Back to my Hyde Park Cross Country Course now with Fences 19 & 20, and the theme here is “dry dock”. London sits on the river Thames, which is a tidal river, and home to the famous Cutty Sark (that’s in dry dock).
Here we have a relatively simple combination, nothing to physically testing or mentally taxing. It’s just a question of ‘can you still keep it together’? How straightforward or physically demanding this combination is to ride is all down to how you use the angles to your advantage. It’s all about the angles!
First you must drop into the dry dock, then you’ll happen upon 19B, an upturned boat, which if you’re tiring you might head for either end which is lower and less effort to jump, but at the sacrifice of more turning involved on your way through (something that will actually assist you in balancing a tired horse, but cost you time).
Then a simple step out before tackling fence 20, a coiled rope, raised on a plinth. The coil is cone shaped providing opportunity to send the horse off in a run out. As with other fence combinations, the angles provide good opportunity to adjust your line to suit your horse’s stride length. The pale blue area in the bottom of the dock contains no significant water, but probably has a few ‘puddles’ dotted around. There’s also still opportunity here to place a few ‘decorations’ around the fences to force particular lines etc. I’ve not done this as yet, we’ll have some fun with that later on…..
So nothing stressful & strenuous, just a simple question of ‘can you still keep it together’?