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Julia and Marvin’s Badminton Experience Part 2

Tuesday 6th May 2014

Julia’s dressage start time came through while she was driving down the day before and as it turned out, she was down to do all three phases on Wednesday so this allowed plenty of time for Marvin to get used to the hustle and bustle of his surroundings and to settle in and also for Julia to ride him again in the morning and walk the cross country course in the afternoon.

Julia takes Marvin for a leg stretch

Julia takes Marvin for a leg stretch

Another good friend of Julia’s arrived in the morning – Angie Shield – and so after lunch we all headed off to check out the show jumping and cross country courses. The weather was extremely changeable.

Jane, Julia and Angie

Jane, Julia and Angie

Julia felt happy after walking the show jumping course, even though it is her least favourite phase, and she said “It’s a nice, flowing course, forward-moving and a real ‘rider’s course.”

Checking the distances on the show jumping course

Checking the distances on the show jumping course

Black clouds had loomed above whilst Jane advised Julia on the show jumping course but by the time we set off towards the cross country fences, we were in glorious sunshine and sun glasses, hoping that this would be the weather for the next day and a half. (Unfortunately it wasn’t, and we were soaked by the time we got back to the lorry!)

 

The Cross Country Course

Here we have images of every fence on the BE90 Cross Country course:

Fence 1

Fence 1

Fence 2

Fence 2

Fence 3

Fence 3

Fence 4

Fence 4

Fence 5a

Fence 5a

Fence 5b

Fence 5b

Fence 6

Fence 6

Fence 7

Fence 7

Fence 8a

Fence 8a

Fence 8b

Fence 8b

Fence 8c

Fence 8c

Fence 9

Fence 9

Fence 10

Fence 10

Fence 11

Fence 11

Fence 12a

Fence 12a

Fence 12b

Fence 12b

Fence 13

Fence 13

Fence 14a

Fence 14a

Fence 14b

Fence 14b

Fence 15

Fence 15

Fence 16a

Fence 16a

Fence 16b

Fence 16b

Fence 17a

Fence 17a

Fence 17b

Fence 17b

Fence 18

Fence 18

Fence 20a

Fence 20a

Fence 20b

Fence 20b

Fence 20b alternative route

Fence 20b alternative route

Fence 21 almost done

Fence 21 almost done

Fence 22

Fence 22

Finish a welcome sight!

Finish a welcome sight!

Said Julia: “I am looking forward to riding this course and feel honoured to be riding here. We have worked so hard to get to this point. The fences are well built and the distances are good. I am a little concerned, though, at the length – it will be the longest course Marvin has ever done and it’s quite technical in places and the fences seem to come up quite fast. I’m not worried about any particular fence but there is that long pull up the hill so I must remember to save some petrol in the tank for that as well as riding forward to the fences.”

The rest of the afternoon was spent preparing – polishing boots, cleaning tack and plaiting Marvin up.

Nerves are setting in a little!

Nerves are setting in a little!

Getting spick and span for tomorrow

Getting spick and span for tomorrow

 

Posted in Badminton 2014 HorseHage News by admin.

Julia and Marvin’s Badminton Experience Part 1

We have been shadowing our sponsored amateur rider, Julia Paterson, from Durham, and her horse ‘Spot of Luck’ (or otherwise better known by his buddies as ‘Marvin’) for three days this week at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Grassroots Championship 2014.

Julia and Marvin qualified at Skipton Horse Trials in Yorkshire last season for the BE90 section and were competing against over 80 other entries from all over the UK. It has been Julia’s dream to qualify for this event and to be able to compete with Marvin on the hallowed turf of this glorious parkland within the grounds of Badminton House, home of the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort.

But as every horse owner and rider knows, the sport of eventing is not without its ups and downs and this was no exception…

 

Monday 5th May 2014

Julia drove Marvin down from Durham to Badminton on her own on the Bank Holiday Monday – a long journey which took six and a half hours!! But Marvin travelled well and they arrived late afternoon which allowed plenty of time for Julia to take him out for a little hack around the show ground to loosen him up after the journey and stretch his legs.

Said Julia: “Marvin was really on his toes when I took him out and felt very alert. He had a good look round and felt really full of beans.”

We've Arrived!

We’ve Arrived!

Julia’s home for 3 night

Julia’s home for 3 night

All mod cons here!

All mod cons here!

He then had a 45 minute session with the FMB Activo-Med massage rug before he settled down happily in his stable for the night with his feed and plenty of High Fibre HorseHage to munch on.

Marvin enjoying his massage therapy

Marvin enjoying his massage therapy

Time for bed

Time for bed

Any more HorseHage, Mum?

Any more HorseHage, Mum?

Julia’s close friend and experienced horse-woman, Jane Lloyd, arrived in time for tea, along with her two terriers, Urchin and Pip, who took on their official duties of guarding the horsebox (and the all-important gin/wine supplies) for the duration of the event, and then it was time for an early night after a long day.

Pip sporting her very stylish HorseHage bandana

Pip sporting her very stylish HorseHage bandana

Urchin tries for a place on the 2014 Tug of War team

Urchin tries for a place on the 2014 Tug of War team

 

Posted in Badminton 2014 HoofKind News by admin.

Mollichaff Shines Through For Patch!

Patch

Mollichaff ShowShine

Patch, an 11-year-old Thoroughbred, owned by Cassie James from Shropshire, is literally a shining example of how correct feeding can help improve condition to your horse’s coat.

When Cassie bought Patch he had been out of work for around nine months and needed a helping hand to get some bloom in his coat and some added condition.

She added some Mollichaff ShowShine to his regular feed, and the results soon began to show.

Said Cassie: “ShowShine really did what it promised! Patch now looks great and his coat is wonderfully shiny. He has also put on a little weight.”

Throughout the winter, Cassie took Patch to do some Novice level dressage and some 1m show-jumping to help prepare him for his debut at BE100 level eventing this season.

MolliChaff ShowShine is a high-oil chaff for ultimate show condition. It is flavoured with cherry which provides a delicious taste and smell, ensuring it is highly palatable for even the fussiest of eaters.

It is made from the highest quality oat straw that has been chopped and dust extracted, and it is naturally high in fibre.

To give extra bloom to the coat and that added condition required for show horses and ponies, or poor doers, it contains a unique coating which combines high levels of soya oil with low sugar molasses. Limestone is also added to provide additional calcium for healthy growth and stronger bones.

Mollichaff ShowShine will add extra fibre to hard feeds, and can be mixed with concentrates to prolong feeding time and aid digestion by stimulating the production of saliva. The extra fibre helps prevent bolting and reduces boredom while your horse is stabled. It can also be used in place of hard feed if fed alongside an all-purpose vitamin and mineral supplement or feed balancer.

Posted in MolliChaff News by admin.

Mervyn Perring Retires From HorseHage After 20 Years.

Mervyn RetiresStaff at Mark Westaway & Son, producer of HorseHage and Mollichaff and headquarters of the company, said goodbye to a long-standing member of staff this month when Mervyn Perring retired after twenty years on the team.

Mervyn was born in Paignton, Devon but lived in Berry Pomeroy all his life. He began working on the payroll and purchase ledger when he first started at Mark Westaway & Son and then moved onto the transport and stock control side of the business.

Said Mervyn,“I have enjoyed working at Mark Westaway’s and am amazed how quickly the time has gone by. I’ve made a lot of friends here and it has been a very happy 20 years. I am looking forward to my retirement but will miss all my friends here.”

Mervyn is planning to spend more time in the garden, walking, watching cricket and visiting his family and will also be enjoying a holiday to Italy with his wife, Lin.

Said Chris Tar, partner at Mark Westaway & Son, “ Merv has been a dedicated and loyal member of staff and he understands the business and our customers inside out. He is the man everyone goes to with questions and is always helpful and never flustered, even in the most difficult of situations. He is very much a team player and will be sorely missed. Merv is a man with many outside interests, from cricket to history – he will not be bored during his well-earned retirement. The partners and staff here at Mark Westaway and Son all wish him the very best in a long and happy retirement.”

Posted in HorseHage News by admin.

Julia Paterson’s Latest Blog – The Final Week Before Badminton!

Julia and Marvin in fine form at Burgham a few weeks back (Photo courtesy of Steve Holmes Photography – www.steveholmesphoto.co.uk)

Julia and Marvin in fine form at Burgham a few weeks back (Photo courtesy of Steve Holmes Photography – www.steveholmesphoto.co.uk)

So since I wrote my last blog what a nightmare we have had!

Our next event should have been Eden Valley but the event was cancelled due to the rain, so we managed to be accepted as a late entry to Breckenborough. We went to Breckenborough but Marvin didn’t seem himself. When he came off the wagon he was very quiet and looked a little dull, which was evident when I jumped on to warm up for the dressage. He just didn’t have any energy, which was so bizarre as he had been fine all week whilst we had been riding out with our friends, Susan McNeil and her lovely old boy, Morph.

I rode the dressage test and he really didn’t get in front of my leg, but I also put this down to my nerves, as I was really feeling the pressure and wondered if my nerves were making him anxious. We came back to the wagon to change our tack ready to show jump and made our way across. All the other horses were flying about, full of the joys of spring, but Marvin wasn’t interested and didn’t make any effort over the practice fences. We were next to go in so I took Marvin to show jump and again, he never got forward and made the course feel really difficult, so I withdrew him there and then.

My vet was at the event so I asked him to check him over. Phillip gave him some vitamin shots to help as he may have picked up a low grade virus and we packed up and went home.

We were due to attend Somerford Park for three days training with Susie Gibson and Laura Grice but as Marvin wasn’t well, I cancelled our trip. £300 lost!

So over the last few weeks it has been nail biting stuff. The only way I can tell if Marvin is feeling unwell or starting to feel better is to be riding him, so we have been just gently hacking out and it has only been recently that he has started to pick up. So we entered Northallerton and dropped a level to BE90 to get a confidence round in before the big event and it was a great day. We did a good dressage test, only one down show jumping and a great confidence-giving cross country round. Albeit Marvin wasn’t feeling as fit as he was a few weeks back, but with a week to go now we will be picking this up and trying to get to Badminton in the best shape we can, so we can just ENJOY the experience…

We have had some final MOT work done with Dean Crossman giving him his annual dental work, and Andy Wheals and Andrea Bainbridge booked in for 1st and 2nd May to check his saddles and give him a physio session so he is feeling as well as he can be…

So now it’s all in the lap of the gods.

Posted in HorseHage News by admin.