My week started at Weston Lawns on Monday as my horses hadn’t jumped at a show for two weeks. I was also meeting Holly Gillott, who is sidelined after breaking her leg, to ride her horses. As I was jumping them at Blue Chips, I thought I’d better get a feel for them. They popped the 1.05m easily.
We arrived at Hartpury on Tuesday and got good stables and parking — always a bonus. Everywhere is so clean and tidy, I really appreciate it.
Wednesday started rudely early. I fed, watered and mucked out at 6am, and then woke my groom — aka my sister Carrie-Anne, on holiday from university — at 7am.
Ricky Ricardo jumped clear in the 1m ready for Thursday’s discovery championship, but it felt odd to finish jumping the first class at 7.50am. We had breakfast with Holly. My thanks to stable manager Pauline, who sorted her out a disabled parking space close to the arena.
Then it got manic. After jumping clear on Quarrycrest Echo in the novice championship, I rode two in the 1.25m outdoors, going up the draw on my second ride, Mobster Du Parc, so it didn’t clash with the novice jump-off. Unfortunately I miscalculated, only leaving myself time to jump two warm-up fences on Echo [Santa] before heading straight in the ring. He’s only five and coped well. The audience were behind us and we went in the lead, but in the end Emma-Jo Slater beat us by 0.04sec.
I raced back outside for the 1.25m just as a tornado-like wind flattened 80% of the course — even spectators were helping put the fences up! Luckily I still managed to win it on Samantha W [Annie].
The horses were in all in bed for 6pm and we’re now chillaxing in the lorry with a glass of cider — we ran out of wine! — and are waiting for dinner to cook.
At least Thursday isn’t such an early start — alarms are set for 8am!