What a lovely warm welcome to the British summertime…ahem or not! It feels more like November.
We were at Pontispool Horse Trials in Somerset on 1 June with three horses and it couldn’t have been more miserable weather-wise, but thankfully the horses made it a very successful day.
We took three horses: Lady Venetia Hardy’s Max (Maximus Meridius) in the intermediate; my father’s Archie (Arise Cavalier) in the novice and Rupert Nuttall’s Bailey (Master Rebel) making his British Eventing (BE) debut in the BE100.
Very sadly for me it was my last event on Max as he has now gone back to regular jockey Alice Montgomery who is all fixed after breaking her arm at Aldon Horse Trials in March.
It was the perfect way to end what has been a great couple of months with this horse. He did a good test for 30.2, just had 4 faults in the showjumping and then stormed round the cross-country like a little demon. He is the most fantastic cross-country horse and tries his heart out even when there were a few moments where a less honest horse could easily have stopped or run out. We finished third. This means we have achieved a third, fourth (at Hambleden, pictured) and seventh (at Aston) from four intermediate runs, so I must say a huge thank you to the Hardy’s and Alice for letting me ride such a cracking horse. I really will miss him but can’t wait to see what the future holds for him and Alice.
Archie was a superstar and followed up his good result at Tweseldown the week before (where he was fifth in the novice) with a really confident double clear to finish third. He is not the most straightforward horse as he can be cheeky and sharp (you can read about his misdemeanours in previous blogs) but he has all the talent in the world, so we will take one event at a time.
Bailey made a great start to his BE career with a very confident double clear finishing on his dressage score of 31.5 and also, would you believe, finished third. They do say things come in threes!
The young horses have been coming along nicely preparing for some Burghley Young Event Horse (BYEH) classes and events later in the summer. I have been especially pleased with the progress my ex-racehorse, Jimmy, is making. He has been an absolute gentleman to retrain so far. He has been out cross-country schooling and was a complete natural from the start. It is such a fantastic feeling to take a horse cross-country for the first time and for them to understand just exactly what they are doing. He jumped skinnies, water, ditches and steps like he had done it all his life. I am now really looking forward to getting him out eventing in the not too distant future.
Now Max has gone home I am without an intermediate ride but on the plus side it does mean that I can enjoy a busy month of social engagements; two weddings and Royal Ascot to look forward to. One wedding being my brother Harry’s. It is taking place in Ireland and I can’t wait, although I am hoping on there being a free minute or two to go shopping…for horses of course!