“Just coming back down to earth after an incredible weekend at Bicton Arena for both mine and CARRICK DIAMOND BARD’s first 4* – we finished 40th/106 starters in the hugely competitive Olympic selection trial section, over a course widely described as a ‘4.5*’!!!
He pulled out a pretty perfect dressage test, scoring my international PB of 28 and lying just outside the top 30 behind mostly Olympic listed combinations, with our score trending in the lead at one point and well into the top 10 through the trotwork, with all 3 judges awarding me well over 70%
On Saturday we just had 1 very frustrating pole down over a strong SJ course, but he jumped really well and was well inside the tight time, and such was the influence of the track that we held our dressage position after this phase even against such a strong field
Finally the XC in the heat of the day on Sunday…after watching all the problems that were happening at nearly every single fence on Saturday & Sunday morning, plus hearing other competitors commenting that it was one of the toughest 4* tracks they’d seen for years I just had total belief in Gerry and myself, and mostly stuck to my plan all the way round for a fantastic clear! He was very strong and excited so it made life a bit tricky, which forced me to take 1 unplanned alternative, but he felt incredible right until the final fence and never tired
It is a total dream come true to be competing at this elite level, let alone to have totally proved ourselves worthy of being there and showing that we will be competitive in the future! It feels like it’s been years of watching other people achieve at the higher levels and not doing it myself, but I am so proud to have made it there, especially on a 9yo horse that I’ve taken right through the grades myself from his first ever SJ round/XC school less than 3 years ago
A HUGE thankyou to Bicton for the most phenomenal job at running such a fantastic competition for us at short notice, to Janet for being a great owner, to Martha for keeping us organised and Gerry clean all week, and to everyone who has supported me in achieving this milestone and sent such lovely messages“@ Alex Holman Eventing on Facebook