We went to Barroca, two days down, two weeks there, two days back. I am not going to comment on week one, suffice to say it rained… and rained… and rained. The Master (Islington) disapproved and dug his toes in and I can’t say I blame him; we did a few XC fences and retired. The acolytes Tigger (Fleet Street) and Watt (Bonero K) jumped round as if they had never been Eventing before, giving me somewhat steady clears. On to week two and time for another rant. All were dressage stars except the German judge Martin didn’t like us and we had over 35 marks difference on the tests. I asked for a review. No chance, the inflexibility of Ground Juries is becoming legendary and they don’t seem to appreciate the time and cost we expend to compete. So, because Tigger was 0.5 over a MER, I decided not to run him XC. Yet again, another mistake as Eric Winter’s course proved testing and we would have got our Badminton qualification had he gone clear. Watt remembered his job, satisfied all and is now qualified for CCI***. The Master was his exuberant best, bounced round everywhere, leapt off the bank and dropped me out the side door. Lesson learnt, Barroca is not for us and don’t go to an International when Martin is part of the Ground Jury.
Next outing was Gatcombe with three Novice contenders. Very acceptable dressage, very pleasant Show jumping and good steady rounds XC except for poor Donkey (Friendly Game) who soared into the water and landed on his nose; we had to do a turn to catch the skinny on the way out. Back home and sold two of our winter race ponies to lovely homes, we still have one to go so please get in touch if you are looking for a really nice cheap all-rounder who is going to his first Event at Whitfield. Yes, well about that – we have decided to load up and go to Ballindenisk with the big boys and taking Griff (Falvaro) for the CCI*. The issue is, of course, I will get back from Ireland on the Monday and go the Alec Lochore’s Event on the Tuesday and Wednesday. The next blog will be very interesting to say the least and a lot of congratulations or sympathy will be required!
Meanwhile you will be pleased to know I am still married and Himself, while proving difficult to train, he is managing to respond to the onerous conditions at Park Farm. He has grasped cups of tea and shows promise at evening stables. The Mother reached a zero number and with the help of friends and relatives, we managed to surprise her with a number of parties. Number Two Unit flew out for the day to Barroca, Number One Unit attended a great dinner party and the mates held a bridge evening. The latter was a real success, as tired after Cheltenham, she wanted to cancel thinking it was only her usual weekly game and persuaded to go, she turned up without makeup, hair in a ponytail and wearing tracky-bums. The Mother has never been keen on surprises- I love it!
This week we are heading to Portman and Larkhill with various assorted in my best go-faster mode in the hope of collecting a pretty. Then the ferry to Ireland and home to watch Badminton on the red button in the knowledge that of course I would have gone round clear if only Hugh Thomas would let me in.
#Burghley, here we come.