I hope you are all keeping well, among the current Covid uncertainties.
In my last update, I shared the news about our property project. Well, since then, things have move forwards even more! It has been one of those dream-like months, where everything has just seemed to come together, after quite a time of real uncertainty for me as a rider. As of very recently I am thrilled to report that I am now back up and running with horses to compete, and due to this have taken on a yard locally in Devizes to produce the horses from while we develop our home base.
It has been a challenging year for me, not quite knowing which way things would be heading, so to now have a plan, yard and horses in place, is just amazing. I am forever grateful for everyone for all their support through the highs and lows.
So, without further ado, let me introduce the team.
First up is Dolly, owned by Tiffany Morgan-Evans, a lovely five-year-old bay mare bought from Global Sport Horses.
I also have the ride for the rest of this season on three of Katherine Coleman’s five-year-olds; Walter, Kennedy and William, all of which are super model event types.
I cannot quite believe how everything has come together and that I am back out riding four quality young horses. Needless to say, I am absolutely loving it and feel back to where I should be, training and competing. I am so happy!
The yard I am based at is absolutely stunning and I will be looking to grow my team of horses from here and really consolidate over the winter months, ready to be firing on all cylinders come 2021. I will have availability to take on new competition liveries, schooling liveries and breakers. I am also looking forward to continuing my teaching from here and have space for pupils to come and be based with me, short- or long-term. This, along with having turnout for grass liveries at my home base, Coral Keen Equestrian is really kicking off!
I have loved being back out and about with the new team. We have been doing lots of great training and you can see the video below of them all jumping really well at Oakingham Stud recently.
A couple of weeks ago we headed back out eventing to Aston-le-Walls. Not only was this the first event for all four horses, but in fact their first competition ever. For me, I was coming back from a year-long break and although I firmly believed we would all be well within our comfort zone at the level we had entered, it was still quite a moment. The evening before I did also wonder whether going from no events to running four in a day was slightly mad, but in fact, my overriding emotion was excitement and a longing to get back out there!
We had a fantastic day and all four horses did us proud. Dolly only went out and won her first event, being a total professional throughout. What a superstar and also a really lovely result for me to get on my comeback event!
The three boys were also fab. Walter finished on his dressage of 30.3 for third place and Kennedy put in a great performance for seventh. William did a stunning 22.8 dressage but just had a little spook at another cross-country fence on the other course next to his jump, resulting in 20 penalties. It was a totally green baby mistake and he was impeccable other than that, but sadly this took him out of being in the top 10. But that is the way it goes; young horses make mistakes and you cannot protect them too much as they have to learn the job and not be over-nannied.
I was so pleased with them all and they really felt like they had done 10 events already, which made my job very easy and enjoyable. It was great to be back out there doing it — it all came back to me and we had such a good day. The results were a bonus really, as for me it was the way the horses went, which was the main thing and to give them a good positive experience.
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A huge thanks to their owners, Tiffany Morgan-Evans and Katherine Coleman for giving me the rides and also to my amazing mum, who I couldn’t have done it without. We have several more autumn events planned with the team and I cannot wait to continue their education and take you all on this next chapter with me!
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