You would have thought that with Burghley done, our season would be winding down? Hell no — we’ve still had loads to do and it’s been a busy few weeks.

Having horses coming up behind the older ones is such an important part of being an event rider and certainly keeps you busy. The younger horses have been to Burnham Market, Kelsall Hill and Little Downham horse trials. There have been mixed performances along the way, but excitingly there has been a win in there and some really good performances for the future.

It’s great to learn about the horses and what makes them tick, what their quirks are and hopefully becoming their trusted partner in crime. Splash (Drumbilla Metro) had a fun run round Little Downham too. After the high pressure environment and huge fences at Burghley I wanted to give him a nice easy run before his holiday. It was perfect, and he really enjoyed himself for a double clear and lower placing in the intermediate, so he’s now on his holibobs.

There have been dramas — Amanda falling out of the lorry (twice, but injury free) being one, and thanks to a sat nav error, ending up at the entries secretary’s address rather than that of the event at Kelsall Hill!

Ed (Edison) has all of a sudden become very grown up and made the journey to Blenheim Horse Trials (pictured top) for his first three-star in the eight- and nine-year-old class. It doesn’t seem five minutes since popping round his first novice three seasons ago and wondering if he would cope. Well, cope he certainly did — he has gone from strength to strength and he maintained his 100% clear cross-country record by jumping a stunning double clear at Blenheim in his treeless ‘solution’ saddle. It’s a fabulous event with a big atmosphere and he coped beautifully. I’m very excited for what next season holds for him.

Simon Grieve  riding DRUMBILLA METRO in EquiConsulting Open during the Little Downham (3) Horse Trials at the Ely Eventing Centre near Ely in Cambridgeshire, UK on 2 October 2017

Splash at Little Downham

More young horse classes were on the cards next, with Freddie (Mr Fahrenheit III) skipping around the CIC2* for seven-year-old horses at Osberton. He made a tough track feel extremely easy and there are a lot of similarities between him and his talented mother, Little Tiger, who was ridden by Phoebe Buckley. Phoebe is also riding Freddie’s brother Tigga (Tiger Mail), who finished second in his second intermediate at Daunstey the same weekend — it certainly feels like a family affair. I’m really enjoying comparing notes and the horses personalities with Phoebe and their breeder Polly too!

I took a load of horses to jump at the week-long Arena UK British Showjumping Championship. It was great fun and exciting to jump in some bigger classes with a super atmosphere — I think I could learn to really enjoy pure showjumping. My highlight this time was finishing tenth out of 130 in the Foxhunter and qualifying for the grand prix in the Foxhunter, 1.25m and 1.30m at the weekend. Eventing took precedence though, so we had to miss them which was a shame, but we’ll be back.

Continued below…

With Keysoe, Oasby, Le Lion d’Angers and Pau still to come, there’s lots to still look forward to this season.
Simon