It’s been a little while since I put my foot in a stirrup and rode at an event, but I did just that at the lovely Calmsden Horse Trials near Cirencester a couple of weeks ago.

Splash (Drumbilla Metro) was my first ride back and he looked after me impeccably, cruising around the novice cross-country course, making it feel seamless and so so easy – which I would hope he would having been entered for Burghley before my accident. He didn’t pull, he didn’t have one sticky moment or any kind of wobble. It was a pleasure and reminded me of why I love this sport despite the trials it has thrown my way in the past couple of months.

I have to admit to shedding a small tear on the walk back to the lorry after our round — thank you, Splash!

With that under my belt, I also took the super talented Vinnie (The Rutman) around the novice.

Although he is a quirky chap, he is super across the country and extremely polite so it was great to have two solid, if steady double clears to get me back in the swing of things.

Vinnie having a leg stretch before his ferry trip to Calais

Vinnie having a leg stretch before his ferry trip to Calais

The following week I was off to Oasby. A slightly more complicated day with the less experienced Freddie (Mr Fahrenheit) in the novice and Vinnie in the intermediate. King (Traveller Royale) came along for the ride and contested the open intermediate.

Continued below…

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Freddie kicked off the day with a super double clear and 10th place. He’s such a character and great great fun. He was polite and rideable and I really enjoyed myself. Vinnie did a beautiful test and then jumped his socks off for a double clear to finish fourth. He was a pleasure to ride and seemed to enjoy every moment. King did a really good test, despite me allowing him to break in the canter and subsequently fluffing two further movements as a result of my mistake. I showjumped him, but it had been a long day, I didn’t want to overdo it with my shoulder and so with the full support of his lovely owner Roly, we withdrew him before my last cross-country round of the day.

Schooling Vinnie in France

Schooling Vinnie in France

The owners of these horses have been supremely supportive with no pressure placed on me at any moment, and the emphasis on getting ME back on track, so thank you so much to you all.

So what next? Well, Vinnie went so well at Oasby and had already been selected for the World Championship for young horses at Le Lion d’Angers, so I am sitting in my lorry, post-trot-up in France (pictured top with Vinnie at Le Lion). It’s wonderful to be here, and I hope Vinnie will do us proud. I’ll keep you posted!

Simon