Coral Keen’s eventing blog: a great Luhmuhlen and an exciting new arrival

  • We had a great result at Luhmuhlen CCI4* where Derby (Wellshead Fare Opposition) had a top 15 finish. He’s really making a mark as a future team prospect with another good clear across country, a very good dressage and a super showjumping round.

    I am really, really excited about my future with this horse because in all three phases there is still plenty of room for improvement. Had it not been for a few silly mistakes in the dressage, we would have been in the top five because his good marks were very good. In the rein back we didn’t walk back in diagonal pairs so he was awarded a four for that and we got stuck in a walk pirouette, but his changes were spot on and there were lots of really good movements.

    He tired on me a little earlier than he has in the past on the cross-country, but this was down to the fact he had missed a valuable three weeks of work in March. This meant we picked up time penalties, but other than that he was super and felt like an absolute machine around this four-star track. It was such a pleasure to ride him.

    Showjumping he had a pole down, but he was relaxed and jumped very well. We also had a few time faults but the time was very tight.

    I think I will take him to Pau in October as I haven’t been there before and it will be great preparation for Badminton the following spring.

    Riding for owners

    Eventing at the top level is a tough and expensive business and it wouldn’t be possible without the support of my fantastic owners and sponsors – I am hugely grateful to them all.

    So far it has been a really great year and I am so pleased to have welcomed new owners to the yard. It is a privilege to ride other people’s horses and I think the message is slowly getting out there that I do ride for owners – they make up 50 per cent of my team – without me being pushy about encouraging people to send their horses to me.

    Luhmuhlen has made me feel hungry to go out there and get better results at four-star level. It’s also given me a huge boost in confidence and made me realise I’ve got to stop being so shy and awkward about encouraging people to put their horses with me. So if there is anyone who would like to put his or her horse with me, do get in touch!

    Back at base

    Since Luhmuhlen, I’ve been busy getting back on top of the horses. We have a lot of grass here and they’d all got a little bit porky so they’ve been on a bit of a diet and we’ve upped their work. We’ve also had another new arrival at Glebe Farm – a beautiful filly foal.


    We had a day’s showjumping at West Wilts last week and out of 12 rounds I only had two poles so I was chuffed with the way they felt. The grass has really done them a lot of good! Our new working pupil, Martha Tomlinson, who was based Somerford Park, started that day so she was thrown in at the deep end but she was brilliant. She has a lovely horse so it will be great getting her going.

    Last Saturday I did a lot of teaching and riding and on Sunday I went to Chepstow with Vodka Luge and Lady Logan Berry for their first BE in the 90 class where I competed HC. They went for the experience and they were both such a pleasure. They did nice tests, jumped very well and were super across country. I haven’t been to Chepstow for a few years and it’s a lovely event that’s really well run.

    Corinne Bracken came today (Thursday) to give us a tune up and it’s my birthday tomorrow. I will spend the day at Barbury International riding Cascadelle in the intermediate novice. There are far worse places to spend your birthday!

    On Sunday I have four horses at Bicton and then I am off to Majorca for a week, which I am really looking forward to. It’s a welcome chance to recharge and feel on top form for the rest of the season.

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