As you will have probably already seen on the homepage this week I have decided to withdraw Ashdale Cruise Master from Britain’s reserve list for the World Equestrian Games. We will instead concentrate on preparing for next year and qualifying for the London Olympics. With 2012 coming up fast I want to leave no stone unturned.
On Tuesday I will head to Burghley with Carousel Quest. I was going to take ‘Splash’ there as well but decided against it because we feel has done enough this season. Before Burghley, however, there is Blair which is where I am writing this Newsletter.
Quest is here for the CIC*** and is feeling very well, behaving like a naughty school boy. He’s so excited to be out and I’m sure he remembers that last year’s Blair was just before Burghley… Fingers crossed he puts in the same sort of performance! I can’t believe it’s a year since he won the Land Rover Trophy.
Since I last wrote I have been all over the place as usual, starting with Aston Le Walls for 3 days where I had 5 horses in the advanced class, followed by some novices on the Sunday. My exciting young mare Whata Perk was again placed in her Novice section. Next stop was local event Malpas where I had a quiet day with only three to ride in the BE100. Then it was a long drive and an early morning to get down to Wilton where Gorsehill Star jumped a double clear in his first Intermediate. He’s progressed quickly through the levels this year in what has been his first year of eventing following on from previously show jumping.
Then came Gatcombe which is one of my favourite events of the season due to the lovely setting and atmosphere. I’ve also had some success there over the years which helps! Jeepers Creepers (a lucky grey again) won the Novice Championships which was a bit of a pleasant suprise really! He’s owned by Olivia Tappin who had to stop eventing as she qualified as a doctor last year and has no time to event herself. I was very pleased with ‘Russell’, particularly in the SJ phase which is not always his strongest. Splash was leading after the first two phases in the Open class, ahead of some tough competition, but we decided not to run him cross country, while ODT Sonas Rovatio was 4th in the Intermediate and will head to the CIC*** 8/9 year old class at Blenheim in just over a week.
We were then back to Aston-le-Walls where Belmont Virlandie finished impressively. She’s a very promising young mare who is up with me at Blair this week in the CCI*. Black Tie, a new ride for me for owner rider Karyn Shuter, won his novice section with just a few time faults to add to his dressage score – he’s a very good jumper and I really enjoy riding him. Next stop was more local at Bold Heath, ODT Top Dollar was the best of the bunch there winning his novice section.
Last week I was in Martinvast, France, where it was absolutely boiling hot! It’s a really lovely venue and I believe it will host the next WEG after Kentucky, which will be just fantastic! Imperial Master finished 15th in the CIC***World Cup class – I was very disappointed with his dressage which left him down the placings but that aside he went well. He’s not always the most straight forward of horses so I was pleased with him. Most of the excitement came with the journey because we took a different ferry route to normal, going from Portsmouth to Caen. Coming home with 6 different ferry docks to choose from and all the signs in French Kath and I took a lucky guess as to which one we wanted.
After 24 hours at home and a quick repack we were on the road again, to Scotland. I won’t be seeing much of home for a few weeks yet, what with Blair, Burghley and Blenheim in a row still to come. In between all the competing and travelling I’ve done a couple of photo shoots and some filming at the yard – one of the shoots was for some new Townend products that will be available soon, so keep your eyes out at www.townendonline.com.
The other shoot and filming were for various reasons; some for press images and others for exciting projects which I will be telling you about soon! There will be some behind the scenes shots from these up on the website in the next few weeks – one of them is on this newsletter, I hope you like it!
Finally, well done to this month’s competition winner Angela, who won a signed numnah and t-shirt. Don’t forget to enter the August competition to win goodies from the Lincoln Crib Range – entries close this weekend.
Please keep everything crossed for us for Burghley and I will hopefully see you there!