The excitement and glamour of Badminton was short lived as it was back down to earth with a bang the following day. I had a clinic organised, with the first group at 8am and although I felt a little jaded, it was great to have a good turn out and plenty of enthusiasm. On the return journey however, my car engine exploded which was jolly exciting, but I figured it was better to have the car break down than any of the horses and so was surprisingly good humoured as I awaited recovery and a hefty bill!

A couple of days later I took four horses to Aston-le-Walls for the intermediate. Wally (Wallstreet VB) and Ed (Edison) jumped convincing double clears which was brilliant. Freddie (Mr Fahrenheit III) however was very wild and really rather strong to ride. I put it down to him being over fresh and that a change of bit may be in order. Vinnie (The Rutman) was the hero of the day, jumping a lovely double clear, inside the time to win — he felt great.

Simon Grieve  riding MR FAHRENHEIT III in OI Section P, during the Fairfax & Favour Rockingham International Horse Trials in the parkland of Rocking Castle near Corby in the county of Northamptonshire in the UK on 20th May 2018

Freddie at Rockingham

That weekend, we made the journey to the gorgeous Chatsworth Horse Trials. I felt rather lucky competing at such a beautiful location on such a fabulous horse as Douglas. The old boy didn’t disappoint either, posting a super double clear and coming 10th in the CIC3* which has set him up nicely for Bramham in a couple of week’s time.

One week on and we were at yet another fantastic location at Rockingham Castle. The park is stunning, and the event beautifully run. The highlight for me was a sixth place in the two-star with Vinnie who was super. Freddie also pinged round the open intermediate for a double clear and eighth, while Bob (Wish He Was Yours) was sixth in a BE100 section. Wally didn’t quite understand the water, so back to school for us on that, although I can’t help but be pleased with his clear showjumping round — I love jumping him, and it was a very cool round!

Simon Grieve  riding THE RUTMAN in Adv Section D during the Little Downham (1) Horse Trials at the Ely Eventing Centre in the village of Little Downham near Ely in Cambridgeshire in UK on 1st June 2018

Vinnie in his first advanced at Little Downham

Next we were onwards to another stunning location at Houghton Hall, where I had Freddie in the CCI2* and Ed in the CIC3* (Ed pictured top). Both went brilliantly albeit not troubling the leaders, but I can’t wait to see what the future holds as their jumping performances were very convincing.

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Finally Vinnie contested his first advanced at Little Downham last Friday. He jumped a beautiful clear showjumping round and romped round the cross-country like an absolute dream — he is quite some tool…BUT…silly Simon here was so busy concentrating on a double of skinnies that he relaxed at the straightforward log before them and let Vinnie run out. It was so frustrating, but equally, how super exciting for the future?

I’m getting ready to go to Bramham this week with Ed and Douglas – it’s an event that I love, so very much looking forward to it. Life’s busy enough at the moment, but my staff have been amazing, and their dedication is incredible!

Simon

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

This latest edition (31 May) is a training special, including a look at the world’s top trainers and whether you should have multiple coaches. Also check out our summer clothing guide, interview with showjumper and recent winner of the Hamburg Derby, Matt Sampson and feature on health problems in miniature horses.