Well, it seems the wishful thinking that my lorry might get to Hopetoun and back without incident last weekend was slightly far-fetched!
Stilll, we managed to make the journey there on Friday with no problems, even with an early morning trip to the gallops with “Louie” (Zero Flight) and a late night Thursday when “Lux” (Gentel Lux, pictured) and “Robbie” (Ballyengland Twilight) went jumping with Luis Alvarez Cervera.
Hopetoun turned out to be a lovely, very well run event and the ground up in Scotland did make me realise just how hard it has been down here the past few months.
The dressage was a long hack from the lorry park, and I left plenty of time to get there to warm Lux up as I knew she would get excited. I think, however, that I left too long and she had had enough by the time we got into the ring, so threw her teddies out slightly! She managed a 65, so obviously some of the work was decent, but not a touch on her test at Barbury. She is still young though, and I am still learning what the best routine is for her, so I wasn’t too upset.
Lux then did an amazing double clear over Ian Stark’s testing track. Ian had built a great course, one where big questions came early and you had to have the horses forward thinking right from the start. I was worried Lux might start getting a bit careful with so much so early, but she flew round (albeit slowly as there were decent hills and I thought there was no point chasing her round with an average dressage).
Robbie was in the novice and did an amazing test, so relaxed and correct, but didn’t get the mark I was expecting — he scored 43.5. However, a lot of scores were very high in my section so I was pleased with him. He did a lovely clear showjumping and was great round the cross-country course.
He coped very well with the questions at the beginning — and the tradestands which he was so scared of at Buckminster — but just tired going up the big hills to the back of the course and he had a very silly 20 penalties at a straightforward house going down to ramp and skinny.
After a moment to catch his breath, he charged round the rest so I am over the moon with him. He will now try to qualify for Osberton CCI* at the end of the year.
We headed off home at 6.30pm on Sunday night, and were already past Carlisle when the lights on my lorry suddenly stopped working. We had to pull off the motorway and wait for road rescue, who luckily managed to fix what turned out to be a loose connection with the electrics. However, this meant that we didn’t get to bed until gone 4am on Monday!
It’s times like these where I wish I had a fancy lorry, and possibly a chauffeur! Here I go again with the wishful thinking…
Full report of Hopetoun in H&H out this Thursday, 4 August.