Woopee, we’ve had another winner!
My great friend and fellow event rider, Jess Acheson and I, made the trip over to Kilguilkey House in Ireland with one horse each. Jess had one in the CIC3* and I took Archie (Arise Cavalier) for the CIC2*. It was a fantastic event with so much effort put into the ground, including watering, which we were incredibly grateful for as it made the going perfect.
This was Archie’s first run since Houghton Hall so he had had a little tune up at the Dumas’ fantastic cross-country schooling facility at Rosamund Green Farm the week before. He had been feeling so good I was hopeful he could put up a competitive performance and especially as he is now pretty established at two-star level.
He did a pretty faultless dressage test, apart from a tiny little jog in his walk. It was rhythmical and accurate and a pleasure to ride. He isn’t always the most attentive horse and he can be easily distracted but he was really with me for the whole test and so rideable. I must say a big thank you to Hannah Biggs for all of her help with him in this phase.
I then went straight on to showjump without knowing my score, which in hindsight I was very glad about as I think if I had known I was sitting on a rather stunning score of just 37, I would have been pretty nervous! He jumped his socks off for a beautiful clear, which meant he was the overnight leader heading into the cross-country. It’s always nerve-wracking being the leader as it is only yours to lose.
However, there was never a moment for me to worry as he flew round the course feeling confident and well within himself. It was a good track with plenty of questions and a few places where you could have had silly accuracy problems. We finished well inside the time to take the win!
I can’t tell you how proud I am of this horse, as you might have read in my previous blogs, we have had ups and downs, but it was his weekend and everything came together.
It’s only my second ever international win, the first one being the CCI1* at Aldon back in 2008, so it has been a long long wait for my second. I just hope the third wont take me so long again! A huge thank you to the organisers Danny and Michelle Dulohery — I will definitely be going back.
Archie’s next run will be the intermediate championships at the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe in August.
I have a busy couple of weeks with Upton House for two days this week, Dauntsey and then Ruby’s (Rubabell Cruise) advanced debut at Aston next week, plus a couple of friends’ weddings to celebrate in between. I am very lucky to have two very good girls working for me at the moment, Fay and Jess. They are extremely hard working and great fun — team work makes the dream work after all!
I am also excited to be supported by Equine Products UK whose supplements have made a huge difference to all my horses since starting on them.