Lauren Shannon’s eventing blog: Purdey’s the star of the show at Rockingham

  • This last week has been full of the joys of spring for us here at the new Shannon Eventing yard! We have moved the horses into our new stables, and this week we are starting on the finishing touches in the tack and rug rooms.

    We moved the horses last Friday, the same day I headed to Rockingham Castle for 3 days of competition. Rockingham is only an hour down the road from us, a stunning event and run very well. I think it is definitely cruising up the list of my favourite events.

    On Friday, Holly (Riffala Du Buisson) was competing in the novice and after being placed in her last 2 runs, we were expecting great things. She did a lovely dressage test, and showjumped well in sticky ground. However, it was one of those “nearly” days as the test didn’t score as well as we thought it should and she touched 1 pole in the jumping.

    We blazed round the cross-country, but a blip at a trakhener going into a wood, where pigeons flew out at us, meant that we jumped the wrong side of a flag! We went round and jumped the correct bit and finished the day happy, if not a bit off the pace. Holly is moving up to intermediate this weekend, so it was a good run before that in any case.

    Lauren Shannon  riding KILCANNON WATLINGS CRUNCH in Int Section L at Rockingham Castle Horse Trials  in Northamptonshire, UK on 4 May 2014Saturday and Sunday were Crunchie (Kilcannon Watlings Crunch, left) and Purdey’s (Quality Purdey) runs in the intermediate and advanced intermediate respectively. Crunchie did a lovely test, and a lovely showjumping round in a big, atmospheric ring. She stormed round the cross-country, to the point where I actually turned a circle late on in the course, gaining 20 penalties. It is great that she is finally starting to strengthen up and really “take” me across the country, but I didn’t fancy going splat like last week!

    Purdey did the most amazing double clear in the advanced intermediate, finishing in the top 20 in only her 2nd ever event of that level. She and Crunchie really are going from strength to strength, so a nice little mini-break is in order for them now before they move up to advanced in the summer!

    In the meantime, all the other horses are cracking on at the lower levels, and the yard is coming along brilliantly. We have students moving in with their horses, and a couple of new liveries to welcome to the yard as well this week. It is starting to feel like a hive of activity now, which is lovely as it doesn’t involve the sound of drills and saws anymore! Once we get the new website up and running, we’ll be able to show the new place off properly too. Exciting times!


    Lauren’s H&H blogs

    Report on Rockingham in H&H out tomorrow, 8 May.

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