Horse refused ... but no way will Katy give up

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KATY Burke is bidding to represent Blackpool at modern pentathlon in next year’s Olympics.

The 22-year-old from Bispham, who is providing a regular blog for Gazette readers, is staying positive after a setback in Kent ...

The European Championships was a tough day.

The semi-final went well and I qualified easily, feeling good.

Everyone seemed to be feeling the pressure in the final but I was just concentrating on myself and enjoying the home crowd as we started with the Parade of Athletes.

I fenced well and swam a personal best, putting me into fifth position before the ride and in contention for one of the eight Olympic qualifying spots.

After drawing my horse, I then watched a Polish athlete ride my horse in the round before me and it clearly wasn’t good for her. She had a few refusals and a fall.

She wasn’t riding well but my coaches reassured me that I was a better rider and would be fine on the horse.

But obviously I was feeling a little more nervous, and in the warm-up we tried to build the horse’s confidence again, which seemed to be working.

Heading into the arena, I was starting to feel better about the horse and that I had control.

The first three-quarters of the ride went well, but three strides before the ninth fence the horse decided it wasn’t going to jump.

It ducked out quickly and I ended up on the floor.

I finished the course but one or two more poles went down. Perhaps I was pushing the horse a bit too much trying to keep it going.

I dropped from fifth place to 26th. One word...GUTTED.

My riding coach gave me a hug but didn’t really have much to say except that I had done nothing wrong.

I had to move on quickly and concentrate on the Combined event but I didn’t manage to move up any more places. I had lost 200 points on my ride. It was too much to make up.

Now I have to move onwards and upwards. I still have other chances to qualify and the world championships are now a month away.

There is a lot of hard training to come and I am back in the Pyrenees now for two more weeks of altitude training.

I can’t wait to get my head down and work hard for the last competition of the season.