Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Horse archery championships

Last weekend saw Ali and I climbing blearily into a car full of camping equipment at 6 am. After our nice welcome at the European archery competition a couple of weeks ago, we decided to go along to the British Horseback Archery Association's annual championships. A flurry of emails and phone calls during the week testifying to her ability to stay on a horse had secured Ali a place in the competition.

We had also arranged to pick up a total stranger and fellow HBA enthusiast from Bristol on the way. Susie turned out to be very nice and coincidentally to share some of our fluffier views on such things as bitting and shoeing horses, so the journey passed quickly....

On arrival at the Centre of Horseback Combat, it was raining, so we steeled ourselves to go and stand in a soggy field for the day. We could at least huddle damply under the judge's tent, unlike the people taking part, who got very, very wet.....

Still, by the time it got to Ali's first event, something called the Australian Triple, the rain stopped and the sun even came out, so she managed to stay relatively dry. She got handed her mount, one of only two who can deal with left-handed archers, a nice boy called Jupiter.....

This event turned out to be a lot like the club 2 competition in France, you can carry your arrows in the hand and start with one nocked on the string. She managed to get one in a target, probably should have saved the victory dance until after she'd finished the run though..... ;-) There were 3 targets per run, the first and last angled so the last one was a back shot, that'll need some practise!

Anyway, she actually came fourth, and was very happy to get a rosette :-)

The next event, for the more experienced archers, was something called the Mamluk, which involved doing a long shot, a forward shot,  a Jarmaki, which is a target flat on the ground, a back shot and an offside shot. Great one to photograph!

After that, it was back to the car to extract the aforementioned camping gear and set up camp. As the sun went down, so did the temperature, so we took the only prudent course of action and retired to the pub for a few fortifying pints and some nice hot grub.

The next day dawned chilly, with frost on the ground (and in Ali's hair!) but at least it wasn't raining. That day's event was the Korean competition which everyone did. The main problem here for Ali was that for 4 of the 6 runs you can't start with an arrow nocked, so there are many photos of her doing this....!
So the best we can say about the Korean event is that she got a rosette for taking part.... ;-)

A fun weekend, met some great new people, and a lot of them are Firefly fans as it turns out, so they can't be all bad.....looking forward to the next event. Need to get some serious practise beforehand though ;-)

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