I do believe we have just had what can only be described as spring weather! This weekend at Weston Park it was warm enough and sunny enough to not warm up any of the horses in my winter coat. I know this seems trivial, but it has to be a tipping point — it has to mean the end of this ridiculous winter is in sight.
I had a great weekend at Weston, it was lovely to ride the horses in the sunshine and great for all my fabulous owners to be able to enjoy the park, which really is gorgeous.
I had the novice horses competing on Saturday, and they were all brilliant. Arthur (Silver Birches Arthur) completed his second novice, jumping double clear over a tough track after a good dressage to finish third. He is unfortunately (for me, at least) now going to be for sale, but I am confident he will make an amazing first horse, or under-18 regional novice ride for someone!
Holly (Riffala Du Buisson) did a brilliant dressage, scoring 32, and had one unlucky pole in the showjumping before storming round the cross-country to finish in sixth. This was only her fourth ever novice, so I’m over the moon with how quickly she is learning and improving.
Purdey (Quality Purdey) did a great dressage, much better quality work, but slightly less consistent (it was only her seventh ever affiliated event!) to score a 34. She then had two fences down in the showjumping, which were more related to the hill the course is set on than the quality of her jump, which is amazing.
She flew round the cross-country as well, so finished a credible 12th. It was her fourth clear at novice, and as I said, only her seventh ever event, so I couldn’t ask for more from her at the minute. She has a big future ahead of her anyway!
Fat Louie’s cheeky moments
We trucked back to Weston on the Sunday for Crunchie (Kilcannon Watlings Crunch) to run in a nice intermediate after her first CIC** last week, and for Louie (Zero Flight) to get his final run before the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. After all, he had a cheeky moment last week and we couldn’t leave him on that.
Crunchie did a great dressage test, in fact it was her first this year contested without snow showers, scoring a 32. She had a couple down in the showjumping, but only by baby-ish mistakes, and then made nothing of the cross-country to also finish 12th.
She is a big mare, and will grow for the next couple of years, so I don’t think we’ll see the best of her until she’s nine. But her owners, Watling JCB are incredibly supportive in wanting to see her progress to the top, so it’s only a matter of time!
Louie went and showed that the old man still has a naughty streak in the dressage by wanting to join in on the cross-country during his test! You have to hack through the cross-country course to get to the dressage at Weston and he just thought this was beyond exciting!
He did a terrible test (we are sure he is now saving his best for Badminton) but a great jumping round, with a silly pole, and a super clear across country meant he still had loads of polos on the way home.
I am now only entered at Hambleden Horse Trials before Badminton, so I am having a nearly unheard-of weekend off in Cumbria this weekend for a wedding. The horses all get to have a quieter week — except for Louie who has to continue his fitness work for Badminton! You’d almost feel bad for him, except that with a nickname like “Fat Louie” he’s going to need all the help he can get.
Full report of Weston Park in H&H magazine – out Thursday, 11 April.