Brave turns and a tactical warm-up were the ingredients for Faye Adams and Demograaf’s second win in as many days at the Dodson & Horrell Bolesworth International Horse Show (7 – 11 July).
“He jumps so well here. I think the atmosphere here is great, and he rises to that,” said Faye, who won the CSI3* Horseware Ireland 1.40m speed class by a margin of close to two seconds ahead of runners-up Joe Whitaker and Icaterina. Third went to Jude Burgess and Comeback De Fremis.
“My warm up with him is actually quite tactical. He has a slight dust allergy, so it takes a while for him to get his breath back,” she said.
“I always get on him early, I jump when I have eight [to go before me] – two uprights then two or three oxers. Then I walk him when I’ve got about five [riders to go]. When we have two to go in, we just have a big oxer and I’ll turn him back and ride him at a big upright – and he knows it’s time. After the last oxer he usually lands, has a buck, and then he’s ready to perform.”
She added: “Wherever he goes, he performs. He’s just amazing – he just flies round those fences and I was thinking ‘I need to slow down – this really fast! I need to get him back on his hocks a bit’. But he just kept being so careful and he kept the jump – he felt powerful and he was handling it so well.
“It was nerve wracking watching afterwards. I kept thinking, ‘this is fast, this is fast’ [as I watched the others] – and then their time wouldn’t be that close to his.”
Faye added an extra stride between the first two fences and caught up on the clock by taking strides out on the line from the combination to the water tray and to the final fence.
“My plan was to keep really tight and keep moving forward,” she said. “I was quite fortunate that every time I turned back, I just saw a real forward stride and he excelled.
“He’s only 16hh – he’s only small, but he has a massive stride, I can always take one out, which is a great trait to have in a horse.”
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