In the run-up to the Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby Meeting, Trevor Breen will be blogging about his Derby horse, Adventure De Kannan
After finishing 2nd in last year’s Hickstead Derby, ‘Addy’ (Adventure De Kannan) and I were part of the Irish squad at the Longines Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead. Then he won several national classes, before ending the season at HOYS. I gave him the winter off and then took him to Villamoura in Portugal, where he finished 2nd in the first two grands prix there.
All was going well and it was like he’d picked up exactly where he left off last season. But then we had a bit of a blow — at the end of Portugal, he picked up a minor injury which meant he’s had to have a few weeks off.
As professional riders, we do everything we can to prevent injuries and take all the safety precautions we can. But our horses are extremely fit athletes and however hard you try to safeguard them, unfortunately injuries do sometimes occur. I’ve been very lucky with Addy though, as apart from when he had his eye removed last year, this is the first time he’s ever had time off through injury —considering he’s 14 years old, that’s a pretty good record.
To help with his recovery, Addy’s been at the equine spa having laser treatment, as well as going on the water treadmill to help maintain his fitness. Recovery has gone really well and he’s just coming back into work. He’s working in walk and trot at the moment and we’ll build that up on a weekly basis in the run up to the Equestrian.com Derby.
There’s 8 weeks to go so I’m very hopeful he’ll be ready. It’s more about fitness. I want him to be back to 100%. Then again, we had the same time pressure last year when he’d had his eye removed a few weeks before Hickstead, and that worked out okay!
Addy did get pretty bored of being off work. He’s a horse who likes doing what he does — he enjoys jumping. That first day I got back on him he was like, about time, we’re off again! It would be very easy to do too much too soon with him, so I’m going to take it step by step.
Ideally I’d like to give him a run before Hickstead, but at the age of 14 Addy knows his job. As long as he can do his training at home, I’d be happy if we have to go to Hickstead as his first show back. The first day of the Derby meeting will be enough to blow off any cobwebs.
Talking of Derby training, I’m lucky in that I have a replica bank at home. Caroline and I were having the school extended so I used the excess soil to build a bank. It’s not as big as Hickstead’s, but it’s still really beneficial to have. Addy has always been great at going down the bank, but it definitely helps to have one at home to practise on to get them in the right mindset.
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