On paper it doesn’t look like we had a very good day at Bicton Horse Trials last weekend, but there were lots of positives to take away.
Archie (Arise Cavalier) and Skippy (Abakala Flagmount) posted personal bests in the dressage in their novices. Archie did a very grown up test to lead his section on a 27 and earn himself some lovely comments from the judge. Skippy did his usual consistent work to score a 31.
Ruby (Rubabell Cruise) got rather unsettled by the flies so was a bit distracted in her novice test which was a shame as she still did some good work. Myrtle (In Vogue II) (pictured below earlier this year) was in the intermediate and she too did her best test to date at this level to score 28.6.
They all showjumped well, with clears for Ruby and Myrtle plus a pole for Archie, but sadly Skippy went a bit green and spooky so had a couple of unlucky rails.
The cross-country courses were quite stiff and all three novice horses are still green at this level so it was quite a test for them. Sadly Ruby and Skippy picked up an unfortunate 20 penalties each. Skippy was caught out by the tricky coffin combination, which is also where Archie took a dislike to the ditch. He then went very babyish so I was unable to get him back anywhere near the fence, meaning that was the end of his cross-country round. We took him back to school there this week and sorted out his little problem.
Myrtle’s round came to an end when she misunderstood a skinny, and with no alternative to take, I decided to retire her to save her for another day and prevent an issue arising. This was a shame as it would have been a really educational course for her to complete.
A frustrating day, but you have to take the good bits out of it and remember that with horses one day you are up and the next you are down!
Things are very much all go at the moment as I have started riding out for my brother, the National Hunt trainer, Harry Fry, a couple of mornings a week again now that the racehorses are all back in after their summer break. There are lots of new youngsters to school, so it’s exciting to be back and getting the horses all geared up for the winter National Hunt season.
I’m also off for my first morning’s autumn hunting this weekend, as well as taking part in the Bicton Charity Challenge, a relay competition with eventers, jockeys and show jumpers going head-to-head in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund. It was great fun last year and for a fantastic cause, so please come down and support.
Myrtle and Archie head to Wellington Horse Trials on Sunday. Archie is dropping back down to BE100 level to give him a confidence-boosting run and Myrtle is in the intermediate. It’s an action-packed weekend ahead so fingers crossed we have a good one.