Woohoo! I have had my first win of 2015. It has been a long time coming!
Nick Engert’s gorgeous five-year-old mare, Effie (Augusta Firefly), won her BE100 section at Smiths Lawn. This was only her third ever event and second BE100 so we are over the moon with her. She jointly led the dressage on a very smart score of 24.8 and then jumped a very confident double clear to take the win. She is a lovely young horse with a fantastic attitude, although she is still very green, so to come out and win at only her third event was quite impressive. She will stick to BE100s for this season and then continue her education on the hunting field for part of the winter. I am a firm believer in hunting a young horse to let them have some fun as well as learn to go in all conditions and how to look after themselves.
It has been a very good week as we were then out at Aston-le-Walls on Thursday with my father’s six-year-old, Archie (Arise Cavalier). He was making his intermediate debut and managed to finish in a fantastic third place.
After his great performance at Camphire, where he was third in the CICYH1*, I was confident he was ready for the step up but I wasn’t expecting him to have a top three finish at his first intermediate! He actually didn’t do his best test, he was very spooked by the judge’s box and initially I thought I was going to have a very hard time getting him anywhere near it.
Thankfully he decided it wasn’t going to eat him but I still felt he was a little tense and didn’t show his best work, so to score 28.2 was seriously encouraging. He then jumped a super clear in the showjumping making it feel very easy. We had a little heart stopping moment at the first fence on the cross-country when he decided to take off a stride early but thankfully we stayed intact. We then got our act together and he went on to jump a really confident round. He was very straight and even though I didn’t push him for the time he only picked up 5.2 time faults. I couldn’t have asked for more from him and he continues to impress me. A massive thank you to Nigel Taylor and his team for all the work they did on the ground for the cross-country — we really do appreciate it.
I have applied for Archie to go to Le Lion D’Angers for the six-year-old World Championships but I will just have to wait and see if we get selected as it is hugely competitive. Fingers crossed these results will get him noticed.
It is also great to be back schooling racehorses for my brother, National Hunt trainer, Harry. I have been going in most mornings to school a couple on the flat. Hopefully this strengthening work will be hugely beneficial for them. I also really enjoy it and as I’m a little quieter at home at the moment it’s more hours in the saddle for me.
I am now off on holiday to Cornwall for a week with some friends, which will be lovely. We will hopefully get to do lots of water skiing so I should stay fit!
Massive thanks have to go to head girl Bridget Fox and my mum for looking after the yard while I go away. Archie will be going to Hannah Biggs for some dressage training to keep him ticking over while I’m away. When I get back we will be ready to crack on with the last part of the season. I can’t believe how fast this year is going!
Also don’t forget to support The Eventing Family charity night at Bicton on 22 August, tickets are selling fast and it will be a fantastic evening!