I had a successful weekend at South of England. They had an advanced intermediate class with the Badminton dressage test, which was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss. So even though Al (Geronimo) had run at Belton the previous weekend, we took him just to do dressage and to showjump.
Gill Watson was there to help. I found the movements in the test came up thick and fast so it was very beneficial to ride through it in a competition atmosphere.
Dad was there to film, which is always helpful and enabled me to see where there is room for improvement. l was pleased with my score of 35.8, which is an encouraging mark pre-Badminton.
Al showjumped much better than at Belton, jumping a lovely clear round (left) which was great after last weekend, but I’m still planning on taking him showjumping once more before Badminton.
I had 3 other rides. D Marilla, owned by Taff and Andrea Budge, is a sweet 6-year-old mare, who is in her second year of BE100s and has had a few good placings. I broke her in 3 years ago for their son to ride, but took up the ride again last year. She had a good day but a frustrating 2 poles put her out of the placings.
Aithne is a small 7-year-old mare by Pro Set and owned by Jan Prior. I have been riding Jan’s home-breds for a few years now. I broke her in 4 years ago, she is full of character and a lot of fun to ride. She had her best placing so far, coming 4th in the novice.
Fedorian, who we bought at the Goresbridge sales last year, was 7th in the BE100 (above).
For the past 3 years we have been to Ireland to the Goresbridge sales and have bought 2 or 3 horses to bring on, produce and sell. I’m really enjoying this new branch of my business. Goresbridge sales are a lot of fun, there are so many horses to see and assess quickly before the bidding begins.
We have bought some really lovely horses over the past 3 years and we are very excited about the 3 we bought last year (right). Fedorian is 16.2hh chestnut gelding, rising 5 years old, by Ghareeb. He has done 3 events and he looks very promising in the dressage with 3 tests in the 20s and he is a fabulous jumper as well, so an exciting prospect.
We also bought 2 unbroken 3-year-olds, which I broke in over the winter. Louis — a 16hh bay gelding by Ricardo Z — is very cheeky, and I have had to hang on to my neck strap quite a bit! Also a handsome 16.1hh grey gelding by Tinaranas Inspector (by Indoctro) — a completely different character, very laid back and totally chilled about life! I hope to do some 4-year-old classes later on in the year with them.
Alongside day to day yard chores, Al continues to be my main focus in the lead up to Badminton. This week he will be going to the gallops, schooling at home and relaxing in his paddock (left).