Behind the scenes at Chatsworth Horse Trials

  • Chatworth weekend kicked off in fine style for us riders thanks to an exquisite drinks party held in the awe-inspiring Chatsworth house. This was just what the Doctor ordered following our long drive down on Friday.

    I’ve got two horses competing this weekend – Little Beau (Roo) in the advanced, and Rocket in the intermediate novice, while my old pony has also come along in the honourable role of Rocket’s nanny.

    Even though Roo’s test wasn’t until 12 o’clock today, we still seemed to suffer the usual mad dash to get away from the lovely family yard where the horses had stayed over night. I also had the added nightmare of having forgotten my boots, so time was certainly not in abundance. The later problem was fixed by the purchase of a smart new pair of gaiters, which I tried scratching with twigs to get rid of the ‘newness’ — I was determined and confident that the boys would out perform any associated bad luck.

    Rooey tried his heart out in the dressage, performing two foot perfect changes and leaving him with a mark of 37, which in my (no doubt slightly sketchy) calculations puts us about equal 12th. A truly fantastic result for my jumping star!

    Rocket also had a very promising day. This began when we successfully completed the dressage test (which is more than we managed on our last outing), not only with the added bonus of remaining in the arena, but with some really smart trot work to boot.

    I was concerned that he wouldn’t jump well having never been this chilled – courtesy of a couple of tubes of Nupafeed calmer – but I needn’t have worried as he flew! One pole down in the show jumping after a steady cross-country meant we would have been about 10th if I hadn’t been HC. I only hope tomorrow ends as excitingly as today has . . .

    Coming up: H&H’s report on the World Cup qualifier, plus Charlotte’s next blog

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