Massive apologies for this very belated and long overdue blog — where is the season going?!
I will start with some very exciting news. I am the proud mummy of a CHILLI MORNING BABY! My beautiful ex three-star homebred mare Totten Lady has had a gorgeous filly foal, chestnut of course! I couldn’t be more excited by what the future might hold for this special girl; four-star daddy and three-star mummy — you could get worse pairings! Now just a few years to wait. Patience is a virtue.
Lady Venetia Hardy’s little pocket rocket Max (Maximus Meridius, pictured above at Chatsworth with Archie) has been a superstar on all his runs so far this season (touch wood, don’t want to jinx him). He has been placed in four of his five runs so far — he was ninth at Portman intermediate novice, fourth at Hambleden interemediate (where he positively ate up a huge and very tricky cross-country for breakfast) and most recently a fantastic fifth place at Chatsworth CIC1* finishing on his dressage score of 49.3.
He now heads to Tattersalls CCI2* which is a bit of a change of plan for him as he is taking the place of an injured Ruby (Rubabell Cruise). To say I was gutted would be an understatement that Ruby has picked up this injury, but given some time we are all hopeful she will be back. It is always such a kick in the teeth when something like this happens and after being forced into retiring Kitkat (Another Breakfast) due to his injury it really feels like 2016 has been slightly unfair to me already.
But then again when I sit and reflect about far worse things that many other people are going through and the utterly tragic three eventing fatalities we have had over the past three months, all is put sharply into perspective. I am so lucky to do what I love and horse injuries are part and parcel of this job, you have to take the rough with the smooth and look forwards.
I am very fortunate that I have an incredibly strong team of young horses to focus on spearheaded by the uber-talented (but incredibly naughty) seven-year-old Archie (Arise Cavalier). His season has been a bit frustrating so far and he has missed a few planned runs due to the weather but he put this all behind him by finishing fourth in the CIC1* at Chatsworth last week. It did him the world of good as there was an incredible atmosphere and his spookiness can sometimes catch him (and me!) out. But he put in a very mature performance and now heads to Tattersalls for his first three-day event in the six- and seven-year-old CCI1* class. I am really looking forward to seeing how he copes and whatever the result it will be a very good experience for him — maybe it’ll make him grow up a little bit more… here’s hoping!
Nick Engert’s lovely six-year-old mare, Effie (Augusta Firefly) has also had a slightly frustrating start to her season having managed to pull a muscle so missed out on a couple of her runs. However, she is now feeling better than ever and just picked up her first ever BE point by jumping double clear round her first novice at Mount Ballan last week. She is so genuine and has such a great attitude to her work. I wish they were all as easy as her!
They were very green but there were loads of positives to take away and they will have come on in leaps and bounds for the outing. They both go again at Pontispool this weekend.
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Two other babies, Di White-Hamilton’s Balou (True Blue Too) and my own Belle (Global Star) are both waiting in the wings to make their BE debuts in the next few weeks. It is so exciting finally getting them all out and about after all the homework they have been doing over the past few months. Fingers crossed they are all going to be serious future stars!
I’m really looking forward to making my first trip over to Tattersalls next week and then getting cracking with all the babies.