Simon Grieve’s eventing blog: the law of sod

  • I got a small case of the “Burghley Blues” the week after the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. It’s an occupational hazard that comes with being involved with the event.

    I used to suffer from it badly as a kid, mainly because it signified the end of the summer holidays which also meant I had to stop pretending to be an eventer, as the return to school was inevitable the following day!

    Luckily for me, I don’t have to pretend anymore (although some might question that — cough, cough) and it was back to riding horses and preparing for more shows. I wanted to get some of the younger ones out and about jumping and cross-country schooling so we made a couple of trips to Weston Lawns, Field House and Aylesford Cross-Country which are such good venues for competing and schooling.

    Our next eventing outing was Allerton Horse Trials in North Yorkshire. I’d never been before, but it really is a beautiful venue with classic parkland meaty tracks.

    I took Chapman (pictured competing earlier this year) for the open intermediate and he was super excited to be out and about, jumping a good, but steady double clear to finish seventh. Rocky (Generoso) contested the intermediate and did a sweet test and a convincing clear showjumping round. It was all was to play for, but as he had two viewings booked in for the following two days (as he is for sale), Emily decided it wasn’t worth the risk in running him. Of course the potential purchasers cancelled the following day….which is what’s known as the law of sod, but onwards and upwards. Ed (Edison) was in the novice. He did a good test and convincing double clear to take third. He’s a really super horse, especially over a fence and I’m excited to be taking him to Osberton Horse Trials next week for the six-year-old championships.

    The following week, I was lucky enough to compete at our most local event, Brooksby College. I hate to be negative, but I had a pretty shoddy weekend if I’m honest. My final three rides went round the cross-country during the most beautiful sunset. Lovely, but also blinding when at the wrong angle and poor Ben (Quality Mark) got completely confused and we ended up walking home. Vinnie (The Rutman) saved the day with a good test and double clear for second and the green Chunky (Up And Over) popped round sweetly which perked me up. Freddie (Mr Fahrenheit III) did a 29 test, clear showjumping and was flying across country until he completely misjudged the step out of the water and fell up it spitting me unceremoniously out onto the Brooksby turf. I jumped back on and completed with no damage done, so I think we’re still on for his first novice next week.

    Eventing — one week flying high, around the biggest course in the world, the next getting slam dunked. It keeps us all on our toes anyway!


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