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  Magazine Page 16 - Team Pascal 2009

This report is a sequel to Magazine Page 2  - Olympic Aspirations

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AWinning Combination at Hartpury on 9th April 2009

The Sheepgate Trials on 5th and 6th May brought a string of successes. Samantha and Spring Pascal gained a first and a second in two Junior Team tests with scores of 67% and 70% respectively. They also won both junior individual tests with 70% and 71%. Finally, they were placed third in the Advanced Medium Freestyle to Music with 69%. Following this they went to Addington on 16th May and came second in the Junior FEI Team test with 65%.

Another visit to Hickstead on 20th and 21st July did not go entirely as hoped with Pascal upset by flapping flags, marquees, loud music and even a double-decker bus at the arena entrance. However, a few days later in a return to form at the Under 21s Summer Championships on 25th and 26th July at Addington Manor in Buckinghamshire, Samantha and Pascal won all of their classes with three out of four tests above 70%! These were a mix of Junior FEI and PSG, actual scores being 74%, 74%, 70% and 67%. One week on and Samantha and Pascal were at Keysoe competing in the Regionals where they came 5th in Medium Open, which qualified them for the Medium Open National Championships to be held in September at Stoneleigh.

Then came an enforced break of a month for school examinations before a return to Addington on 18th June where they came second with 69% in the Advanced Medium and third in their first Prix St George with 66%. (The PSG in March had been hors concours.) Two days later on the 20th June the duo were at Pachesham Park near Leatherhead in Surrey where they won both the Advanced 100 with 69% and the Prix St George with 67%. Five days after this, Samantha and Pascal won in the FEI Junior Team Test at Hickstead against the best in the country and in the premier league PSG they came fifth with 65%.

Back at Addington on 13th August, Samantha and Spring Pascal won Advanced Medium with a score of 70%, which qualified them for the Advanced Medium Winter Regionals. They also gained 62% in their first Intermediaire 1.

At the Sheepgate British Dressage Under 25s on 19th August Samantha and Pascal came first in a field of 17 for Medium Test 64 (class 15) with a score of 75.71%. The following day, unsettled by too much clapping resulted in Pascal coming 5th in (class 24) test Medium 69. Friday 21st brought mixed fortunes with a second place in (class 35A) the Junior Championship; a third place in (class 36A) Young Rider Championship and another 5th in (class 37) Advanced Medium Test 85. On Saturday fortune smiled with dedication bringing more success: a second place in (class 35B) the Junior Championship with 68.29%; this was followed by a first in (class 36B) Young Rider Championship with 70.13% and finally another first place in (class 39) the Under 25s National Medium Championships, 69.85%. This win brought a much-needed new saddle as part of the prize.

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Samantha and Spring Pascal at Sheepgate Under 25s 19th - 22nd August 2009
Pictures CT-B

Another very different source of satisfaction arrived in August - examination results. Despite the equestrian demands, somehow Samantha, now 16, had managed to study sufficiently to gain four A* and six grade 'A' GCSEs!

Six weeks after qualifying at Keysoe Samantha and Spring Pascal faced their most formidable competition at the Dressage Deluxe National Championships held at Stoneleigh. They were entered in the Biotal Medium Open on the first day, 17th September, with Sam, now 16, being the youngest competitor by at least four years. There were 30 entrants to the tightly contested class with only one other non-professional. Samantha and Pascal's score of 63.68% was brought down by two mistakes - 'mine not the horse's, acknowledged Sam'. Crucially, a mis-timed aid confused Pascal, losing vital points. Afterwards, any disappointment was tempered by recognition of what had been achieved and lessons learned.

Though not a factor at Stoneleigh, on some occasions Pascal had been upset and distracted by the noise and excitement that marks many of the bigger occasions. Now he is to have some ‘police-style’ training, which it is hoped may make him noise proof, double-decker bus proof and flapping flag proof! We’ll let you know how he fares.   Posted 24.9.09

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