My eventing season is looming nearer, but I have to say I was slightly jealous to read all the tweets of everyone off to Isleham this weekend eventing; I have another 2 weeks to wait before I get out at Aldon. The horses and I are chomping at the bit and can’t wait to get going.
The horses are all feeling very well and have been pretty busy. I took them to West Wilts last week for the eventers’ dressage; I ran through an advanced test on Kitkat (Another Breakfast) and he scored over 70% so I was thrilled with him. Myrtle (In Vogue II) did a novice test with a few mistakes — we are still learning to press the right buttons but still scored 67%.
Archie, currently nicknamed the Naughty One, is becoming less, so thank goodness! He managed not to buck me off this time and, despite finding everything outside of the arena rather more interesting than the trot and canter circles he was meant to be doing, he did a sweet — albeit, baby-ish and wobbly — test. It’s definitely a case of trying to keep his attention at the moment as he is extremely sharp and picks up on the smallest things going on around him. Patience is key!
We were back at West Wilts a few days later to pop round a showjumping course in the indoor school and they were all great. I have an arena with jumps at home, but they get very used to jumping there so it is always good practice to get them out and have a jump in a different venue.
Kitkat and Myrtle have also been to the gallops. I’m very lucky to be able to use the ones at my brother, Harry’s, training yard. Having ridden racehorses up them all winter riding short in a racing saddle, it felt funny to be back in my eventing saddle and riding a lot longer! My legs are definitely stronger for the winter of riding racehorses though.
On Sunday, 23 February I went to the Savills Countryside Alliance Point-to-Point at Badbury Rings. My father was in his 5th and final year as chairman and it was a very notable day as there were a record number of entries, 126 runners on the day and 11 races, which included a split race having to be split again!
I’ve also enjoyed my last days’ hunting of the season, with the Blackmore Vale on Dad’s 18hh hunter (pictured top).
It’s been an exciting week for Rosie Fry Eventing too as I am hopefully on the verge of signing my 1st sponsor… more news on that to follow next time!
Report from Isleham and eventing special — guest edited by William Fox-Pitt — in H&H this week, out 6 March.