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26th April 2015

Report by Liz Finney

There was a big turnout of Cheshire group members at the Ulnes Walton Wander ride on April 26th and the friendly atmosphere and smooth organisation, together with lots of sunshine, made it a day to remember.
Congratulations to all our members who completed the ride successfully.

Another reason that made it memorable for me was that it was Merlin's (Chakiris Boy Wonder) first competitive ride and my first competitive event for about four years!
I can't remember when I last had a novice horse to compete, probably nearly 20 years ago.
Merlin took it all in his long stride and had no intention of taking it steady. Due to a navigational error (I did say I hadn't done a competitive ride for a long time) we looped back to the venue instead of going out to CP1, so lost over 30mins.
Well, a horse needs to learn about rider going wrong syndrome. We finished officially at 11.5km/hr, take off the 30mins and we actually did 14.1 km/hr which I wouldn't advise for a horse on his first event.
However, when the vet, who was very patient with a still excited Merlin, managed to get a heart rate reading, it was 46, so a grade 2, which I was very happy with.
Perhaps with Merlin's genes, being a great grandson of Nijinsky, he is already planning for when he can enter CER's, but he'll need a younger and fitter rider for that! Plus a lot more experience!
Next outing is The Frolic at Delamere, followed by the Celebrity team event at the Golden Horseshoe ride, which should be very exciting for him!

Liz Finney

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