Bexs Salt is joint owner of Flora Harris' Blair Europeans ride Bayano. She will be keeping us up to date with their progress both in the run-up to the championships and during the competition so come along and enjoy the ride...
My name is Bexs Salt and I am the accidental owner of Bayano (aka Barney), Flora Harris’ ride at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships at Blair Castle (pictured above at Belton). I own Barney with Caroline Harris, Flora’s mother, but the experience of owning a ‘proper’ event horse is rather new to me and certainly was not on the cards until just a few months ago!
So how have I found myself in this situation? Allow me to explain…
Completely out of the blue in the spring, I was offered my dream job based in Luxembourg. So I asked Flora to have a sit on my novice horse, CrossBoyne (aka Ned, pictured below), to see whether she would be happy to ride him for me until he moved out to Lux in the autumn, which she agreed to do.
Not long after Ned moved to Flora’s yard in Wiltshire, Jane Keir, who owned Bayano with Caroline, decided she wanted to focus on her breeding operation and was looking for someone to buy her share. I have liked Barney since he arrived with Flora several years ago. He is small – more pony-like than you would expect – but a ball of energy with lovely paces and as agile as a cat.
So I decided to buy Jane’s share as it would keep me linked to UK eventing and I thought it would be fun to share a horse with Caroline. Caroline and I also have opinionated Jack Russells in common – my two, Alan and Arfur have already moved to Lux – so we thought adding a horse could only add to the fun!
I also own Knight Hunter (aka Badger), a retired one-star eventer who has turned his hoof to dressage in his later years. He will stay in the UK as he is very happy at his current yard, and will be competed by their head girl Amy Bruce.
How things are going
I was delighted that Barney had an OK start to the season and so I headed to Belton, in my new role as owner, with limited expectations given it was one of his first advanced runs. I was thrilled with how he tackled the tough cross-country course and ended in third place.
From there we have had a great season so far. There was a bit of a blip at Tattersalls when Barney decided he was no longer capable of jumping left hand corners, but it was followed by the amazing result at Bramham. Flora won her first three-star on my horse!
I find it rather unbelievable that thanks to Flora’s hard work and her amazing support team, we are heading to the Europeans via the Nations Cup at Aachen. Please keep your fingers crossed for us. I’ll keep you up to date with our progress along the way.