I got a lie in! The first thing for me to do on Friday was not until 10:15, so Tessa very kindly said I could lie in instead of going to the event site at 6:15 with the others (that was the only time they could ride). I woke up feeling so refreshed and so excited for the next couple of days.

A relaxing morning with just a course walk with Caroline left me re-energised and ready to take on the XC course on Saturday. It was really nice to have a one-on-one course walk where we could talk in depth about my horse on that course, it was also really interesting to look at some of the things Pierre Michelet, the course designer had done on the Young Rider course.

course walk with caroline

Elicia and I then took our horses for a hack and watched the remaining Young Riders from our horses. We then decided to brave the XC warm up and give them a gallop, but would we be able to remain in control in only our dressage bits? Although they were both very keen, we did manage to keep them relaxed on the short gallop strip, I think the horses were just happy to not be doing dressage!

Sasha and Elisia hack

After suddenly realising the time, we took the horses back to the dressage to support Leilia, who put in an amazing test and really started off the second day of dressage on a very positive note.

After walking Leilia back to the stables and getting off the horses, it was time for the classic French lunch again, the highlight of many people’s day’s I am sure! Feeling very calm as I had the rest of the day free, Elicia and I focused our time on keeping everyone else positive and excited, this included going to support Georgia who put in another lovely test and so took some pressure off Heidi, who was the last Brit to go.

We took this couple of hours break as an opportunity to walk the course with parents so everyone apart from Heidi who was preparing for her dressage test, headed off for a ‘fun’ course walk. This involved jumping through the watering machines on the XC which was a highly needed cool-off, as well as being able to reassure the parents with our plans for each fence. A much-needed stress-relief for everyone now that dressage was over!

Finally, it was time to watch Heidi who did the best test of her life which put her in 6th place overnight on 28.3, and brought our team up to 4th place! With the new FEI scoring system the scores were all so packed together it was clear that it was necessary to finish on dressage scores if you wanted a good placing, this really put the pressure on.

We had one more walk before heading back to the house for dinner, reviews of our dressage test, and some more highly exciting card games! With adrenaline for XC day already running high, several of us struggled to get to sleep that night.