Foz won the OIu21 YR Trial at Aston Le Walls, and then the following weekend Brook put in a very impressive performance at Chatsworth to finished 3rd in the big CIC*** – one of our best performances to date!! It was one of the toughest xc tracks we’ve done and he felt absolutely fantastic. What made it even more special was that Pippa (Funnell) won – which meant I was sharing the podium with her… I trained with Pip for a winter a few years ago and learnt a huge amount, and obviously with her being one of my idols and just such an icon… it made it all even more memorable!
We then headed up to Houghton Hall with Foz and Charlie for the CCI** U21 National Championships and Dre for the CCI*. Foz was a little jolly in his test so unfortunately didn’t perform to his full potential, but Charlie who isn’t as talented on the flat, tried his absolute heart out… they both then did great clear xc rounds within the time and just rolled one pole each around a tough final sj course to finished 5th and 6th. Over the moon! Dre who was campaigning in our first ever CCI* together did a very smart test, but unfortunately made a few little mistakes which dropped our mark a little – still he was lying in the top 10 after dressage. He then went on to do an amazingly fluid and smooth xc round giving me such a great feel… all the way up until the third to last fence (which was a steep step down into a quarry) and he just hovered on the edge of the step which occurred 20pens – he came around the second time and jumped it straight away. Just a silly, babyish mistake… still I’m so pleased with him generally and think he’s a very exciting horse for he future.
A week later Brook and Zara headed up Bramham Park, one of my favourite events! Zara was in the CIC*** and Brook and I were campaigning in our second CCI*** together – the CCI*** U25 National Championships. Zara and I have a very unfortunate and spectacular fall xc, it was one of those freak falls that you can’t really pinpoint why it happened… but hey ho thank God both of us are completely ok and she’ll soon be back in action. Brook, on the other hand was absolutely awesome all week. He started off the week by posting a fantastic test of 40, which put us right up there after the dressage. The xc was a big, bold and attacking kind of course which you had to really get stuck into… but Brook rose to the occasional and did one of only two clear inside the time xc in our section, moving us up to 3rd place – I was on cloud 9!! The final sj was up to height and a challenge to any horse slightly feeling the strain of the xc the day before. Brook felt amazingly well but we unfortunately rolled two poles… which at the time felt like the end of the world!! But looking back on it, I’m super pleased as we finished 5th, I’ve still got 6 years left competing in the U25 class and he tried his heart out all week, so really, I couldn’t have been happier!
The horses have now all enjoyed a well deserved few weeks holiday out in the field, becoming all fat and muddy! – I’ve also been doing the same… I had a great weeks holiday in Egypt with my family and then an awesome few days catching up with my friends at Glastonbury Festival!!
I’ve received some very exciting news that I’ve moved up into the Top 20 Ranked Riders, which is very exciting, and also that I’m the Leading U21 Rider. I’ve also been put on the GB Young Rider Long List with two horses – Loxley and Charlemagne for the European Champs… so everything crossed between now and then!
Our events start up again this weekend… I have to compete in two more Final Trials at Barbury and Aston Le Walls to be considered for the YR GB Team, so everything crossed for those. Brook will be aiming for the British Open Champs, at Gatcombe Park and then we’re going to aim for our first ever CCI**** at Pau this Autumn eeeeeekk!! So everything crossed that all goes to plan!