Lauren Shannon’s eventing blog: Bidding a fond farewell

  • It’s been a very long time since I have done a H&H blog, as we’ve just been so busy here on the Shannon Eventing yard.

    It seems building a yard takes a lot of time, but setting it up and starting it off takes up all of your time! It’s been a whirlwind of a year so far, but it’s been amazing to watch our new yard develop and grow throughout this eventing season.

    Since my last blog, we have had Crunchie (Kilcannon Watlings Crunch) and Purdey (Quality Purdey) competing in their second advanced class at Wellington Horse Trials. It was my first time visiting this event, and they did a brilliant job running a very good weekend of eventing — even if it did lash it down with rain the entire bank holiday Monday.

    Both mares did personal bests in the dressage, followed by a double clear with time penalties for Crunchie, and an educational day for Purdey on the cross-country. She jumped very big and babyish over a few fences, so had a stop at a simple skinny coming out the water after ballooning in, but finished strong and keen so we were happy with her performance.

    Since then, we’ve had babies out at competitions and I’ve been doing a lot of teaching after passing my UKC Level 3 coaching assessment. It was a nerve-racking day spent at Vale View for my assessment, being critiqued and evaluated in a coaching session for each phase of eventing. I have to say, it was incredibly educational, and has helped my teaching a great deal.

    Last weekend we headed to Blenheim Horse Trials for the Brightwells Elite Event Horse Auction that took place on Friday. We are looking for a young horse for one of my owners, and having already made a trip to Germany to see some youngsters, we thought we’d go to the sale to see what type of horses were offered there.

    It was a brilliant day out and Brightwells did a fabulous job. We were able to trial ride any horses that we were interested in and the auction itself attracted a lot of attention. However, the horses didn’t seem to make their reserve in a lot of cases, and many didn’t reach a good price. It is hard to understand from a seller’s point of view the attraction of using an auction as with 10-30% fees attached to each sale price, it artificially inflates prices and can put buyers off. It will be interesting to see what happens with the future of the auction.

    So back from horse shopping, we are now finishing off little bits in the yard that didn’t get finished in the initial build. The horses are very thankful to now have warm water in the wash box, and our washing machine will hopefully be plumbed in by the end of the week. We definitely want to get that sorted before winter sets in!

    This will be my last blog for H&H for a while. I have been blogging here since 2011, and it has been a huge honour and privilege to do so. I cannot thank the H&H team enough for the opportunity to write for them and promote myself and my team through their website. However, with the yard busier than ever I am going to concentrate on my blogging on my website www.shannoneventing.co.uk and try to make sure I keep that up to date — let’s face it, my track record isn’t great!

    Anyway, I am sure H&H will keep you updated with everything you need to know in the eventing world through their other fabulous eventing bloggers Rosie Fry and Coral Keen. Kick on everyone, and good luck for the rest of your eventing season and beyond.


    Full report of the Brightwells sale at Blenheim in this week’s H&H, out 18 September.

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