Lauren Shannon’s eventing blog: exciting news! New yard gets go-ahead

  • I’m sorry it’s been a while since my last H&H blog. Everything has been a bit mad at home, and there is lots of news to report on.

    Firstly, all the horses are looking great. After not competing all the mares since Somerford, they are heading to Purston Manor this week, before a trip to Burnham Market on Sunday for a run round a bigger track. They will then head to Osberton Horse Trials, Crunchie (Kilcannon Watlings Crunch) and Purdey (Quality Purdey) for the CCI2* 7-year-old championships, and Holly (Riffala Du Buisson) for the CCI*. It is scary to think that the end of the season is nearly upon us, it feels like only last week we were preparing for the start.

    It is a good thing in many ways that the competing is starting to quieten down. Having applied for planning permission at home for a yard and outdoor school, we were granted permission a couple weeks ago. We had been planning and budgeting the new yard all summer, but having renovated the house and been told planning permission for stables would be hard to come by, we were in for the long haul.

    We are indebted to our planning consultant David Manning for helping us move quickly and painlessly through the confusing planning world. I never thought we would gain permission so quickly, let alone 2 weeks early! It is definitely the position you’d rather be in, so we have spent the last month hammering out quotes and making some pretty big decisions. We are trying to get started ASAP and really hoping that the British weather will play ball and not snow anytime soon!

    In the meantime, there are still events to concentrate on and horses to take care of! The horses’ (and my) physio Gilliyan Carter is giving the girls a massage before Osberton, and they are all still going in Flawborough Equine’s spa regularly to get used to spa-ing. I found using an equine spa really useful with my older horses, and so although none of the younger horses have issues, I think having the spa as part of our routine can never be a bad thing.

    Delphi (Quixotic), my young rider and 4-star retired mare, is enjoying having her first foal Alta at foot too (pictured). Alta is cheekier than ever, still follows anyone and everyone around the field and is bold as brass! She had her feet trimmed for the first time last week, which was ridiculously cute, as my farrier Chris was still taller than Alta even when he was bent over. Delphi has scanned in-foal to Jamal VD Heffinck, so we are expecting another foal next summer! I might need to make a couple of stables in the yard into foaling boxes at this rate…

    So here goes what is sure to be a very busy autumn — a season to finish and a yard to build — I’ll take a picture when I get my hard hat and high-vis jacket on!


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