At the end of last week, my brothers, George and Jamie, and I headed off to Ireland for three days of horse hunting. Joint-master of the County Galway Hunt (aka the ‘Blazers’), Mike MacDonagh very kindly had us to stay for two nights and we were very lucky to have two wonderful mornings out autumn hunting with them (pictured).
We made sure we packed as much as we could in the three days and I don’t think I can count how many horses we rode and saw! It was a great trip and we had lots to report on back to the parents.
On Monday, we headed off to Keysoe with Leo (Soltair Justice) in the intermediate and Kitkat (Another Breakfast) in the open intermediate. Leo did another pleasing test for 35 (the same score he has had in all 3 intermediate runs so far — nothing if not consistent!) and the judge put a lovely comment at the end, which is always very encouraging. He then was very unlucky to have the last fence down showjumping but gave me another fantastic ride across country, coming home with 3.2 time penalties which was good enough to leave us in 7th; his first placing at intermediate level.
Kitkat did a good test for 32 and again frustratingly we had the last fence down showjumping. We decided not to run him cross country as we are now giving him a short break to let him wind down a bit. Sadly, this means there will be no Blenheim for us this year which is a shame but we have to do what is right for the horse and there is no point going to a three day when the horse is not firing on all cylinders. He will hopefully have a couple of open intermediate runs before the end of the season and then we will look ahead to next season.
I am willing it to rain so that I can get my mare, Totty (Totten Lady) out for a few runs as she won’t be going anywhere until the ground softens up a little. In the meantime we are gearing up the hunters for the hunting season and they will be having their first mornings autumn hunting in the next week or so.
It was a disappointment that team GB came home from the Europeans without a team medal, as we have become so accustomed to them bringing home the goods from a championship, but a huge well done to Mr Fox Pitt on his individual bronze. It is quite scary how good the Germans are and Michael Jung is phenomenal. He is pure class from start to finish and we still have some way to go to reach the same level as the German team.
Good luck to all those competing at Burghley this weekend, especially my good friend Will Goodhew who goes there for his 4* debut, with his two horses also making their 4* debuts. The course looks big and will be a solid test so I’m sure it will make for an exciting cross country day on Saturday.