2019 Season Recap with: ROSA ONSLOW

Rosa Onslow is an international event rider that is part of the performance squad on horsescotland. This week we had Rosa sent us her #2019Recap and what a season its been!

Now that my season has finished, I wanted to write to thank to horsescotland for your support.There is so much I could say, but I would like to concentrate on the highlights.

RLE Limbo Kaiser (Kaiser) and Diamond Sundance (Sunny) have both finished sound after an amazing season.  It was the sort of season that riders dream of, and I know that Horse Scotland’s contribution was an invaluable part of our team.

We started 2019 competing at the coldest event on the planet.  Both horses ran in the OIu21 at Lincoln in early March to dust off our cobwebs.  I did not want to put the pressure on and was not worried about the time.  Nevertheless, Sunny came 8th and Kaiser came 5th in a competitive class.  A good confidence building start to the season.  It was then on to Belton  where both horses were entered in the Advanced Class.  Again, I did not want to push the time as it is a long season, but Sunny came 6th with a solid double clear, and Kaiser came 12th.  I could really start to feel their fitness improving  and it set us up well for the first international of the year for us, the Burnham Market CCI-S 4*.  This was a competition in 2 parts!  Kaiser completed with some time faults, but there was a long hold on the cross country course which meant that Sunny would not have started until after 6pm – and it was getting dark.  Disappointingly, we decided not to run him cross country in less than ideal conditions although he did a good dressage test and show jumped clear.  Frustrating, but I know it was the right decision.

We then had a month’s break and it was off to Chatsworth with both of them in the Advanced class.  Chatsworth cross country is renowned for its big Ian Stark designed course, but this suited my two.  Sunny came 3rdand Kaiser 9th which was an amazing performance from them both, when you think they are up against the best and there were over 60 in the class. The next stop was Houghton which was the trial for the GB Young Riders squad – so no pressure!  Instead of entering the YRCCI–L 3*, I agreed with the selectors that I could enter both horses in the CCI-S4*.  This was the Nations Cup class with over 120 entries, and very competitive.  To cut a long story short, Sunny came 42nd as I had decided not to push the time as he had made a couple of annoying mistakes in the dressage, and Kaiser came an amazing 3rd .I couldn’t believe I was standing next to Piggy French (who came 4th) in the prize giving and I was the highest placed GB rider! 

As a result, the selectors announced that I had been long listed and subsequently picked for the GB Young Riders squad to compete in Holland against the best of Europe at that level, which had been my main goal for this season!

I had hoped that I would be picked with one of my horses, but both were selected, which is very rare.  Sunny went, but Kaiser was my first reserve and would have gone had Sunny had a problem.  Sunny performed fantastically, and I ended up 12th out of 66 with a double clear, and came 4thout of the 6 GB riders who competed.

As if this were not enough, I then received a telephone call 2 days after I had got home to be asked if I wanted to be part of the GB Senior Nations Cup team at Camphire on Kaiser in the CCI-S4*.  It took me about 2 seconds to say yes!  So both horses represented our country during 2019.  I couldn’t have dreamed that this would happen at the beginning of the season.

I felt that Kaiser had done enough after Camphire after quite an intense season and so decided to end the season there when he was sound and well.  I decided to give Sunny one more outing before finishing his season and entered him for our first CCI-L4* L at Blair Castle International Horse Trials, which has a notoriously tough cross country course.  We were 4th after the dressage and clear across the country; we then went clear in the show jumping – a double clear result for us at the highest level, and a one part of a Badminton qualification.  We ended up coming 2nd in the competition, but more importantly, we had finished the season with 2 sound horses, ready for next year.

I could not have achieved this without Horse Scotland’s support.  Your training sessions and funding are just fantastic and I recognise how lucky I am to have been awarded a position on the Performance Squad.

We now have a break from competing and then there is next season to look forward to.  Badminton (Kaiser), Bramham (Sunny) and Burghley (Sunny and Kaiser) are firmly in my sights. 

I can keep dreaming!

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