We headed off to Addington international last Wednesday for the trot up; I took two horses (Abira and Merlin Nemorensis), as did my sister, Pippa (Belmondo and Amadeus).
I went to the competition expecting Abira to do really well and Merlin Nemorensis (Nemo) not to do so well. Then Nemo, who belongs to Lady Anne Evans, went and won all three tests over the three days. Unfortunately, Abira had some big mistakes on the first day, though by the last day he had improved and scored 67% to win the consolation final.
After Abira didn’t go so well on the first day I knew I just had to go for a safe quiet round on Nemo — I couldn’t believe it when the commentator said he’d gone into the lead, I thought, ‘well, that must have been quite good then’. As the days progressed I could ask for a bit more.
Nemo’s such a gent in the stable, he’s the soppiest horse I know, like a puppy — he slobbers all over you. When he’s ridden he’s a little bit sensitive. He needs a lot of leg to keep him secure and for him to hold his balance.
It just all came together at the show; we’ve been training a lot over the winter and we’re more of a partnership now. Maybe because there was more pressure on Abira I was more relaxed on Nemo and he did better for it.
Anyway, it was a fantastic show — you never go to Addington and not have a good time; it’s so well organised, all indoors and the new stables are great.
I had a World Class review on Monday and we were discussing what to do next with Nemo. Our goal over the past sixth months was to be consistently achieving 65% at PSG, which he’s well surpassed. So it’s difficult to set our next goals as, although three wins in three days in consistency, this was just one show, and I can’t make big decisions on that basis.
One thing I did learn from the whole competition is that I need to use my legs more. I’ve been told I think I’m doing the right thing in the arena, but I’m not! I can override, but I need to use my legs more in the first place so I don’t get into the position where I need to override.
And I have to thank my mother for all her help in the lead up to this show, she always helps me but she made a huge difference for this event. So ‘thanks Mum’!