It was great to get my eventing season started last weekend at Aldon International. It is my most local event, being less than a 10min drive away, and one of my favourites. The going is always fantastic and the Batten, Mackenzie-Green and Dick families put a huge amount of effort into running it, supported by volunteers from the Cattistock Hunt. We are so lucky to have such great support teams that enable our events to run and we really must remember to thank organisers to show them how much we appreciate their hard work.
My weekend started with two in the BE100 for Emma Fisher. They are two gorgeous big hunters and had only done their first dressage, showjumping and cross-country rounds the weekend before at Moreton 90cm unaffiliated. They were being thrown in the deep end here, but were fantastic. After being slightly green in the showjumping, they popped round the cross-country like old pros. There is definitely no better place than the hunting field to make a horse bold, brave and forward!
Archie (pictured top) warmed up beautifully for his dressage, but unfortunately decided he had had enough of behaving himself and was rather exuberant and cheeky in his test which spoilt his mark. He then jumped superbly in the showjumping, just picking up four faults when he spooked and shot sideways. He redeemed himself completely on the cross-country jumping a lovely clear with a handful of time faults. I’m really excited about this year with him, although we will be taking things slowly as it would be very easy to get carried away when he finds the jumping so easy.
Ruby was the star of the weekend, doing a much more consistent test than she produced last year, thanks to lots of help from Hannah Biggs over the winter. A slight blip in the canter kept her out of the 20s, but I was still pleased with her mark of 31.8pen. She then jumped an effortless double clear and finished second, which means she is now intermediate on points and timed perfectly as she steps up to that level next time out at Somerley.
Kitkat just about contained himself throughout, but I had forgotten how exceedingly badly behaved he is to handle on the ground at events… He does like to march all over you. He definitely thinks he is in charge and that you should go wherever he wants to go! Thankfully he is OK once I am on board and did a really sweet test for 28.3 and jumped a lovely double clear to finish fifth.
It was a really pleasing start for all of them and even better that the whole weekend was blessed by beautiful weather. These three are out again at Somerley next week.