With no hot far away country summer holiday booked, and the likelihood of ever getting one pretty slim, the sunshine has created a welcome alternative. But in classic British style I can’t help but have a good old moan about it too — like everyone I’ve been heard to whinge about firm ground. It’s made things tougher, but we have managed to do an awful lot in the past few weeks despite the hot conditions.

We have entered Burghley which is a massive thing. I have been lucky enough to ride there a few times now, and I can honestly tell you that the excitement doesn’t get any less the more times you enter — I can’t wait. Splash (Drumbilla Metro) and Douglas are my two runners. They are both super horses with wonderful and deserving owners. They have run well round Aston in their preparation outings and now have a CIC3* each to contend before the big event. I’m literally bursting with excitement at the prospect and hope that all the preparation goes to plan as things can so easily go wrong.

Simon Grieve  riding THE RUTMAN in Adv Section D during the Little Downham (1) Horse Trials at the Ely Eventing Centre in the village of Little Downham near Ely in Cambridgeshire in UK on 1st June 2018

Vinnie in the advanced at Little Downham earlier this season

Freddie (Mr Fahrenheit) and Vinnie (The Rutman) have quietly been rising up the ladder (it only feels like yesterday that they were doing their first ever events!) and both made their CIC3* debut at Barbury, which is such a gorgeous event and very well run. Both went really well, and although Vinnie had an irritating (although inexperienced) run out exiting the water, I cannot help but be really excited about both of them as they are super cross-country horses, great fun and with such lovely owners too.

In all the excitement of the young guns taking on their first three-stars, the even younger generation have been trying hard too. Bob (Wish He Was Yours) won at Upton House and Bertie (Bonhunt Bertie) finished second in the novice at Frickley too. All these events have tried incredibly hard to get the going as good as they can and it is very much appreciated by all of us riders.

Simon Grieve   riding MR FAHRENHEIT III in CCI ** during the cross country phase of the Houghton International Horse Trials held at Houghton Hall near King’s Lynn in the county of Norfolk in the UK on 26th May 2018

Freddie in the CCI2* at Houghton Hall earlier this season

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I was recently invited to compete at the Hickstead Eventers Challenge which was fantastic fun and Splash jumped a great clear, jumping all the famous fences and being his usual awesome self (pictured top). We weren’t quick, but I didn’t push him as I was keen to give him a fun outing before the intensity of what he has to come eventing-wise this autumn. He really enjoyed himself which was the main aim of the exercise. It was a great opportunity to spend time with his owners and catch up with my sponsor, Omega Equine, who make innovative feed supplements.

With plenty of work ahead getting the horses (and myself) fit, improving all phases and getting mentally prepared for the big events that we have ahead, there are fun and exciting times are round the corner!

Simon

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