//September 2018 Update | Team BETTALife National Champion Mari Akhurst

September 2018 Update | Team BETTALife National Champion Mari Akhurst

September News

I started off this month by supporting a local charity who I am very proud to be an Ambassador for. I had a fantastic morning at the 6th Junior Para Triathlon. I was honoured to have been asked to hand the medals out; alongside another ambassador, the mayor of Chesham and David from The Douglas Bader Foundation (DBF). It was a very inspiring day and great to meet and chat to lots of people. The smiles of joy when everyone completed the races said it all. I’m sure amongst the competitors there will be some future Paralympians. Great that the parents that took part got medals as well, support teams are very important. A massive thank you to Arctic One for your continued support and well done on another fantastic event. It was great to catch up with David as well and thank you to the DBF for your continued support. I also got the chance to speak to some people about potentially doing some public speaking in the future.

After a quiet month last month it was back to competition time. We headed off to Solihull Riding Club for a winter qualifier with Sky; as we just needed a few more points towards winter qualification. It wasn’t the best prepared trip as we had only got back from holiday a week before, but we were all pleased with the performance and the 73%+ score to go with it. It was such a shame that the arena was so deep that Sky backed off me slightly and tripped a few times, expensive mistakes. But I was really pleased with Sky’s attitude and feel that after a few more training sessions at home perfecting a few things, we will be ready for the Nationals. Sky should be all qualified now so its Bears turn to qualify.

It was a nice surprise to open this month’s British Dressage Magazine and find a picture of me and Sky after our two fantastic wins at Hartpury CPEDI3*.

It was Bears turn to shine so we headed off to Wellington to do a winter qualifier on him. He was such a superstar and it was fantastic to be back out competing and doing what we love. A big improvement was shown which I am delighted about as we have worked so hard and the hard work is finally starting to pay off! I am so proud of Mr Bear he really has grown up and we make such a fantastic team. The most exciting thing is there is even more to come!!

After both boys successes it was time to head off to the Nationals with Sky. Bear had to stay at home but was pleased that he did make the reserve list. We arrived at the Nationals; it was very windy; but Sky was a superstar and took everything in his stride. I had a super session on him on Thursday afternoon and we were ready to compete the next day.

Super excited and delighted to say we retained our title, Grade 1 Gold National Champions!! Love my pony and couldn’t have done it without my wonderful team.

Hard work really does pay off and I am so proud of Sky and my whole team. What I have achieved this year I could hardly have dreamed of, it really is a dream come true. Being an International champion and now retaining a major National title.

A massive thank you to Equissage Pulse UK for sponsoring the class, we got some wonderful prizes including the beautiful horse sash modelled by Sky. It’s always fantastic competing at the Nationals in the atmosphere and even more special to have a mounted prize giving.

I really feel like this month I have had a break through with Bear, which is super exciting. He is going the best he has ever gone. Today in a training session the contact was 100% and we had the lift, the long stride and the over reach!! I looked in the mirror and wow!! Wasn’t sure this day would come as we have always struggled with the contact. But we have worked really hard and now the lift has appeared as well.

Next month looks to be a quieter month on the competition front but we do have squad training and a few other outings planned.

Mari Akhurst

Team BETTALife

By | 2018-10-12T10:57:14+00:00 October 12th, 2018|Sponsored Riders|0 Comments

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