Rosie Fry’s eventing blog: Retraining a racehorse in 10 weeks

  • Sorry it has been such a long time since my last blog; the time has been flying by.

    June was a fantastic month. At the end of my last blog I was off to Ireland to be a bridesmaid at my brother’s wedding. It was the most incredible event and a really happy weekend away. One piece of excitement was a huge fire of two thatched cottages opposite to the church where the marriage ceremony was happening.

    Apart from a slight delay, the wedding went ahead without any more drama and the newlyweds even had their photograph taken on the fire engine platform afterwards. A memorable occasion in many ways.

    I also had a fantastic day out at Royal Ascot with my brothers and lots of friends. The racing was top class, but sadly we had the worst day of the week weather wise — sods law!

    I took two horses to Nunney Horse Trials. Archie (Arise Cavalier, pictured earlier this year) only did the dressage, where he scored 29.1, and showjumping (where he went clear) in the novice as we felt he didn’t need the run cross-country.

    The Nuttall’s Bailey (Master Rebel), who is for sale, ran round his second BE100 and was foot perfect again doing a lovely double clear, sadly just spoilt by being rather irritated by flies in his dressage. We then took Bailey to Aston-le-Walls horse trials to run round an unaffiliated novice. He did a good test and showjumped well. Just jockey error meant we had one down, but he was very good cross-country and popped round very confidently. He will now step up to novice at Upton House.

    I also took my ex-racehorse Jimmy (Pure Oxygen) to Aston for his first ever competition in the 90. It was a bit of a fact-finding mission, as I had no idea how he would react — he had only been out of training for 10 weeks! I had no reason to worry though as he was a complete angel. He stood on the lorry as quiet as a lamb and more importantly didn’t get wizzed up by the loudspeakers which I thought he might as he could easily have thought he was back at a racecourse.

    It just showed what a lovely attitude he has. His dressage was a little tense, but considering he hadn’t been in the white boards before he scored a very respectable 32. He then popped round the showjumping like he has been doing it all his life. It was only his second course of jumps and he just tapped one. He then gave me a great ride cross-country finding it all very easy and really enjoying himself. His ears were pricked all the way but he couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t let him gallop a bit faster! He will now do a few dressage and showjumping shows for a bit more match practice before he makes his British Eventing debut a little later in the summer.

    We were then at Chepstow Horse Trials with Archie last weekend for his first intermediate novice. He was a little star, doing a very respectable 31.4 behind some much more established horses. He was a little green in some of the movements, but the judge gave him a lovely comment so there is a lot more to come. He was very fresh in the jumping phases but contained himself for a lovely double clear to finish sixth. He goes to Barbury on Friday for another intermediate novice before going to Camphire in Ireland for the CIC1* YH six-year-old class.

    I have to say a big thank you to my trainers; to Hannah Biggs who is making a huge difference to my flatwork and Emma Fisher with my jumping as well as her continued all-round support and guidance. It makes a huge difference knowing I have the backing and support of such experienced trainers.


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