Caitlin Spellman on Winning Form

  • Post category:News
You are currently viewing Caitlin Spellman on Winning Form
March was a very busy month, trying to bring River back up competition fitness to step up a level to level 3 dressage, due to my main competition horse, Annie, going lame at the start of the month and we were unsure why. 

River’s first competition back in was Working Equitation in Auckland, the last time we had done any was two years before. He was an angel and ended up coming first in the dressage and second in the ease of handling which evened out to first equal over all! 

Next was Horse of The Year were I was lucky enough to be able to groom for Jody Hartstone. We spent three days at HOY, each day Jody was riding. I learnt how to turn a horse out for Grand Prix and how to handle the amazing stallion Ali Baba at a show. This was an incredible opportunity to groom for one of New Zealand’s top dressage riders, and being with Jody is always an awesome learning experience. Ail Baba loves his Fibre-Beet, his head doesn’t leave the bucket until he’s finished it. 

After HOY we took Annie to the vets and spent three hours trying to figure out why she was lame, turns out it was arthritis in the pastern joint. I then had to bring her back into work slowly again to get ready for Under 25s in April. 

Then came the North Island inter-Secondary Schools competition, I took River, he came out midfield but with good marks and I was really happy for his first level 3 outing. 

Our final competition for March was Waikato Equestrian Centre Dressage show. River did really well again coming home with 5th and 6th in his classes and a top score of 63%. Also at the end of March my dressage arena got started at home which is really exciting and just in time for all the rain.

April was a big month for competitions, our first competition of the month was Clevedon dressage show, it was the first big trip for River going to a competition. I was really lucky to have Julie Malcom who specialises in biomechanics warming me up. River was a really good boy and came home with a over 60% in each test. 

Then I had a dressage at St Peters School with both horses, we came home with a 2nd and 66% on Annie and a 4th and 64% on River. 

Next came Under 25 dressage championships in Taupo. I took both horses and we stayed down there for two nights. I competed on Saturday and Sunday, we had a few separation issues at the start but eventually they got over themselves and did really well, River placed 5th thoughout the competition, getting some awesome marks. Annie finished midfield as she wasn’t up to quite the level, she should have been for level 4 due to being lame but it was still an awesome learning experience to be riding level 4 at my first national competition. The final test I did on Sunday was a rider class on River there were 20 riders in my class aged from 15-25 I was probably the youngest in the class, I ended up getting 4th overall with a 75% which was amazing. Overall I was really happy with how the whole competition went.

May was the start of a very wet month, my first competition of May was Waikato Winter Dressage show, I took both horses on a cold wet day. Both horses decided that competing in the wet and cold wasn’t a fun idea, but they still came home with a 3rd and 4th on River and a 3rd on Annie. 

Next we had Working Equation again this time River and I decided to enter the Novice A class which is the highest class available in NZ at the moment. He was super, full of energy that day. We had to complete a dressage test, an ease of handling round and a speed trial. River’s favourite was the speed trial he got super excited and raced around the course managing to come 1st equal. He did amazing coming home with 1st overall, I was so proud of him and it was super fun. 

This month was also the end of the Pony Club season, we had our prizing giving and I won the dressage trophy.