Simon Grieve’s eventing blog: my staff were like a mirage

  • A couple of weeks ago at 7am I got a call from my groom Amanda saying “I’m really sorry, but we can’t get through the snow to get to work… it’s carnage out here!”.

    With 14 horses in, I very quickly began to feel my age as the prospect of mucking out 14 horses and working 12 ‘solo’ unravelled in my mind. So off I went, stoically working my way through the mucking out, when about half an hour later, like a mirage, I saw two figures in the yard who looked like… wait a minute, my staff!? Maggie and Amanda had dug their way through with a handy shovel (which of course all normal people have in their car boot) and had walked across the fields to get to me. Throughout this weather they have been amazing and I can’t thank them enough for their attitude and dedication to their horses in getting to us EVERY day — finding dedicated help like that is nigh on impossible these days… don’t I sound an old fart? But it’s true.

    I’ve never known a season so reluctant in wanting to begin with Isleham and Oasby cancelled of the events I’ve entered. As we drove to Lincoln through persistent rain on the Friday, I was convinced that we would be turned away, but the ground and drainage is amazing and it ran. Bertie (Bonhunt Bertie) went beautifully for second in a BE100 section — I’m sure if there had not been snow settling, the event wouldn’t have been abandoned midway through as the ground was holding up surprisingly well. It’s soul destroying for the organisers and seems so unfair on them when it takes so much time, effort and dedication to run an event. Let’s hope the worst is over.

    With the incredible news that Splash (Drumbilla Metro) has been accepted in to Badminton, I was excited to get his first run in at Great Witchingham last week. This event is a staple of my season and the Sayers are a super family who have an excellent team behind them to help organise it.

    Splash had a lovely time jumping a beautiful and very jolly double clear (pictured top) to win his pretty competitive section. Our dressage is improving all the time thanks to help from Richard Davison and he scored a credible 28.9 — a great start to our ‘Big B’ campaign.

    Continued below…

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    Douglas was his usual gorgeous self skipping round for a super double clear. He’s such a lovely horse. Freddie (Mr Fahrenheit III) just missed out on the win and was second in the open novice, but it was a relief to get him out, as out of all the horses he has been climbing the walls the most with lack of a run — he was very happy! Bertie, Bob (Wish He Was Yours) and Wally (Wallstreet VB) jumped really well, with the latter pair picking up prizes too. It was a great couple of days for us and so the season is starting to roll which is a relief.

    We’re back to Norfolk this week for Burnham Market which should be fun and I have some clinics to do as well, so it’s all go here!

    Enjoy the Easter break everyone.


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