shower!

so today was the first day of competition however the walls between our rooms are so thin that we (Jenna and I) are next too the lads and lets say they are not quiet in the bathroom!!!!!! which means not a peaceful start to the morning being woken up at 6.30am for breakfast and it's still dark. We had a Zulu tribal war dance at the official opening ceremony to get us in the mood for pegging.  the morning went well with all riders getting good scores.  another huge lunch then back for the pairs where team GB came third gaining a bronze medal.  I presented the medals which was fun only having the use of one fully functional arm.  we then went the scenic route to the shopping mail but somehow ended up in a coal depot!!!!  at the mail everyone had a quick shop and or coffee and cake they don't do portion control.  As I type this Jenna is trying to clear the flood of water from our shower room with her feet, if we need to use the facilities we may have to swim.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

South Africa practice day

Quick update: I am here in Cape Town, South Africa for a World Cup Qualifier with manager Tina Ricketts-Smith, and riders Adrian Deane, Michael Smith and Peter Turland.

We started with a lovely breakfast at Le Bac and headed to the Mistico Equestrian Centre for a morning briefing.

Tina and Dalene headed to the airport to collect our 5th rider Bradley, who had been delayed due to BA being sticklers for paperwork.

In the mean time the brits checked out the track, whilst the South Africans did a team huddle (and then got distracted by our antics....)

The missing riders arrived and horse draw followed and because its winter here we had lots of cute hairy South African ponies lined up for the draw

Practice followed and i don't have any pictures! It was well organised and we dis 7 runs in total including rings and oranges, which was great way to warm up.

I started on a cute pony, but was swapped to Protem a bay pony. I have to say most ponies here are well behaved.... Well except for one who hadn't been ridden for some time and bucked in warm up, but fortunately Marni from South Africa was on that one!

Tonight was back to Mistico for a super dinner, but went to candle light due to a scheduled power outage

So you guys will have to make do with an african sunset as phones don't pick up much in the dark!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Final day of competition India 2015

Today started off grey and cold with rain, not quite what you expect in India, but we took it as a good omen for the British as this is our weather.

First up was Indian file, which we have been training hard for. This is the event where you ride one after another, as close as you can and pick up the correct peg in a single row.

The horses all arrived and the original plan was to put Sarah's horse first, as it was the fastest. However the grooms advised against this as said it wouldn't run straight so we quickly changed the order to me in front, Sarah, Michael and Rachel with the hardest job at the back.

First run with lance was good and we were level pegging in the lead with Sudan and no time penalties.

Second run was with sword, and we knew what Sudan had done and yes we picked up and were elated as we knew we couldn't be beaten by remaining teams, cue lots of celebrating in the GB camp as we had taken the gold.

Team lance followed, and whilst we put quite a few points on with Michael and I hitting 5/6 targets it was not quite enough to put us in the medals and Sudan won in style with multiple full houses.

I would also add that it rained hard at lunchtime and the event was delayed until the rain stopped, and then delayed further by a guy doing a display with a parachute and a fan strapped to his back.... frankly we were surprised the horses didn't panic as he was also dropping, confetti, rose petals and business cards all over the ground.

The overall championship and best rider went to Sudan, who are now a force to be reckoned with in the tentpegging world.

We got back at the hotel at 8pm and the gala dinner was at 8.30pm, however delayed to 9.30pm and we didn't get to eat until past 11pm. There is a strange tradition of presenting all the other teams with gifts for turning up, which is bizarre as you should really be thanking the organisers for hosting.

In all this was a good event for GB, and showed that we can hold our own against profession and government funded countries.

It would be great if the success here can help promote the sport back home in the UK.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Third day of competition - march 14, 2015

So i had a day off from blogging for our rest day. The team explored Delhi and discovered that by using the metro we could travel quicker and cheaper than via vehicle. We visited various shopping places and raced tuk tuks around Delhi and finished with dinner back in the hotel.

Today started with the pairs class, we paired myself and Sarah and Michael and Rachel, matching the speed of the horses.

Unfortunately i muffed up the sword, and only picked up one peg, so our chances were blown. Rachel and Michael got a full house first run, but got too excited and couldn't manage a repeat on the small ones.
India took Gold, Oman Silver and Sudan Bronze in the pairs.

Individual lance followed and it was again a knock out round, requiring 10 points to get into round B. Myself, Rachel and Michael all progressed to round B, which was a good result for the British.

it was the Grand Regency again for lunch, this time we also took carrots from the salad to give to the horses as treats, as polos and apples are refused by the Indian horses, but carrots are good.

Round B was a late start and delayed further due to the timing equipment playing up.  So its been a long day, again the GB team did well, but did not achieve perfection so unfortunately not in the medals today. Sudan dominated taking Gold and Silver with India taking the bronze.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Day 2 of competition India 2015

This morning we have got into a routine of going to breakfast at 7am to be on the bus for 8am.

This morning started with the oranges class. Which was interesting as the hooks of the gallows were the twisted steel that goes into reinforcing concrete, which was interesting as even if on target, chances are that you will hit steel.

Mr India is running well but in the oranges the performance was 50% due to rider error, but the oranges were different heights.

Gold was taken by Sudan, silver to India and bronze to the first timers Russia!

We have been wearing union jack stick on tattoos which seemed like a good idea and did look good.... the downside is the team now have an untanned patch on both arms!

We then started round A of individual sword, however you need 10 points to qualify for round B. Both Sarah and I managed to qualify for round B.

Lunch was at the Regency Hotel as usual, we have now become adept at getting our water supplies at lunch.

After lunch it was Sarah and myself up to run, the break does put you off your rythm , but i was pleased with picking up all small pegs. However with misses was out of the running as both Sudan and Germany managed full houses and won gold and silver respectively - its really nice to see Jenny from Germany winning a medal "girl power"!

Results so far:
Rings & peg: Gold Iraq, Silver Great Britain, Bronze India
Team Sword: Gold Iraq, Silver Sudan, Bronze Oman
Oranges: Gold Sudan, Silver India, Bronze Russia
Individual: Gold Sudan, Silver Germany, Bronze Oman

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Day 1 of competition India 2015

This morning started with a good breakfast at the hotel, i have taken to drinking strawberry milk in the mornings.

The hotel is suffering from power cuts, which is slightly nerve wracking if you are in the lift.

When we got to the ground, all horses were present and correct and we got a 5th horse, but was bigger and looked angrier than Nakul , so I stuck with him.... in hindsight might not have been the smartest move!

We had one practice runs on pegs and Nakul was drifting left severely. So in rings i went one spur on the left, but managed achieve the second fastest time, but no where near the rings....

Second run i added a whip on the left, but failed once more to get anywhere near the gallows, but did slow him to 7.2sec (time allowed 7.5, first run was 6.77secs)

Sarah didn't far much better on Raja got no where near gallows on first run, but managed one ring before she drifted left on the second run.

Michael and Rachel had nice straight horses, and Michael went to town with the South African overarm technique and tied in first place with Osama of Iraq.

Next cam a nail biting run off gold and silver, with Michael taking the first run and did a beautiful run just dropping one ring and square on a 1" peg. However luck was against us and by a nip Osama managed both rings and a nick out of the side of the peg for a 2, so won by the two points!

However we are all still absolutely delighted with a silver medal in the first event of the day.

Next came team sword and I ditched Nakul on safety as didn't to wipe out my team, the Indians came trumps with "Mr India" a chestnut with the most floppy ears I have seen.

I was told he was good but slow, however on first team he turned into a pocket rocket and out raced the others.

I guess it depends on your definition of slow, but the grooms did say the have never seen hime run so fast!

Team sword was lucky for us, although when first faced with a huge crowd of hundreds, GB pulled it out of a bag for a full house, but we couldn't repeat the effort so no more medals today.

Some teams and certain managers are looking very pink after the first day under the Indian sun!