I can’t believe we are half way through the 2018 season already! June has been an amazing month and has passed so quickly!
Last month was all about prepping the 2 horses H.D.Bronze and Ramilo for Bramham International, and Wow, what an amazing time we had!
Bramham has got to be the best course I have ever ridden around. The atmosphere, the crowds, the top riders that were there, it all made it into probably one of the top highlights so far in my eventing career. When I walked the course I did think, this is a big and bold and square course, it was a little intimidating for my first 3*, but actually when I broke it down, and looked at each fence individually, it all kind of made sense…they were technical questions and big fences, but looking carefully at each jump, and working the fences out one by one made it better for me to understand and ride and answer those technical questions that were being asked by the course designer.
The team did a fantastic job of preparing the course, the going was perfect, and they couldn’t of done any more to improve conditions, so a real big thanks to their team.
You will all already know that my experienced horse, who I wanted to use as the pathfinder had an unfortunate fall, he just left a leg and that was that really! No real explanations, just one of those unlucky things. Thankfully he was fine and none the worse although after the delay and checks it didn’t leave me much time to prepare H.D. Bronze, my second ride of the day.
So, H.D. Bronze is a talented but tricky horse. I have owned him for 6 years and I was just delighted to have qualified him for Bramham International, for me it was a course that would test him, but be good for his experience. Well, didn’t he just rise to the occasion…the horse jumped amazingly, took all the technical questions in his stride, ate up the course and came home clear inside the time!! I could not of been more proud of him, this sensitive horse, who I have always known has the ability and talent, but I was not sure when or if I could get this out of him at a competition, but he gave me everything round that course, 110% and he just felt awesome! That feeling when you realise you are sat on something that has so much ability and is working with you as a complete partnership and giving you everything they have…such a special feeling that I will treasure forever. I think its fair to say that Bramham International exceeded all my expectations, it has made me even more determined to get to the top of my sport now, I feel even more determined and hungry to succeed, having had this taste of 3* events. The After Party was pretty good as well, it was great to have the opportunity to let our hair down and celebrate my birthday from last month, it was a good night! ☺
So life returned to usual when we got home, the 2 boys were given an easier week, allowing their bodies to recover, lots of hacking and stretching and generally a bit of a wind down after all the weeks of preparation that they had done.
This gave me the opportunity to take out the other 2. A trip to Alnwick Ford saw H.D. The One put in a very brave dressage performance to get a 26, which is fantastic for him. This horse has had a fear of white boards, so for him to get to the point where he took a deep breath and rose above his fears that day, was excellent progress, and it showed in his mark. Unfortunately the SJ didn’t work well for us, the arena is quite small, and H.D. The One is a big horse, hes nearly 17.3h so it takes a little while for the brain signals to get to his limbs at his young age, and he just didn’t cope very well with the tight turns, so a few poles down. He more than made up for this though in the XC, where he did a foot perfect round, coming home easily inside the time, without even really trying!!
Coco Silvano is a 11 year old and he was out competing in his 2nd BE100, a good score of 31 in the dressage and them a lovely double clear meant we finished 10th, so couldn’t be happier with that! He will make the step up to Novice now and we will see how he gets on.
Looking back on the first half of the season, I really could not be happier, I am over the moon with the progress of all the horses, I have had the best experience ever at Brahmam, and the sun is shining…
Roll on next month where we will be making the trip to Barbury International for the CIC 3***.