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April/May 2018 Blog

“With the beginning of our season being a bit of a wash out, finally we are managing to get out completing! Our poor horses have been training so much at home and feeling all fit and ready to go, but unable to get out anywhere… so they’re much happier now the season is beginning to get back into swing!

“Our first outing of the season went well at Tweseldown with Rosie (Kings Rose) and Robin (Erme Valley) finishing 3rd in the Novice and BE100. They were all extremely excited to be out and many movements were accompanied with squeals!!

“We then had a good first international of the year up in Norfolk at Burnham Market (Well… half good!) Quinn (Quinlan Z) managed to get a run in his first ever Intermediate, where he did a very respectable test of 30, followed by the first fence down in the show jumping, then a great clear in the cross country around a very tough track to finish 9th. The ground was extremely deep, and the course had some real questions so I was over the moon with how confident he felt.

“I then had Dre (Dargun) in the CIC***, but unfortunately all competition on the Sunday was abandoned due the ground being too wet – such a shame! The seven hour journey home did feel very long but at least Mum and I did manage to run a couple of them!

“The younger horses all had a good run at Larkhill the week after. No prizes but great educational runs for the beginning of the season.

“We then headed up to the stunning Belton House in Grantham where I had Dre in the CIC*** Grantham Cup; Quinn in his first CIC** and Rosie in the Novice. The sun shone and the ground was fantastic. Rosie started the weekend off to a very good start, doing a great test, followed by a fantastic double clear inside the time to finish on her dressage score and win the Novice! She felt class, and sped around the cross country with great ease. She’ll step up to Intermediate at her next event which is exciting! Dre was feeling a little too happy in his test which caused us to add a couple of extra exuberant movements!! But apart from a little free styling, he was very good, and some of his work was super. Even though it’s annoying not to perform a perfect, fault free test, it’s always nice to know they’re feeling well!! He then went on the jump a top class clear SJ, followed by a fantastic clear XC. I took him quick but not really really quick to get the time, as he hasn’t run hardly at all this year and although he’s fit, he’s not as fit as he would be if he’d been able to run more. So I made the decision to take him medium speed for a good clear and put a confident round under his belt… luckily it all went to plan! He pulled up sound a happy, and finished 18th out of about 90 of the worlds top horses… so I was over the moon! We had trouble last year with him tying up quite a bit (azatoria), which really prevented him from getting the good runs which we all knew he was capable of. But our new management system we have for him seems to have helped us to get on top of it… so everything crossed it carries on working and he stays fit and healthy! Quinn was also a good boy in his first CIC**, he was also quite jolly in his test… there’s quite an atmosphere in the main ring at Belton with a huge variety of trade stands, children’s play arenas and a big crowd – so it is quite an eyeful for the young horses! He then went on to have an unlucky fence SJ, but followed that up with a  really super XC round! I took him a nice speed, not to gain a top placing, but to finish with a qualifying score (to enable him to compete at Tattersalls CCI**U25), which he was able to do! Again it was a technical, up to height track and he popped around it full of confidence and ease, so I really was over the moon! I’m very excited about his future.

Quinn at Belton

“I also managed to fit in a cross-country course walk for my sponsor, HorseHage, with four competition winners, so all round, Belton was a great weekend!

“After several more events being abandoned, we were all feeling rather fed up… but then finally the sun decided to pop out just in time for Bicton (our amazing local event) and it was just glorious! Perfect ground, a beautifully designed course and everyone full of joy! I had a bunch of my younger horses there – Teddy (Joules Magic), Marco (Amore), then Rosie and Quinn. Quinn didn’t run in the cross country as he’d only competed at Belton the week before (and was entered as a back up in case anything went wrong at Belton), but I still took him to do the dressage and show jumping as a bit of schooling. He did a good test and jumped a great clear round in the show jumping. Teddy and Rosie were a little excited in their tests – this seems to be quite a common theme this Spring! They had a fence down each in the show jumping, then Teddy had a green run out at a drop fence on the cross country, but apart from that, they were both great. Teddy’s a lovely seven-year-old who was bred by a very good friend of ours, Patsy Mason. Patsy kindly asked me if I’d ride him for her this spring. He’s coming on in leaps and bounds and has a big future ahead of him.  Marco is a very exciting five-year-old, who I ride for my fantastic, long-standing owner, Lord Patrick Beresford. Bicton was Marco’s first ever BE event and he definitely started off how  I hope he means to go on, with a score of 34 and double clear in the BE100. I was over the moon with him!

Marco cross country schooling

“I have a new and very exciting six-year-old horse called Hobbie, who was very kindly bought for me by Gill Jonas. He’s a lovely little horse – he hunted lots as a five-year-old so is beautifully bold in the cross country department! He’s still green in his other phases, but has a lovely movement and a great jump so I’m very excited about his future. He’ll definitely be one to keep an eye on! Plus he’s a beautiful dun colour, so he’ll be easy to spot!

“We got back late last night from Aston Le Walls where Quinn was fantastic and did a 22 dressage, one down show jumping, then a fab clear cross country for second place in the Intermediate. I also had Rosie there too, who did a lovely double clear in her first ever Intermediate, very proud!

“I have some very exciting news in that I’m moving yards, up to my boyfriend, Sam’s near Chester! I plan to move all of the horses up there after Bramham, when we have a little break in the season. Everything will still be very much the same and Mum and I will still be doing lots together, but we’ll just be based at different yards (but will still only be a half hour’s flight away!). So, very exciting!

“As I finish writing this, Mum and I are trucking up to Chatsworth where I have Dre in the first leg of the Event Rider Masters and Mum has Bobbie in the Advanced… so fingers crossed for a good weekend!”

Marco cross country schooling