Luckily this week I have spared me and the team any huge blonde moments and we have finally had our yard’s first run out at a British Eventing competition this year!
I had the three mares running at Belton Horse Trials, which is one of my favourite venues. It is growing in popularity every year, and it was great to see so many spectators and competitors enjoying the weekend.
I had Holly (Riffala Du Buisson) there on the Friday competing in the novice. She did a fabulous first test of the year for a 25, and showjumped clear like it was the easiest thing she’s ever done.
Cross-country we had a really annoying 20 penalties at the sunken road — she came out the start box raring to go, and I simply cut my corner going in. Simple jockey error, and I have promised to ride her properly next time after she pinged round the rest of the course.
Purdey (Quality Purdey) also did the CIC2* guinea pig test on Friday, which was great experience for her. It’s only her second season eventing, so it’s good to get in a long arena where possible and she did a very good test.
She was quite a bit more upset when it came to her intermediate test on Saturday though. She was seriously offended that she had been relegated to the one-day arenas so was a bit more excitable! However, she held it together for a good test, and a nice showjumping round, before storming round the cross-country (pictured) eyeing up the CIC3* fences along the way. She is definitely ready to move up a level this year.
Crunchie (Kilcannon Watlings Crunch) unfortunately had a bit of a shocker at Belton. She was lovely and soft warming up for her dressage, but going round the corner after her first centreline she stepped on herself behind, going lame. I retired her, and luckily it is only a bruise so she’ll be back on form for Weston this weekend, but the poor girl couldn’t understand why she didn’t get to jump along with her stablemate!
After a busy weekend, it was exciting to finally get Hancox Equestrian onsite at home to start the building of our new American barn. I was told by Neil Hancox that it was like a Meccano set, and would go up pretty quickly — well, he wasn’t kidding!
They have been on site 2 full days, and we already have walls and the steel frame up! If everything goes to plan, the roof should be on before the weekend too. It is changing so quickly, it’s hard to remember the blank field we started with. I know all the horses are looking forward to their new 5 star accommodation, as are the girls and I!
Full report from Belton in H&H magazine out today, Thursday, 10 April.