‘We’re going white water rafting’: Ros Canter’s unique preparations for Blair Castle cross-country

  • European eventing champion Ros Canter holds the top two places in the Defender Blair Castle Horse Trials CCI4*-S results after the showjumping – and will swap one extreme sport for another as she spends the afternoon white water rafting.

    This morning (26 August) Ros produced a textbook clear showjumping round on her own and Alex Moody’s 10-year-old gelding Izilot DHI to remain on their 24.8 dressage, ahead of the final cross-country phase tomorrow (27 August).

    “He was really settled in the dressage. It wasn’t raining at the time but it had been quite wet and there was lots of spooky umbrellas and things out, but he was really rideable. One of our changes wasn’t how I would have wanted it, but other than that he was really good,” Ros told H&H.

    “In the showjumping he was lovely, he’s been a really good boy. He’s quite a sharp, spooky horse but he’s come out really level [headed] after the dressage yesterday so I’m really pleased.”

    Ros holds the second spot on Christopher and Jane Makin’s 12-year-old gelding Rehy Royal Diamond, and is fifth with Lady Milnes Coates and Deidre Johnston’s 10-year-old gelding MHS Seventeen. Libby Seed is currently in third in the Blair Castle Horse Trials CCI4*-S results with her and her parents’ 12-year-old mare Heartbreaker Star Quality.

    “Rehy Royal Diamond has been super,” said Ros. “He’s had quite a quiet year but he’s feeling on great form. He’s often been quite a hot-headed horse but he was settled in the dressage, and today he jumped really nicely.”

    Continuing the theme of the 2023 British summer, the rain arrived in the opening few days of Blair, as thoughts turn to the ground ahead of the CCI4*-S cross-country.

    “The ground held up well in the showjumping. We’re not going cross-country until tomorrow morning so I’m going to go and walk the course now but I try not to get too involved in things like the going too early, there’s no point worrying about things you can’t particularly control,” said Ros.

    The European champion has decided on a rather unique way of “preparing” for the final cross-country phase. 

    “I have the rest of the day off which is quite nice,” said Ros “Me, Caroline Moore and a couple of others are going white water rafting this afternoon. I’ve done it a couple of times, and Caroline is up for doing lots of adventure activities at the moment so when we saw that I would be showjumping early we thought it was an ideal opportunity!”

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