Lauren Shannon’s eventing blog: a fall for me, but lots of fun for Fat Louie

I’m sorry to have been quiet on the blog front in the past couple weeks, but life here at the new Shannon Eventing yard has been manic!

We managed 3 days eventing in a row last week, 2 days at the fabulous Kelsall Hill event and then a day out with the youngsters at Milton Keynes.

Kelsall is a wonderful event, with a tough and well-built cross-country course. Holly (Riffala Du Buisson) did a fab double clear for 5th in the novice and Crunchie (Kilcannon Watlings Crunch) did a brilliant 1 down and steady clear over quite possibly the toughest intermediate track I’ve done in the past 5 years.

Purdey (Quality Purdey) and I didn’t have such a good day in the advanced intermediate — we managed to come a cropper at a single fence late on in the cross-country course. Purdey jumped brilliantly and clear up til that point, but she just went a bit green and as a result grabbed the bridle and went too strong for me.

It is only her 2nd year eventing, so we are very conscious that she needs to gain experience and confidence with every run. She is competing at Rockingham this weekend with Holly and Crunchie, and then we’ll give her a week or 2 to have a break and learn from this spring.

Louie’s out and about again

My students were also competing at Kelsall, and everyone had a good day, especially Jess Shiach and Fat Louie (Zero Flight)! My now-retired 4-star event horse came back in to work this winter after a horrid injury at Badminton Horse Trials last year. We weren’t sure what he’d be up to doing, but he is going from strength to strength, and Jess took him to do the BE90 HC at Kelsall.

All I can say is that if horses could smile, Louie would have been beaming! He absolutely loves his job, and was just as excited to go out the start box as he was at his last 4-star. Jess rode him brilliantly and he did a very lovely double clear.

Jess will do an event a month on him, and so he’s off to Keysoe for the BE100open next week with her. It is lovely to watch him enjoy life and have purpose as he has done so much for me, and we just want to see him having a good time!

Our new yard build is really flying here at home. The horses are moving in today, now that Quattro Products have finished the rubber matting in the stables this week and we have now waxed all the wood in the stables so everything is looking shiny and new I think my poor working student can’t wait to have 5-star facilities after a month in temporary stables!

We are planning to have an open day, and a bit of an opening party, but first we have to finish the mares’ spring season with Rockingham, Keysoe and Aston-le-Walls the next 3 weekends. At least being this busy with events is easier with gorgeous and purpose-built facilities at home — I can’t really complain!

Lauren

Lauren’s blogs for H&H

Full report on Kelsall Hill in the issue out yesterday, 1 May.