Coral Keen’s eventing blog: making winter plans

  • After a hectic few weeks, it’s been lovely to spend a weekend at home, riding the young horses, catching up properly with the girls and giving the tack room a really good clean out.

    I love spending time on the yard and there’s nothing like a good sort out! It was also great to spend some time teaching — something I always really enjoy and I’m planning to expand this side of the business.

    I took my two mares Zoe (pictured right) and Wiverna to Ballindenisk which was strewn with mishaps including a broken martingale on the Coral and Zoe at Ballindeniskcross-country course and Zoe feeling out of sorts.

    But it was a good experience, the hospitality was fantastic and I can cross the event off my tick list.

    September turned out to be quite a disappointing month with both Land Rover Burghley and Blenheim (pictured top) not going to plan, but I’ve learnt a lot from the experience and will come out next spring, all guns blazing, ready to ride in another four-star competition.

    Overall I’m really pleased with how the season has gone, with the highlight being Houghton International where Derby (Wellshead Fare Opposition) and I finished fourth in the CICO 3*.

    Cascadelle has been to West Wilts today to do some showjumping as she hasn’t been out for a while, and we’ll have a jump with Corinne Bracken tomorrow before we go to Osberton for the five-year-old championships on Wednesday.

    I had a fantastic afternoon training with Corinne last week and we’re coming up with a winter plan to strengthen up the weak areas and continue with the horses’ education too.

    Corinne is keen for the horses to have their breaks early so that we can do quite a bit over the winter. Therefore we have a busy few months ahead competing and training.

    Next week I’ll meet up with all my trainers to make a structured plan. Winter is a time to consolidate what we have achieved so far and lay firm foundations for the future.

    I’ll also be backing my lovely three-year-old Ted who is by Wish Upon A Star out of our thoroughbred mare

    who has sadly passed away. It will be interesting to see how he progresses over the next few months as he’s a really sweet horse with something very special about him.

    Coral with Zoe (left) and Wiverna at Ballindenisk

    Coral with Zoe (left) and Wiverna at Ballindenisk

    My four-year-old April will start her competitive education and I’ll take her to some hunter trials and do some clear round showjumping. She’ll come out next spring when I feel she’s ready.

    I’ll also be looking out for some new rides for next season to join the yard and for horses that might need some schooling. With such a great team here and facilities that are second to none, it would be lovely if new owners wanted to join us.

    In between this, at the end of November, ten of us are going to New Orleans and Alabama to spend some time with the British-based American event rider Katherine Coleman who owns equine supplement business Ready Supp. Katherine loves to party so I’m not sure it will be much of a rest but it will be really good fun.

    I’m also going to have a few days in Dubai which will be more relaxing, after Megan and Emily have all had their very well deserved holidays. Charly is moving on to different things and so we will be looking to take on another working pupil. I really enjoy working with riders and helping them progress.

    Finally, people often ask me where the name Coral came from so I thought I’d explain! It’s through my Grandmother. She once read a book called Silver Snaffles by Primrose Cumming and in it were two girls called Crystel and Coral. My mum is called Crystel and she named me Coral.


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