What an amazing few weeks I have had, the horses have all been on flying form!
Firstly, Buckminster with the gorgeous Mabel, she did a stunning test to score 26 and then jumped an immaculate double clear to finish 2nd in the KBIS 5yo section and qualify for Osberton on the same score as the winner – she was just too speedy! That was her aim for the season so we’re delighted to have achieved that, and she is now enjoying a thoroughly deserved mid-season break!
Barry has had a busy few weeks with Great Witchingham, Aston and Gatcombe. Firstly, Great Witchingham, he led the dressage on a very pleasing score of 23, jumped a lovely SJ round just tipped the last two which was unlucky and does not reflect the round at all and finished it off with a very easy clear XC he felt fantastic and really ready for his first Advanced.
I had a very good Aston, both George and Barry were in the AU25, both did nice enough tests a few errors in both but some lovely work. George jumped a lovely clear SJ and Barry was very unlucky to have one down but jumped a beautiful round around a course that was causing a lot of trouble. Both then cruised around the XC, George just steady as it was his first full run since Houghton so picked up 12 time penalties but good enough for 8th.
Barry went a little faster for 9 time penalties and good enough for 5th! Very exciting at just 8-year-old to finish 5th in his first Advance, a very exciting horse for the future for someone as unfortunately, he is now for sale – but more on that later.
Gatcombe was a mixed one for me. I had Barry in the Intermediate Champs and George in the ERM/British Open 3*.
Barry was superb, he did a lovely test to score 31 which I was very disappointed with, but hey-ho he was still in the top 10. He then was jumping his socks off until I rode awfully into a few fences and placed him in a position where it just was not possible for him to clear them, but he tried his heart out and coped fantastically with the atmosphere the undulations and the deteriorating ground conditions. Fuming with myself for having 3 down as none of them were his fault. Due to the rain and the penalties from the SJ, I decided to save him for another day. He is such a machine that I didn’t want to take him when I feared I might let him down. He runs at Wellington in a few weeks so fingers crossed I ride better there! Lots of SJ practice needed.
George was just incredible. The ERM series was so much fun to be involved with, live interviews the atmosphere the event creates, I felt very privileged to be a part of it. A slightly average test from George but it was error free just very boring! He will get there one day!
The SJ was huge, technical and the time was incredibly tight. Being in reverse order I showjumped about 5th, it had caused a lot of trouble before me but I didn’t really know the full extent, all I heard was 10 time, 8 time so I knew I needed to go for it. I went in and rode a 1.30 speed class. He answered every question jumping off some crazy lines to jump clear and inside the time! At this stage, I didn’t quite realise what an achievement this would be there were only two others to do so! My winter SJ with George certainly paid dividends. We rose from 30th after dressage to 14th going into XC. Watch the clear round at https://www.facebook.com/EventRiderMasters/videos/1027275854076481/
XC he was quite simply brilliant. The time was crazy tight and with reasonably heavy going it made it challenging, but he flew around making a tricky course feel very easy. A few too many time penalties to ride the amount I would have liked, but to finish 11th in my ERM debut was amazing.
We also won highest placed U25 in the British Open and the best-shod award. So huge thanks to wonder-farrier Ricky Hilton. I am still on a high! The grey wonder is just incredible!
Onto the sad news. Unfortunately, Barry is now for sale (the image at the top of the Blog shows Barry in action). I can’t afford to have two horses running at this level so one has got to go! He is such a pleasure to ride and produce that I really am going to miss him. If anyone wants to buy a share or wants any more information, please give me a call on 07921 030 240.
I have a quieter couple of weeks now until my next show, but I am sure I will find plenty to keep me busy, my new kitchen is being fitted next week so plenty of decorating to do before then!