I always said I wouldn’t go to an International Competition (CVI) – too much time and expense to travel abroad to compete. Talygarn Vaulter Carys Morgan has competed in Belguim a couple of times but to do so she has had to pay for the ride on a horse already going, so when it was announced that a CVI was to be held in Britain, my initial thought was it would still be too expensive to take one vaulter and one horse, it is an expensive competition, entries, licenses, stable, diesel, catsuits etc so I said I wouldn’t do it – then a few weeks later I changed my mind on the basis that Sophie and Tayla can mount in canter so they should be able to put a canter routine together and costs would be lighter all round divided by three. All went well in the practice so I booked the stables and paid the entries £495 plus another £120 for FEI Licenses and thats without the diesel etc for the weekend. Carys was busy taking exams in Uni at this point so couldn’t be home to practice but Tayla and Sophie were doing well, 3 weeks before the competition the enormity of what we had done must have struck them and neither of them could get on. (If you can’t get on you can have another try but if you don’t make it – Elimination, no one is allowed help you). Stress levels are rising for Kim (Tayla’s mother) me and Sion (the horse). A week later Carys arrived home, Sophie got her shoulder sorted by the physio and things started to look up again. After a few practices with Carys running behind Tayla for support her ability to mount began to improve. We left home on the Thursday, settled Sion (San Ciro’s Secret) into his stable. Bright and early friday morning Sion was plaited and ready for the trot up at 10am, Carys trotted him and he passed then he got to walk around the competition ring. At 2pm the competition started, there is a rotation of warm up rings so we started outside then moved inside, then into the warm up ring in the main arena. I think it was all a bit much for Sion and he needed longer to settle as he now appeared to more stressed than we first thought. I think he decided there was enough going on in his life without people hurling themselves on him as well and he expressed this thought with a few bucks. This made for entertaining compulsories – if you were watching and not performing that is. Carys started well then it went a bit down hill with me, Sophie, Tayla and Sion feeling the stress and although it wasn’t the best I am really pleased and relieved that everyone managed to get on, stay on and complete their compulsories. Later in the afternoon all three performed their freestyle and everyone including Sion was more settled by this point and everybody did very well. That 6 that Carys had been hoping for was just out of reach as she finished with a 5.9 but in 2nd place, Sophie finished 5th and in the Child Individual Tayla also finished 5th and we all thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. The CVI is to be run again next year in England, then you never know – maybe we will contemplate crossing the channel!!!!!!!