Sophie Well’s London 2012 Story Continues…

The next day it was my turn for our Individual test. I’m glad Grade IV were early in the day as I’m not a fan of waiting around, so we had the same routine as before, and Helen treated my legs before my boots went on this time, all about prevention being better than cure. Noki felt good warming up, focused, but the timings didn’t run as smoothly as the last test, and we had a problem getting my training radios off and then didn’t get a chance to do my pirouettes before going in. Noki was a little more apprehensive going into the stadium for the second time, probably because on the first he didn’t know what to expect, so he did get a little tense. But he stayed with me. The test started well, and now I’m stronger within my position I’m not compensating so much for the lateral work or when he goes against me. I had to try and get a little more relaxation into the walk in the Individual, as in the Team test he was a little tense, but there is also a fine line between having him pinging enough for all the advanced work and extensions, then soft enough for the walk work. I really tried to use every inch of the arena to my advantage, and it was all going well until my first medium canter on the diagonal, we came to collected, then it’s a short length of counter canter to a simple change near the corner. I collected him but we obviously had a small miscommunication and he trotted before the simple change. It’s a small mistake that magnifies with it being an important movement, and also comes off the submission mark. I knew at that point I had blown it… That’s just how it is, you can’t win a Gold medal with mistakes unless your close rivals have mistakes too. I knew unless I was to get 10s for the next few movements I would have lost Gold. It didn’t stop me riding the rest of the test, but that’s horses, and I take responsibility for that. We came out half a percent behind Michele George, close, but just not good enough. I am thrilled to come away with the Silver individually, but of course there is part of me that is disappointed. I think if any elite athlete tells you they are happy to settle for less than Gold it’s a lie, just because we are all going for Gold, that’s why we are there, and have got to the level we have, we train to be the best. But at the same time having a good past record puts pressure on you to do the same again, and people sometimes think it will just happen. It doesn’t. We work hard every day trying to cover every angle, improve every part of the puzzle – because Gold medals don’t come that easy, in fact any medal doesn’t come that easy. Our real aim was to come to London and have 3 good tests, because besides the medal targets, I really wanted to feel like I could ride Noki in the arena and produce the harmony we have been training so long for. I wanted to show Noki off at his best and for myself personally I wanted to be someone my trainer, my owners and my whole team could be proud of. I feel I achieved that, I know I definitely felt so proud watching him walk in for his prize giving, it’s such a team effort, and we have come so far with him, that’s my Gold medal.

I’m thrilled that the team won Gold.  We had secured it before Sophie Christiansen went in to do her Individual test.  Any 3 of the 4 combination scores could have been taken and we would have still won! We won with a Paralympic record score, and Noki and I were the second highest combination.

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Posted on November 4, 2012, in Asmar Equestrian Clothing Range, Sophie Wells and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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