Wow, this Spring season really has been a tale of the ups and downs of eventing!!
What an amazing experience it was to have actually competed at Badminton! It was SUCH a shame our XC round had to finish with such a crunch, but the feeling I had galloping around the course before our fall was just indescribable! I was over the moon with his dressage… he stayed so relaxed and focused in what would’ve been the biggest atmospheric arena he’s been in and it was just amazing to show what we were both capable of and score highly up next to the God Michi!! I liked the look of the cross country a
lot form the first time I walked it. It was big and bold with lots of questions spread out across the course, but I felt it was a fantastically bold and attacking style of course which would really suit Brook. I couldn’t have wished to have been riding a better horse around my first Badminton – Brook isn’t the most athletic and powerfully strong cross country horse, but he is just incredibly willing and consistent with his jump over the vase variety of fences, which fills you with confidence as a rider. He’s never had any particular problem with a fence (e.g. water / corner fences) but he would struggle to jump a big fence if you placed him sightly closer than planned. So that was really the main thing I had to concentrate on – really attacking the course, coming with plenty of power and energy, and if I did, I knew he would respond. Which he did! He was utterly fantastic around all of the enormous historical Badminton fences… but unfortunately just really tired towards the end of the course which caused him to not make the distance between the double at the second to last fence, causing us to fall. As it turns out, he has sustained and injury on his left fore, which I feel was maybe getting worse towards the end of the course. I’ve watched the footage back of our fall and his drifts really right between the double which is very unlike him – and with it being his left fore he’s injured… we think it was just causing him pain and he understandably didn’t want to land on it again. SUCH a shame, but it was an indescribable experience to compete at the world best Three Day Event, and I couldn’t be more proud of Brook.
So due to Brook sustaining a tendon injury, it means he will be out of competition until the Spring of 2018 🙁 , absolutely devastating, but luckily I have some other lovely younger horses to concentrate on.
Houghton Hall Young Rider National Championships went very well, with Dre performing impressively
in his first CCI** to finish runner up in the class! Absolutely over the moon! He’s a really exciting young horse and with his good finishing score, he hopefully will have caught the Young Rider Selectors’ eyes looking onto the Young Rider European Championships in September. Since our result there, we’ve subsequently been Long Listed for the Young Rider European Championships! Fozzle did a great test and was lying 4th after the dressage, but unfortunately he was feeling far from his usual self on the XC, so I decided to retire before something happened. As it turns out he has sustained a foot injury, meaning he will be out of action for some time 🙁 , so that is seriously sad news.
Tattersalls International was our next Three Day Event of the season, where I had my two younger horses – Cooley Currency and Del Piero doing their first CCI**YR. Del Piero unfortunately wasn’t feeling himself on the XC so I ended up retiring him 3/4s of the way around the course, but Currant was fantastic… he’s still quite green in his way of going, but I was over the moon with how he felt around a very tricky ** course. An exciting horse for the future!
Bramham CCI*** U25 National Championships was the final Three Day to conclude my horses’ Spring season. I had Lord Patrick Beresford’s Charlemagne doing his first CCI***. Charlie got off to a fantastic start – scoring his personal best of 43 to put him in 2nd place after the dressage. He was then going fantastically around the first half on the course, really giving me a class ride, but unfortunately went very green going through the coffin half way around the course, so I decided to retire. A real, real shame and hugely devastating, but luckily he’s all ok.
I’ve been lucky enough to have had a little holiday whilst my horses have been on holiday! I’ve just retuned home and now we are back in full swing training and preparing for the rest of the season. Out next event is Barbury International where Dre and Charlie will compete in the CIC** YR European Trial and Currant in the IN.
So everything crossed that our luck picks up for the Autumn season!