ROO FOX – It’s Bramham, I like Bramham………..

It’s Bramham, I like Bramham and apart from getting excited to enter just before closing date to find the list shut (much toing-and froing, thank you Holly) set off with Watt and Tigga. Usual rules apply, stunning warm-up for the Orange idiot, complete panic inside the arena with a non MER score to boot. Watt was mesmerised by the atmosphere and should have known better at his age, but did an acceptable test. Set off on an early XC round with news of carnage filtering back for a lovely ‘I can do this job’ round from Tig who paid no attention to the rather dismissive commentary from Ellie Kelly – I did look up her record later to note she has never been clear round a 3*, I’ve done over 20 – and due to the difficultly of the course, decided not to run Watt in his first attempt at this level. On to the Show Jumping for one of only four double clears, yeh massive victory for the forces of good!

After being in the lead in the 2* at Nunney and blown it by going too fast xc, running out of steam up the last hill in the heat, we moved on to Barbury. This was Otto (Eldorado van de Otterdijk) who according to the Master is now entitled to be recognised above the rabble due to a series of good results and only one pole down in six outings. So looking for qualifications per the norm, a clear round at Barbury was required. I was surprisingly nervous, didn’t want to run, lacked enthusiasm and was rather drippy about the whole outing having done dressage on Thursday and waiting till Saturday for the other two phases. Never mind,  a steady double clear did the job. The Mother’s annual Barbury supper topped the day with lively exchanges between the Great and the Good; BE is always put to rights on these occasions.

The next B is Burghley with another cunning plan. Last year we tried galloping down to the Dressage and going straight in; it didn’t work and we were last again. Previously we tried riding in three times and endless arena familiarisation which didn’t work either. But after a very acceptable test in the OI at Tweseldown, this year we are going to put Tig in the lorry for a couple of hours before his dressage to calm him down with home thoughts; we will be trialling this approach at Aston Advanced and if all goes well you might just see a stunning result in the low 50s. Nothing is guaranteed although I will not approach the gate this time.

The final B is aimed at my recently departed husband. I don’t know if this is a record but obviously as an enthusiastic, jovial, attractive, charming, delightful, boisterous Rider I am disappointed he didn’t last the season. The brilliant expert Suzie Cotterill who has recently set up Horse Divorces will be sorting the whole thing out for me. The other piece of news is the Friendly Game has covered my mare Faye. This was a first for all of us; he was keen to kiss and cuddle for a while and after scratching her sides at the start, we wrapped his hooves in nappies – I should have taken a picture- for the next attempt as he inexpertly performed while she tolerated the attention obviously ranking him as an amateur. We await the result and she is in the field with a lovely little four year old race mare who joined us recently.

Until next time …. Roo xx


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