Bozzie (Cornacrew) is on such good form that we have decided to take him down to the south of France for Les Etoiles de Pau four-star this week.

He’s only run four times this season gaining over 100 time-penalties in total which must be some kind of record (steady on Simon), so he’s intentionally not been pushed and we thought, why not? I organised with Izzy Taylor that I would travel with her, so I prepared for an exciting road trip.

On Tuesday, I got to meet (event riders) Angus Smales and partner Harriet’s new baby boy Archie. Harriet is a really good mate of mine and it was lovely to finally meet the little chap on ‘the outside’! He is gorgeous, but feisty, like his parents.

The rest of the week saw visits to Newmarket vets on Wednesday, and the British Farming Awards on Thursday where my partner James was an award winner — proud moment. On Friday, I took Bozzie swimming plus he saw the chiropractor (Thomasina Spillman), and I delivered horses home for their holidays.

Driving home, Izzy let me know that frustratingly for her, due to unforeseen circumstances she would not be making the trip to Pau. We were due to leave in 48 hours, with no transport (as much as I love my lorry, Bertha there’s no way I’d expect or be able to afford getting her down there, plus she has no living accommodation) and no travelling companion to split costs. Add to that having five horses eventing in those 48 hours and I can safely say things were looking a little doubtful.

A sleepless night ensued, but the following day we were off to Oasby where Rocky (Generoso) and Ed (Edison) were entered for the intermediate, plus Vinnie (The Rutman) the novice. As I pulled in I spotted Laurence Hunt parked in front, who was also going to Pau, and thumbed a lift — thankfully he said he had space. Nicky Roncoroni also very kindly offered a lift. Phew, and a big thank you to both is all I can say.

Back to work, and this was Ed’s final fling of the season and his very first intermediate. He did not disappoint with a superb clear round across country to pick up ninth. What a long way he has come in a season. Rocky once again whizzed round, seemingly really enjoying himself for sixth. They’re both small but cracking horses. Vinnie was in his second novice and as he’s still pretty green I took him steadily and he was superb. He has a serious amount of scope and if I can get him to relax, especially in the dressage he could be fantastic.

I discovered the worrying news of William Fox-Pitt’s fall in France that afternoon. The most charming person you could wish to meet, William is everyone’s hero, and I, along with all in the eventing fraternity and beyond, wish him better soon and send his wife Alice and family love and support.

With that still weighing on all of our minds, we trucked back to Oasby the next day where Chunky (Up and Over) and Ben (Quality Mark) did the BE100. They both went sweetly, especially across country, before I made a quick turn around to get home and pack for Pau.

We’re on the road as a I write and I’m looking forward to a fun-filled French experience/holiday with my best buddy Boz! I’ll keep you posted.

Simon