I have just got back from a fantastic time competing in Ireland at Camphire International Horse Trials (not pictured above). It was my first experience of Irish eventing and what a lovely, friendly event set in the most gorgeous surroundings. The organisers worked very hard as the weather was not all that kind making for some difficult conditions. They worked tirelessly to make sure everything still ran smoothly and were still smiling at the end through all the rain and mud.
I took Archie (Arise Cavalier) over for the CICYH1* six-year-old class. He had a great prep run at Barbury Castle picking up fourth in a hot intermediate novice section with a lovely double clear. Jessica Acheson very kindly took me over on her lorry and we had a really fun week as she just had one horse competing in the CCI2* and her head girl Kat Riley also had her super spotty horse, BB, in the CIC1*.
Archie was fourth to go in the dressage and really pulled out all the stops in his first international test. He scored a fantastic 38 and I know he will still improve, which is very exciting. I couldn’t have been more thrilled with him as he really tried hard and listened to me the whole way through. I must say a huge thank you to Hannah Biggs who is doing wonders for our dressage. He ended the dressage in fourth behind some smart Irish combinations.
He then jumped a fantastic clear showjumping round in some tough ground conditions which
were in complete contrast to the ground he has been jumping on at home for the majority of the season. We moved up one place to third ahead of the cross-country. We had a day off on Saturday so I was able to support Jess in the CCI2* cross-country and she did a foot perfect round on Babaloo.
My cross-country day on Sunday dawned following the most torrential rain I think I have ever heard. It rained most of the night on Saturday and early into Sunday morning. Lorry roofs are extremely noisy so I have to admit I had very little sleep and I probably wasn’t the only one. I was a little worried as we weren’t due to go cross-country until midday and there were 50 combinations to go round the same course before us so I wasn’t sure how the ground would hold up especially as the rain kept coming! But I had no cause to worry as Archie skipped round the cross-country inside the time making it feel very easy and the ground, although deep in places, on the whole rode really well.
I have to say I am quite glad I did some hunting with him over the winter though! The course was perfect for a young horse as it asked enough questions with three water jumps around an undulating course but at the same time made them grow in confidence all the way and finish really strongly. He will have learnt so much from his week away and I was over the moon to finish third. I was quietly confident he would put in a good performance but as it was his first time abroad you never know how they will cope with the travelling and everything going on at a big international event. There were a couple of moments where he tried to buck me off (it wouldn’t be normal if he didn’t!) but all in all he behaved impeccably. He will now have a quiet week before gearing up towards his first intermediate at Aston-le-Walls in a couple of weeks.
A huge thank you to head girl Bridget Fox and my mother who kept the show on the road at home while I was away. I even came back to a re-painted and super smart yard; what a treat!
Like fellow H&H blogger, Coral Keen, I have offered to be auctioned off as a slave for the Eventing Family’s party on 22 August at Bicton Arena. I am so pleased to support them and raise money for such amazing causes. My brother, Harry, has also offered a morning on the gallops for two at his yard in Seaborough to watch his racehorses work. Take a look at their website www.eventingfamily.com for more info.