There were some fantastic performances at all of them but I don’t think anyone could disagree that Michael Jung is seriously superhuman. As if winning Burghley and becoming European Champion within the space of two weeks wasn’t impressive enough, it then transpired afterwards that he had done it all with a broken ankle! Incredible. He really is someone to admire and the way he rides his horses is just beautiful.
I sadly didn’t get to any of these events but just watching them on the TV/computer makes me even more determined and motivated to be there competing myself.
Sadly it hasn’t been a great few weeks for me as we heartbreakingly had to have my young rider horse, Louie (Bankon Louie, pictured) put down due to an accident in the field.
We are utterly devastated as he was a one in a million for me and had been a part of our lives for 15 years. He was homebred to be a racehorse but looked far too flashy so we decided to take him eventing and what an absolute star he was. I can safely say he was the most incredible cross-country horse I think I will ever have the pleasure to ride. He wasn’t the most talented but he had the biggest, most genuine and honest heart. This was reflected in his record where he only had one cross-country jumping fault (a really unlucky, undeserved fall in the water at Barbury CIC3*) in his entire career from BE100 to advanced/three-star level.
I have so many incredible memories to thank him for and I owe him so much for winning me my first international three-day event (Aldon CCI*), for taking me to the young rider european championships at Pardubice; for taking me round my first CCI3* at Bramham clear inside the time cross-country and for finishing sixth in the CCI3* at Blair Castle.
He was living a very happy retirement in the hunting field and was a beloved family pet, my mother’s favourite and the horse I owe everything to for setting me up for a life of eventing. He will never ever be forgotten and his family line lives on through his sister, Totten Lady, and her foals. RIP Louie.
This all happened the day before Gatcombe Horse Trials where I had Archie (Arise Cavalier) competing in his second intermediate. I had to really pull myself together but it helped to have something to concentrate on to take my mind off it. Thankfully Archie must have sensed our fragile state and performed beautifully, picking up sixth place. He really has come a long way this season and has some fantastic results for a six-year-old. He is now having a well-deserved holiday before he spends the winter hunting and having some fun.
I was lucky enough to go and spend a week training with Carolyne Ryan Bell recently. I try to get up to her twice a year if I can as she really works on my riding as well as evaluating how each horse is going. There is always a lot to try and remember when I come away and to put it all in practice when I’m back on my own but each horse really benefited from it, as did I!
Nick Engert’s five-year-old, Effie (Augusta Firefly) has been performing very consistently at BE100 and picked up fourth place at Treborough and fifth place at Monmouth last weekend. She now heads to Bricky for the BE100Plus to finish her season, as she will then also spend some of the winter hunting before having a nice holiday.