Osberton
 
4th Oct 17
 

So nearly a win.......


If someone had told me I would finish 3rd in both CIC** (Somerford), and CCI**(Osberton) on a horse I sat on for the first time  8 weeks  ago I would have told them they were mad, so I couldn’t be happier with the lovely ‘Gortfadda Diamond’ (Bertie) owned by Maria Doel who performed impeccably all week to clinch 3rd in a huge CCI** section at Osberton.
 
I am particularly proud of Cooley Roller Coaster (Charlie) who also finished 20th the CCI**. Charlie has had mixed fortunes during the year so it felt a real achievement for him, and I’m delighted for his ever supporting owner Sheenagh Mudford.  I have to thank my amazing team in the background of vet Alex Knott, farrier Martin Deacon and physio Rachel Greetham who have been fantastic with getting Charlie to Osberton in great shape.


Charlie looking fantastic in his trot up. #FedonSaracenHorseFeeds
 
Ellie and I arrived on the Tuesday at Osberton as Charlie had to trot up Tuesday afternoon, and dressage Wednesday due to the 100 or more entries in the 2*. Bertie trotted up Wednesday, and dressage was Thursday. We had nice indoor stables, and despite some torrential rain, the ground coped amazingly well.
Charlie’s dressage felt as good as he could have done, a lot of his work exceeded my expectations. I was pleased with his score of 49, as he made a couple of mistakes in transitions which would have cost us a few marks.  

Bertie performed his test on Thursday afternoon, and stormed in to the lead on the only sub 40 score of 39. He floated round the arena, and tried his very best for me. Special thank you to Vanessa Fairfax who fitted a saddle for Bertie at the last minute so I was able to feel a bit  'closer' to him as he is a different shape to my others. It made all the difference!!
I was sure someone would better our score by the end of Friday, but they didn’t so we remained dressage leaders going in to the XC!



Bertie putting his best foot forward to lead the dressage
 

The 2* XC was more technical than I had anticipated, with a lot of angles, and curving lines. The Hollow at fence 7, and the water were my 2 concerns, and I walked them both a few times. The first half of the course was more intense than the second half, so I knew I could make up some time towards the end if I needed to. It wasn’t the longest of courses, as the optimum time was 9,35 mins but that suited me with my 2 horses.
The ground was fantastic, so I had all to play for.
 
Charlie gave me a great ride, he was foot perfect, and answered every question with ease. I was delighted to go clear, and inside the time. The lines I had walked had ridden well, although I chose to be more direct at the Hollow than originally planned, but it jumped well like that, so all I had to do was the same again on Bertie!
 
Bertie has a huge stride, and lots of enthusiasm for the job, and so long as I pointed him between the flags, he answered every question. I had one hairy moment near the end, a combination of a big box hedge, right turn to a corner, then 4 strides to an arrowhead. I had to be very determined to make the right handed turn!! Apart from that moment he gave me a super ride, so brave! We finished 10 seconds inside the optimum time to keep our lead!
 
Ellie and Laura did a super job Saturday night looking after both boys, as they trotted up very well on Sunday morning. Then it was an agonizingly long wait to show jump at 5pm! Charlie tried his very best in deep going, and just rolled a pole. Bertie jumped very well, but our win wasn’t meant to be when he clipped the back rail of the oxer in the middle of the combination. My heart fell with that pole, it would have been a fairytale to win, but I was thrilled with 3rd place considering we don’t know each other very well!
 
I am looking forward to doing 3 more one day events with Clemmi, and Thomas in the BE100 at Askham Bryan, Oasby and Norton Disney, then I have everything crossed that Spider and I get to take an adventure to Pau CCI**** at the end of this month. He is in great form, so I am counting down the days!

Looking forward to my Fairfax Bridle clinic this coming Tuesday (10th Oct) , there is one space left if anyone is interested please ping me a message 07815 796647. 
 
 



Allerton Park
 
19th Sept 17

 
Conditions at Allerton were not for the faint hearted, and it was quite a day with frequent bursts of rain and quite a lot of mud, but I enjoyed riding 3 very nice horses despite the weather! 
Maria Doel’s ‘Gortfadda Diamond’ tried his hardest out the mud, he did a nice test for 31, jumped a rare clear SJ, and gave me a confident round XC. Despite 19 time faults we finished 2nd. The run has set him up nicely for his CCI** at Osberton next week.
 
Nicky Dickson and Sally William’s ‘Coopers Law’ was having his Advanced run. He made my day by performing a lovely, relaxed dressage, and leading on a 29. An unlucky back rail in the Sj, then a brilliant clear XC. Allertons course was big and attacking, we both loved the challenge, and he really gave me a great ride. Again, I just kept a pace that I thought was appropriate for the ground, so I incurred 18 time faults, but we finished 2nd as well.


Cooper's Law jumping in to the water in the Advanced finishing 2nd. Thank you Paul for the photo!
 
Justine Collins’s ‘Winning Belle’ was making a step up, doing her first Intermediate Novice. She did a nice test, with a couple of baby mistakes, but she scored 33, and has improved so much in these last 6 months. She jumped very well on testing ground, just for an unlucky rail near the end of the course. She also jumped clear XC, with 13 time faults to finish 8th.
 
I can’t believe Osberton is next week! I have Gortfadda Diamond, and Cooley Roller Coaster in the CCI**.
2 of my 5yr olds ‘Cooley Now or Never’ and ‘Clemmentine De Breene’ will run in 3 BE100’s in October before their season ends, and I’m hoping to get to Pau CCI**** with Coopers Law…… Exciting times!
 
I am looking forward to hosting a Fairfax Bridle clinic on Tues 10th October, if you are interested please get in touch as space will be limited. It’s a great opportunity to bring your horse, ride in your own bridle, then try a Fairfax to compare, and you can buy there and then if you want to! I can recommend them 110%!! I will be on hand to help, as will Antonia Bealby who is a trained bridle fitter.
 
 





Burghley Young Event Horse Final
 
2nd Sept 2017

 
The Burghley Young Event Horse Final can be a lottery of a competition, and this year was a good one for our young horses, my own ‘Hazzle Dazzle’ (Harry) finished 4th, and Sheenagh Mudfords ‘Cooley Now or Never’ (Thomas) finished 7th. Two in the top 10 is a great result out of so many of the best 5yr olds in the country that had all qualified to be there.
Mum’s mare ‘Clemmentine De Brenne’ was first to go of my 3 rides. She performed as well as she could have done, nice dressage, clear jumping and good confirmation marks. I knew beforehand she was just lacking a few months experience for this class, but I was thrilled with how she coped with such an occasion and took everything in her stride. Considering a few weeks ago at her first 90 her eyes were on stalks, and I was facing the other way quicker than I could do anything about it, I was chuff with her!
 
Thomas excelled himself in the arena. He did a lovely test, and then jumped a fantastic clear round in great style, scoring the highest jumping mark of the class. He really did ping! He went in to 3rd, and we were hopeful he would stay in the top 10.




 
Harry also performed his best, a very nice dressage, and just rolled a pole in the jumping near the end which was a shame, but I was delighted with how he popped the XC part of the course, so easy to him. He got good marks, sitting in just behind Thomas. Thomas was on 69 and Harry 68.




Harry looking classy on his way to 4th place.
 


I had to ask Padraig McCathy to ride Harry for me in the final 10, and I rode Thomas. Both horses Galloped well, Blyth Tait was the judge of the final 10, and chose Harry as one of the 4 he was going to ride. Harry was wandering what was going on, with another stranger getting on him, but he behaved impeccably and Blyth liked him second best out of the 4 he rode. I think this is a great feature of the class, and must be interesting for the judge to get that all important ‘feel’.
 
So final line up, all marks added together Harry finished 4th and Thomas 7th. It was lovely for Harry’s breeder Nicola Trigg who came to watch him and hasn’t seen him since I bought him as a yearling. It was lovely that Nicky got the recognition breeders deserve.



Hazzle Dazzle winning a prize for best british bred, pictured here with his breeder Nicola Trigg.
 
The 4* was an exciting competition, I wished I could have been riding there, but I hope so again soon. Great to see Team GB back on top of the leaderboard with 1st to fourth place. I’m looking forward to a couple of days training up in Yorkshire this week with Chris Bartle, I really think his input has been a massive success to so many riders.
 
Harry will finish his season now, although he was qualified for Osberton I feel he has answered every question I have asked of him, and still just a 5yr old, time to say well done and plan for next year. Thomas and Clemmi will have a quiet week but then do a few more 100’s before the season ends.
 





Super Somerford, and Sunny Shelford
 
30th Aug 17
 
The last couple of weekends have been great, I’ve enjoyed some great rides on classy horses at various levels, inspired by Team GB winning GOLD at the Europeans which is a great boost for our sport.

Somerford Park in Cheshire is a firm favourite of mine, with excellent facilities and brilliant XC courses on perfectly manicured ground. I was so excited to have 3 running in the 2*, which had over 100 entries.  I had Sally Williams and Nicola Dicksons ‘Coopers Law’ (Spider), Maria Doel’s ‘Gortfadda Diamond’ (Bertie) and the Copestake’s ‘Denver XI’.

I was delighted with Spider’s dressage test, it was the most relaxed test he has done in years! He scored a 46. Denver did a stunning test with a couple of tiny mistakes in the walk pirouettes to score 42, and Bertie smashed it to score 38! All 3 were top 20, and Bertie lay 3rd after the dressage. The format for the CIC** was XC before Showjumping,  all on the same day which is always quite tough on the horses, and takes them a little by surprise, but I thought I would learn a bit about Denver and Bertie who I’ve never done a 3 day event on.


Maria Doel's 'Gortfadda Diamond' making the 2* course feel easy on his way to 3rd place.


The XC was big, bold and had a few decent questions. Spider was my first ride, and cruised round for just 1.6 time faults, I was grateful to get a feel for the course on him before riding the other 2 who were more inexperienced. I needn't have worried, both Denver and Bertie felt fantastic XC, really eating up the course and galloped for fun. Denver came home with 4 time faults and Bertie 5.6, leaving all 3 very well placed.  I felt very lucky to be riding these 3 super horses.
After a small break we tacked up again to do the showjumping, I think Spider thought he needed a nights sleep before he showjumped, but he tried his hardest and  jumped a clear round. Denver and Bertie continued the form and jumped lovely clears too.


Just telling Spider he still had the showjumping to do at the vets inspection after the XC




Bertie loved his mounted prize giving! 



Bertie finished 3rd, Denver 5th and Spider 8th. I couldn’t believe it! Also a horse I produced and sold as a 6yr old ‘DHI Jetset’ won the class with Izzy Taylor.
Whilst busy with these 3 I also found time to compete Sheenagh Mudfords ‘Cooley Roller Coaster’ (Charlie) in the Open Intermediate. He also gave me a great spin, jumped double clear and finished 6th. Justine Collins’s ‘Winning Belle’ did a 25 dressage, double clear and finished 6th in her Novice section, and Sheenagh’s young horse ‘Cooley Now or Never’ (Thomas) was just outside the top 10 in his 100, but jumped a super double clear.


'Winning Belle' enjoying her Novice run at Somerford finishing 6th.


Many thanks to Helen Hedger and Justine who drove Thomas and Belle up on Saturday for me to compete, Lucy Scholl, Caroline Harrison and Paul who held the fort at home, and Ellie Harding and Laura Hedger who were impeccably organized at the show and helped make it a successful weekend.
I like weekends like that one! 
 
Shelford the following weekend was not quite so glamorous, but still is a perfect show for the younger horses to get the mileage and experience they need.
Belle was running again and added yet another double clear and 5th placing in the Novice to her tally. I also took my own ‘Hazzle Dazzle’ (Harry) to do the Novice in his preparation for the BYEH 5yo Final, although I never had any intention of running Harry XC at Shelford, I used the other 2 phases as experience. I was delighted with him in his dressage and showjumping, and I’m excited about next year with him.
The following day at Shelford, Sally and Nicky’s ‘Coopers Mill’ (Web) was doing his 2nd BE90, and he excelled himself in all 3 phases, with a 26.5 and double clear. Jo Preece’s ‘Quick Decision’ (Simba) was doing his last BE100 before a little break, and he was so professional in each phase, finishing 8th. I was really pleased with Simba as at each event he has either done an excellent dressage then had a pole down, or jumped clear but on not such a good dressage, so to get it all good on the same day was a perfect note to finish his season on.
Mums mare ‘Clementine De Brenne’ (Clemmi) really impressed me to finish 3rd in her first BE100.

I have to thank all my owners who are all so supportive and make the eventing days great fun. It really is a team effort.
 
Harry, Clemmi and Thomas now head to the BYEH Final this Friday (1st Sept) whilst Web and Simba are enjoying some down time to absorb what they have learnt.
Denver has now gone back home for Constance Copestake to take back the reins, so I wish them the very best of luck, and I would like to thank the Copestake family for letting me help produce such a talented horse for their daughter.


I will miss the luxury of so much scope! Denver at Somerford, 5th in CIC**

All the others are fit and well, and we are looking forward to Allerton, Osberton and Boekelo. I’m sad its nearly the end of the season, as I feel I’ve only  just got warmed up! I'm looking forward to catching up with some of my generous sponsors at Burghley; Saracen Horse Feeds, Fairfax, and Tech Clothing and watching another horse I produced and sold called 'Douglas' with Simon Grieve. 
 
I would just like to wish Nicky Dickson (Spider’s owner/breeder and huge supporter of mine for many years with her homebred horses) a speedy recovery as she suffered a nasty accident and is in hospital. Nicky is the kindest, most wonderful person, and I just hope she gets better soon.
 





Busy times, but I'm loving it! 

1st Aug 2017


 
I will begin by thanking my home team, as these last few weeks have been full on busy, with a full yard of horses, and lots of outings. There have been some very early mornings, and long days. Laura, Jess, Ellie, Lucy and Justine have been fantastic. THANK YOU!

Whilst I'm talking about my wonderful team, we are just about to advertise for a new Apprentice with Emilie Chandler Eventing, as Laura finishes her 2 year apprenticeship in September.  I'm delighted to say Laura is staying on in full time employment with us, but this opens the door for someone new to start their journey. It is a brilliant way to learn on the job. If you or anyone you know may be interested please get in touch. Candidates should be between 16-19 yrs old, and our apprenticeships are run through Haddon Training. I am sure Laura and Jess would be happy to share their experience of the Apprenticeship scheme with anyone who is interested.


Even though we have been busy, I did manage an hours plaiting lesson with Lucy and Jess...... 
 
Little Downham (22ndJuly) came quickly after Fieldhouse BYEH, with 2 horses in the BE90; Thomas and Clemmi. It was Clemmi’s first ever event, and she was looking at everything! She was either feeling a million dollars, or I was facing the other direction faster than I could blink! There is nothing like a young one to test your stickability! She performed a really nice dressage test, jumped a clear SJ, and felt classy XC, although we did pick up 20 pens for whipping round before number 1! Big green boxes are very scary!!
Thomas thought doing the 90 was rather easy, and was more attentive to who was looking at him during his dressage test (such a poser!) so we just lost the odd mark, but he jumped a nice easy clear SJ and XC. He feels ready to do some BE 100’s now. Still a successful and educational day.
 
The following weekend we had 2 at Burgham on Saturday, and 3 at Frickley on Sunday. Ellie, Paul and I left at 3.15am for Burgham on Saturday! Thankfully Paul could help me drive the 4hours north. Denver ran very well again in the Open Intermediate, finishing 2nd.
I also had a new ride, Maria Doel’s ‘Gortfadda Diamond’ (Bertie), usually ridden by Mark Kyle, but due to Marks injury I am stand in jockey. Bertie is a really lovely horse, and been beautifully produced by Tanya and Mark Kyle.  I’m excited to be able to ride him. Burgham was
our first event together, so I was really pleased with a 30 dressage, double clear and 10 time faults, leaving us 10th. A positive start.
 
Frickley was muddy! Clemmi did another 90, and was so much more relaxed, I think she likes Eventing!  A great dressage and easy double clear. She skipped through the mud like it wasn’t there. Although the conditions weren’t ideal, I do think it’s important horses get a feel for difficult ground when the questions are small, so that later in life should they get to a championship in awful conditions, I can be confident they know how to cope.
Coopers Law (Spider) got to have his first run back since Belton in April. He was very happy to be at a party. I was very pleased with him in his dressage, he stayed very relaxed, but saved his extra moves for the SJ collecting ring where I had to sit very tight! He jumped a great double clear to Win his section. The sponsors had put up £300 first prize which was a nice surprise.
Justine’s lovely mare Belle also had a run in the Novice and although the conditions weren’t easy in any of the 3 phases, she coped really well, jumping a double clear and finishing 10th.  
 
This week ‘Cooper’s Mill’ (‘Web)’ got the chance to compete in his first BE event at Aston Le Walls. He did some lovely things, but also made a couple of mistakes in all 3 phases. His dressage test was obedient and we stayed in that tiny 40m x 20m arena! He scored 32. He jumped a great SJ round, but rolled 2 poles, but I do really like the feeling he gives me. XC he was in total shock and dragon snorted most of the way round, he was very bold everywhere and in his eyes he jumped clear, but we were so busy spooking at the fence judge next to fence 3 we didn’t get anywhere near it, so 20 penalties were given! A good start though, and I can’t wait to take him to Shelford in 2 weeks time!



'Coopers Mill' showing his scope at his first BE event

‘Cooley Now or Never’ joined Web on the lorry to contest his first BE100. He was a cool customer, and jumped a double clear to finish on his dressage score of 30, and pick up 4th place. A great start to his competitive career! I was delighted for his owner Sheenagh Mudford.



Cooley Now or Never giving me a classy ride round his first 100. 
 
I am really looking forward to this weekend, we are off to Somerford Park, with 6 horses running! Coopers Law, Denver, and Gortfadda Diamond in the CIC**, and Cooley Roller Coaster is running in the OI. I also have Winning Belle in the Novice, and Cooley Now or Never in the 100. 

I have to say a massive well done to Lorna Collins, who just won the Corinthian Cup at Gatcombe last weekend, I was so excited for Lorna, what a result!!  I've helped Lorna and Rocky quite a bit this year, and their partnership is brilliant, and no one deserved that win more!! Trisha Pytches has also been going well with her lovely grey 'Chip', she has now qualified for a CCI*** and I'm really excited for her. I feel honored to be able to help such talented and dedicated people. Should be an exciting Autumn season.......

 
 
 
 
 
Young Horses Shine
 
21st July 17
 

 
My young horses have done me proud recently. Sheenagh Mudfords 5yo ‘Cooley Now or Never (Thomas) went very well in his first BYEH class at Richmond to finish 2nd, and get his qualification for Burghley. Thomas is improving each time out, and jumped his socks off at Richmond.
I also took Coopers Law’s full brother, ‘Coopers Mill’ (Web) owned by Nicky Dickson and Sally Williams for his very first proper show. He was green, but willing, and will have benefitted from the outing. Mum’s lovely mare ‘Clemmentine De Brenne’ (Clemmi) also had her first show of the year, and although she made the top 10, I decided to concentrate on Thomas and just ride him in the final 10 hoping we would get him qualified.




Thomas showing his scope at Richmond BYEH
 

Clemmi’s turn came yesterday, when to our surprise, she won the BYEH class at Fieldhouse, and led all the way. I’m so pleased for Mum, who has supported me so much. Clemmi was bought as a 3yo from France (Mum is French) as she always wanted a French horse. We have had to be very patient as she has needed time to mature. I was thrilled with her performance, and I am really looking forward to her Eventing debut at Little Downham.



Clemmi on her way to winning the BYEH at Fieldhouse
 

I also had Thomas and Web at Fieldhouse who also went very well. Web had improved so much from Richmond, and got some great marks, but we were rather disappointed with his confirmation mark!


The lovely Web, who is huge, but so nice!

 
My own ‘Hazzle Dazzle’ (Harry) who won the BYEH at Chatsworth, pulled out a great performance in the 5yr old BE100 section at Buckminster to finish 3rd and qualify for the 5yr old Finals at Osberton in October. These sections are so closely contested, there was 0.1 of a mark between 1st and 3rd!
The Preece family’s ‘Quick Decision’ (Simba) was also in the 5yr old class, but was a little enthusiastic in his dressage test putting us behind the pace, but he jumped very well. I also had Justine Collins’s ‘Winning Belle’ in her 2nd Novice. She did a lovely test, jumped well but just rolled 2 poles through inexperience, and I enjoyed a steady clear XC, as by the afternoon when she ran, I felt the ground had got quite firm, and she is simply getting some mileage on the clock rather than chasing prizes.
 
I’m excited to have entered Coopers Law again, and I hope our Autumn campaign is a good one as he feels great. Fingers crossed!!
 
 

 
 






Loved doing my Open Day!
 

You can ask me to do anything on a horse in front of a lot of people, but talking to an audience is a whole new set of nerves! It was the first time I had held an Open Day, and thank you to Justine Collins who wouldn’t let me squirm out of doing it, I did really enjoy it, and I hope everyone that attended did too!
The last 48 hours leading up to Saturday were all hands on deck, and my team were fantastic in cleaning, sweeping, dusting, weeding and painting! Thanks to Paul who mowed all the grass, and gave the barn a fresh coat of paint, and Mum who organized all the food and drinks for everyone.

My aim of the day was to inspire people.  I wanted to share a little bit of what I do every day. Competition days do not resemble the daily life, they are the stage performances, where you hope everything you have done in training comes together. More days per year are spent at home, and horses take years of training and education to produce competitive competition performances. My demo’s included working with Cavaletti, long lining, and gridwork.

The day started well, with a tour of the facilities, and everyone meeting all the horses. I then had 'Coopers Law' stood up in the yard and asked people what they thought made a good event horse. Thankfully it got people happy to ask questions, and the discussions varied from confirmation to fitness regimes. I find it much more fun when people get involved, rather than me just talking all the time! 



'Coopers Law' got to make an appearance (of course!) He is looking fantastic, and hoping to start Eventing again at the beginning of August.
 

My first demo was working with the Cavaletti in trot and canter. I rode 6 yr old 'Belle' who was very well behaved, and foot perfect all the way through.   I love using these exercises inspired by Ingrid Klimke for getting horses to work through their whole body, and increase core strength. When I join up the trot poles, then canter poles on a large circle the exercise demands quite a lot of concentration from horse and rider, I found it really hard to talk and ride all at the same time!


Justine Collins's 'Winning Belle' who was my partner for the caveletti demo

After the caveletti demo we took a break for lunch when people could go and chat with some of my very supportive sponsors; Fairfax, Saracen Feeds, and Alfaplan, who all had their own little stand set up. We all enjoyed a great lunch provided by my Mum, and it was interesting to hear Justine interview my apprentices as to why they chose an apprenticeship over school, and one of my owners Sheenagh Mudford did a fantastic talk on why she is an Owner, and why she loves being part of our team.


People enjoying chatting to Sponsors, and enjoying a great homemade lunch.
 

For my long lining Demo in the afternoon I used 5yr old ‘Coopers Mill (Web), who again was impeccably behaved, and didn’t bat an eye at everyone peering down in to the pen from the trailer and  bales we put for people to stand on.  I really feel long lining is a lost art, and one I really love to use for horses at any level or age. I am fortunate enough to have my lunge pen which is ideal for starting them off on 2 lines. Web was so settled I took him out of the pen, and long lined him in the school, over some poles, and out of the school on to the grass, just to demonstrate how I educate my young horses.




Web was so well behaved whilst everyone was watching! 


 
My final demo was with Denver, a lot older and more experienced than the other 2 horses I’d just used. I demonstrated the use of 2 canter poles on the floor, and how I can alter the number of strides between the 2. I asked the audience to pick a number between 5 and 11, and my challenge was to do that number of strides. Denver was magic, and made my job easy. It’s an exercise I have practiced a lot for the last 20 years so it was fun to get the audience involved, and get all the strides right! I then moved on to a bit of gridwork, all in canter, with a bounce, an upright and an oxer. I took on the challenge of riding with one hand which I love as an exercise, and Denver jumped his socks off, just getting a bit keen near the end!



Denver doing what Denver loves best....Jumping! 

 
The following day Mum and Dad hosted a Pony Gymkhana to help raise money for the village. I was show jump course designer and judge. Clear round was popular, followed by 2 jumping classes, which were both won by a member of the Daynes family, Sam and Georgie.  (I used to compete against their Mum, Jenny in Pony club days!) I was really impressed with the standard of riding this year, and I find it really interesting to watch which kids are naturally talented, and others just determined. Some don’t want to be at the show at all!
The Gymkhana raised £1300. Well done to Mum who works so hard to run it, and raise sponsorship, and for all the volunteers who help on the day and set it up.
 
This weekend was much more familiar, I was Eventing again. It felt like the beginning of the season all over again, as I hadn’t been to an Event for a month! Denver got us started on Saturday with a brilliant run at Aske Hall Intermediate. He led the dressage on a 27.7, and jumped an easy double clear, just 5 time faults put us down to 3rd, but I was thrilled with his performance, and consistency at this level.



Denver making the Intermediate at Aske Hall feel very easy

On Sunday we travelled to Offchurch Bury with Sheenagh Mudfords  ‘Cooley Now or Never’ (Thomas) for his very first BE90. Thomas was fantastic, he is still such a baby but pricked his ears and gave everything a go for me. He did a lovely test, just rolled the last show jump, and then wobbled his way round the XC clear. It was a great event, and I will defiantly put it in the calendar for next year with young ones.
 
This week we are going back up North to Richmond for the BYEH class with Thomas, Coopers Mill, and Clemmentine De Brenne (Clemmi). Followed by Buckminster on Saturday with Hazzle Dazzle, Quick Decision and Winning Belle.
 
 
 

 



Details of my Open Day this Saturday 24th June, everyone is welcome, there will be drinks and food available. 







The roller coaster journey of Eventing

12th June 2017


Luck just isn’t with me at the moment, and our much awaited trip to the lovely Tattersalls Three Day Event in Ireland ended much too soon. In my mind I was excited at the challenge that lay ahead for Cooley Roller Coaster (Charlie) doing his first 2*. Fit, well and ready for action, to our surprise he just wasn’t quite right on the second day of being there, and despite the farriers best efforts we had to withdraw from the event and come home.
It is so disappointing for everybody concerned, and especially for his owner Sheenagh Mudford, but these things happen, and with all the best intentions sometimes we just need luck on our side!
 
Charlie is fit and well, and will hopefully be back out soon and aiming for an Autumn Three Day Event instead.
 
As we are quieter on the competition side of things this month, it’s an ideal opportunity for me to get going with some other young horses and also host my first Open Day on Saturday 24th June.
 
I have an exciting 5yr old who has just come in from his holidays (we gave him time to mature as he was a very weak 4yr old as he is so big!) He is full brother to both Cooper’s Law and Poppy’s Law, owned by the Dickson/Williams family who bred him. ‘Web’ as he is known has not got a show name yet, but the pressure is on to choose one so I can enter him in a few BYEH classes and some BE90’s. I really like him, he is very balanced for such a big horse (17.2hh)
 
Sheenagh Mudford has another horse called Cooley Now or Never (Thomas) He is a very smart, grey, gelding by Ars Vivendi. He is also 5yrs old. I have just taken him to his first training show, where he behaved very well. Thomas is very swanky to ride, he has huge paces, and a lot of power to control. Thomas is also aiming at some BYEH classes and a few BE events.
 
I would have to say I have felt very flat, with things not going to plan so far this season, but people who I’ve been helping have been in flying form! Keeps my spirits up!
Trish Pytches just had a great time at Bramham jumping a double clear in the CIC***, she has an exceptional partnership with her lovely horse Chip, and its great to support them.
Lorna Collins has also been in great form with Rocky, being placed at Novice level. Oliver Lee has been chosen for the U18 Team at Frickley with Poppy which is really exciting for him, and Etti Dale has been longlisted for the 2* European Team Championships with Simon. Well Done to each and everyone! It’s a lot of hard work and determination that goes in. One thing I will advise is enjoy the good bits because you never quite know what’s round the corner!
 
I am looking forwad to my Open Day, and meeting people who are interested in visiting Low Woods and having a look round. I am going to do a few demo’s with the younger horses and will be available to answer and questions from people on any topic (so long as it’s to do with horses!) My Open Day is free so please come along and enjoy! It starts at 11am.
 
Belle is out this weekend at Catton Park in her second Novice. She seems to think she is rather special since winning her first point at Rockingham and has taken to jumping out her paddock when she wants to come in! Cheeky!
 




Exciting times ahead with this smart 5yr old 'Web', full brother to Coopers Law.



Young horses continue to show promise.....
 

23rd May 2017
 

 
My own ‘Hazzle Dazzle’ was a little super star at Chatsworth, winning the BYEH 5yr old class and qualifying for the final at Burghley in September. He won on a fantastic score of 93 out of 100! Chatsworth is always quite a big ask as the Young Event Horse is in the huge Main Arena, but he never batted an eyelid, just rose to the occasion and jumped his socks off.



Hazzle Dazzle jumping his way to a win in the BYEH 5yr old class.


Denver didn’t want to be left out and finished 9th in a very competitive 1*. Denver did a smart test with much to like, but a couple of mistakes were costly, giving us a starting score of 47, which wasn’t as competitive as I’d have hoped, but I was delighted with the improvement he showed. He jumped brilliantly as always, and I always feel very privileged to ride him in the Showjumping.
I had a good ride XC, I love those Chatsworth undulations, and the big, bold questions. Denver answered all of them easily, and I felt he had enjoyed himself. I was delighted to receive a super trophy donated by Ann McGhee in memory of her late husband for the rider finishing closest to the optimum time.
 
I thought the ERM created great watching, they really do it well, and I can’t wait for an opportunity to compete in this series!
 
For weeks we have been praying for rain, but why does it have to come all at once!! Having bought a water bowser for my school (to help keep the moisture in the surface in dry periods) the day that arrived, the day it rained and did not stop! Full credit to the team at Rockingham Horse Trials for running over all 3 days despite the torrential weather, Thank You!!!
 
The young ones were on Friday (Hazzle Dazzle, and Quick Decision) in the BE100. Both ran well but are inexperienced at this level and in slippery conditions I ran quite steadily finishing out the prizes. Winning Belle was impressive in her first Novice, and finished 8th, winning her first point! Considering this time last year she did her first BYEH class at Rockingham, and missed the second half of the Event season due to her accident in the lorry it’s even more impressive!
 
Denver and Cooley Roller Coaster were then at Rockingham yesterday (Sunday) in the Intermediate. Denver felt fantastic in all 3 phases, 27 dressage and double clear. Sadly I jumped the wrong Trakehner at fence 11 and got us eliminated. I felt so silly, and feel like I really let everyone down as I think Denver would have won the class, and he deserved to. All the same, it was a good test for him in difficult going.
Charlie excelled himself with a leading dressage mark of 26, and a great clear in the SJ. He loved the mud (reminded him of hunting!) But with Tattersalls CCI** in just a weeks time we took the decision not to run him XC.





The last day of Rockingham was really sunny, Denver looking in great health before his dressage test. Big thanks to Saracen horse feeds support. 

 
I am looking forward to the 5yr old BE100 at Shelford with ‘Hazzle Dazzle’ and ‘Quick Decision’ a week today, then they will both have a little mini break during June. I have a couple of others to get out and about soon, so exciting times ahead.
 
I hope to get some pictures from Rockingham and Chatsworth to put on here. Watch this space! 





8th May 2017

Highs and Lows......
 

It’s been an action packed few weeks since I last wrote my blog, so apologies for the delay in updating!

Belton was a fantastic event for me, with Denver winning the Intermediate, and Spider finishing 5th in the Advanced. Both horses were impeccable, and I felt so excited to cruise round the Advanced track on Spider with ease. My aim of getting to Badminton seemed almost real…… but it wasn’t meant to be this year.

A minor setback in his fitness plan meant we had to withdraw the week after Belton. I was so disappointed, but Spider has always had his own agenda, and I will wait and see what the rest of the season has in store for us instead! It’s always such a blow for the whole team when you get so near, and I must thank everyone, especially Spider’s owners, my home team and my sponsors for being so supportive in the decision to withdraw.



Spider jumping a great clear round at Belton before finishing 5th in the Advanced section.


My dear Charlie has done his very best to keep moral up in the yard, and has been very consistent in his Open Intermediate runs, building up to Tattersalls CCI**, being placed every time out. He has improved so much in this last year, it just goes to show what they can achieve with a big heart.


Cooley Roller Coaster (Charlie) I think I was smiling more than him! 



Justine Collins’s ‘Winning Belle’ (Belle) has been very consistent in her BE100 runs so far, and she will run her first Novice at Rockingham at the end of May. I’m really excited about her future, and cannot wait to get some Novice mileage under her belt.


'Belle' at Eland Lodge giving me a great ride.



Hazzle Dazzle  (Harry) and Quick Decision (Simba) both 5yr olds have made a successful start to the year, both doing their first BE100 at Whitfield, they now head to Rockingham and then Shelford.
Both Poppy’s Law and Cooley Code have gone to new homes, so I wish them all the very best of luck. They are both super little horses, I cannot wait to see them progress!
I have Spider’s full brother ‘Web’ who is 5yrs old and has just started work, and a lovely new Cooley horse that belongs to Sheenagh Mudford called ‘Cooley Now or Never’ (Thomas) He is just about to go to his first show.

I am delighted to report many of my pupils have been competing very successfully, I love the coaching side of things, and to hear how people have got on, good or bad! A lot of success is to do with confidence, and I try and install confidence in both the horses I ride and the people I train.
 
This weekend I have Chatsworth with Denver in the CIC*, and Harry in the BYEH. I love Chatsworth and can’t wait to compete there!



 A little team photo!! ......My hardworking Apprentices (left) Jessica Wright, and (right) Laura Hedger. We work together with Haddon Training Appreticeship scheme which works very well. 

It takes a lot of people to complete the team to make this operation work well, and I am always grateful to everyone for their hard work and support. 










3 lovely horses, 2 events done, 1 Badminton entry accepted!
 
22nd March 2017
 
I'm feeling excited about what lies ahead after a couple of successful events. Horses and rider feeling in good form, all we need now is a little sunshine! 
Oasby once again was a great event to start at. I was very excited to have Coopers Law (Spider) back out again doing the Open Novice. He was very well behaved all day considering his previous event was Burghley in 2015!! He did enjoy doing a couple of extra moves in his dressage test, but I just had to laugh at him..... he thought a novice test was rather dull, so improvised..... an easy double clear, (although with a lot of time faults) filled me with great confidence.
Cooley Roller Coaster (Charlie) felt in form doing the Open Intermediate. He gave me a classy ride XC, just 1 down in the jumping, and a nice dressage. OI classes at this time of year are so competitive, and its hard work getting a good placing. Again I ran a little steadily as it was their first proper run of the year.
Denver was my final ride of the weekend, in the Open Novice. He was consistent, and ran very well, producing another double clear, time faults left us just outside the placings.
It was a shame that even though they all ran well at Oasby no one won a rosette….. They were all saving themselves for Lincoln!
 
Denver got the weekend at Lincoln off to a great start with 2nd place in his Open Novice, and the best XC ride I have had yet on him. He did a relaxed dressage and great clear showjumping, but I was especially chuff with his soft, relaxed and easy XC round.
Not to be out done, Spider and Charlie put up solid performances in both their OI sections, finishing 4th (spider) and 8th (Charlie). Spider did a smart test for 27.5, double clear and 6.8 time. Charlie did a 32 dressage, double clear and 7 time faults. I really enjoy Lincoln’s XC, its very bold and forward. The ground was superb, and we couldn’t have had it any better.
 
I’m excited to say that my entry to Badminton has been accepted…… its still plan A, but I’m taking it an event at a time, and what will be will be. Spider is in great form physically and mentally, so I’m keeping fingers and toes crossed we can stick to plan A!
 
My young team of horses are getting out and about and feeling great. They will run at Norton Disney in April. Let me introduce them…..
I have The Preece Family’s ‘Quick Decision’ (Simba) 5yo, homebred by Grafenstolz out of Jo’s 2* event mare.
Justine Collins’s ‘Winning Belle’ (Belle) 6yo by Winning Mood, who was bought by Justine last year and did a few events at BE100.
My own ‘Cooley Code’ (Blondie) 6yo by Ramiro B, and ‘Hazzle Dazzle’ (Harry) 5yo by Billy Congo. I am excited about them all, and looking forward to their first few events.
I also have the lovely ‘Poppy’s Law’ (Poppy) who is starting her campaign at Belton in the Novice.
 
Reading what I’ve just written I’ve realized I’ve got 8 very nice horses to event at the moment, and a few more waiting in the wings! I am very grateful to my wonderful owners, support team, and sponsors for their generous support. I really couldn’t do it with out them, it is always a team effort.
 
 






A winning start to the season!  Long may it continue!! 

As I leave that start box and settle in to an easy galloping rhythm towards the first few fences I grin from ear to ear, and it feels great to be back out eventing again!

I was fortunate to have 2 lovely horses at the EMDG ODE at Osberton, an event which although unaffiliated  has become a regular addition to my calender. The ground is always good, and its an ideal opportunity to blow the cobwebs away before Oasby. 

Denver, owned by the Copestake Family excelled himself in all 3 phases, feeling settled and confident. Denver is a huge, sensitive, but classy horse who is still developing, and his win was well deserved for all involved. 


'Denver' doing his test, he scored 27. 

Cooley Roller Coaster was my other ride, owned by Sheenagh Mudford. Charlie did a lovely dressage test, and a great clear XC, but 2 down in the jumping suprised me as much as it did Charlie, but I think we were still looking for hounds, so a couple of rounds might well be needed at a BS show to regain our focus in this phase! It was great to feel Charlie so confident and keen, I think his little bit of hunting has done him the world of good. 

My apprentice Laura Hedger also had a good first run of the season with Cefalu Wildfire (Johnny), who was quite keen at times, and pleased to be out! We all head to Oasby as our next run. 






Back on grass.....

23rd Feb 17

It's been a busy February so far, with a couple of outings XC schooling again,  some BS shows at Valeview, and 2 days at the Dressage Regional Finals. 

It was time to dust off the bling, and visit the dark side.........pure dressage....... Spider qualified for both the Medium and Advanced Medium Regional Finals at Bishop Burton. It is always good to get in an International Arena with a bit of atmosphere. Spider coped brilliantly until he spooked at the gallery above us, and became a little uptight in the Medium on the first day, but he was more settled on the second day and although a little spooky, held it together for 4th place in the Advanced Medium. I was really pleased with him, his strength and ability to do the movements has improved so much, the tests feel easier than last year. 

I have been competing at most of the BS shows at Valeview. Similar to the dressage, its good practise to get in the ring and jump some tracks. I have jumped a few 1.30m classes with Denver, owned by The Copestake Family, Denver has a huge amount of scope, and can make 1.30m seem very easy! 

A few dry days, and I jumped at the chance of XC schooling at Somerford Park at the end of last week and took 6 horses. The 4am start was well worth the effort, the horses felt great, full of confidence and ready to go! Spider was just awesome, and felt like he'd never been away from it, and Charlie's little bit of hunting has payed off, he felt very happy. Somerford Park is the most amazing facility, I just wish it was a bit closer! 


My 5yr old 'Harry' (Hazzle Dazzle) Having a great time on the XC at Somerford Park.

Norton Disney XC which is a bit closer, is also excellent, and I took a few more horses there a few days after Somerford. To have everything XC schooled by Mid Feb is pretty good going, so when Hurricane Doris hit us today I decided that a quiet day staying safe out the gales was well overdue! 

Its the EMDG One Day Event this Sunday...... Denver and Charlie are going to get the seson started..... I hope Doris has disappeared by then!





Pre Season Training with Chris Bartle

27th Jan 2017



I have just returned home from a fab weeks training with Christopher Bartle at his base in Yorkshire. I took Coopers Law (Spider) and enjoyed a lesson most days, covering all 3 phases of Eventing with Chris. I think that link, and training covering all 3 phases is vital to the sucess and well being of our event horses. It is always useful to train with specialists of each discipline, but I feel its easy to expect too much from our event horses, and It has become a common problem in my eyes that people focus on the dressage or the showjumping training, and very rarely train for the XC, or put the emphasis on the fitness work. 

Below is a short clip of some jumping training indoors. I also managed to ride outside a lot, and practise the new 4* test which will be used at Badminton. Chris's training was simple and easy to follow, with big improvements. A lot of focus was on where I was looking, and where my seat and legs were and what they were doing. A brilliant little tip which really helped was praising Spider with a pat behind the saddle rather than on his neck. This is really effective as Spider generally likes to pull me forward and down in his work, and when I praise him by leaning forward I can undo all the good work of getting him back on his hind leg so quickly. 
Another good little tip was that you imagine you have the bit in the horses mouth without any cheek pieces, so if the contact is not forward and steady the bit would fall out the horses mouth.....
Little tips and fresh ways of thinking can really improve performance. I hope to go again in the not too distant future, and in the meantime practise what I have learnt.

This morning I enjoyed a visit from my wonderful Sponsor Vanessa Fairfax. Their Saddles, Bridles, Girths and Headcollars are the very best on the market for long term horse performance and comfort. If you have not tried their products yet, please do, the difference will speak for itself. I am so grateful to the Fairfax team who support me, and I am very excited about the coming season. 










Happy New Year Everyone! 

15th Jan 17


Cant believe it's the 15th of January already, the older I get, the quicker time seems to go. Glad to report that we are all good here at Low Woods, and chomping at the bit for another Eventing season to start. I've had a busy time with most of the horses staying in work for the winter months, but I have enjoyed some hunting, showjumping and dressge competitions on a variety of horses. Coopers Law who is aimed at Badminton, has had a fruitful lot of dressage shows qualifying for the BD Regional Championships at both Medium and Advanced Medium level. He will contest his regionals at Bishop Burton College in February. 
Cooley Roller Coaster has been an amazing hunter with the Quorn and Belvoir, and he thinks life is just fantastic at the moment, I've never had him looking so fit and well! I thought a change of scene would suit him better than a holiday this winter and it seems to have really paid off. 
I have enjoyed a great ski holiday over the new year with family and friends, and we had a great night of dancing and fireworks seeing the New Year in. I'm hoping that is a good oman for a lively and fun 2017. 
Glad to report I have painted my old show jumps, and invested in a few new ones, and my favourite new toy being 8 Cavaletti! I am very proud of my smart jumps so if anyone is keen for a jump lesson, get in touch! 

My plans over the next couple of months include more showjumping, and a few days training with Chris Bartle, which I am really looking forward to, a day out at the Eventing Forum, and a spot of horse shopping in Ireland.  Trips to Somerford Park or Aston for a play on the all weather XC will be welcomed before aiming at Oasby Horse Trials as my first event........... 





All over for another year, but im hoping 2017 will be a good one! 

18th Oct 16

I like to start my season at Oasby in March, and finish it there in October, and this year I missed riding there in March due to Injury, but had 4 great rides this weekend, all bringing home a rossette!

Saturday I had Cooley Roller Coaster in his second Intermediate, and Wow Mr consistant pulled it out the bag again! Double clear, and 7th place. What a star he is, never finishing out of the top 8 in all his runs this year! Our partnership has gone from strength to strength this year, and Im excited about campaigning him next year. 
I also had a good ride on Denver, a horse I rode a couple of years ago for his owners, and I am just putting some miles on his clock. He is a lovely horse, and really impressed me today with a double clear and 7th place as well. 

Sunday was the most disgusting day of torrential rain I had experienced all year!! Thankfully my 2 horses; Nimrod and Cooley Code went really well to finish 2nd and 3rd in their BE100 sections.


'Cooley Code' jumping a great clear xc to 3rd place in the BE100 at Oasby. 










Osberton CIC*, and Little Downham

5th Oct 16


Stepping up a level, is always a challenge, and I feel a lot of satisfaction when my horses tackle that next level with a smile on their face. Last weekend i had the pleasure of Poppy's Law in her first CIC*, the 6yr old championship at Osberton. She was a little star, and finished 22nd out of over 80 competitors. She performed a very nice test, just a small mistake doing a flying change in one of her counter canters. One judge loved her, 71%, the other didn't like it and gave us 63%. What a diffrence! Just shows you how subjective judging can be. Our penalty score was 48, so I was aiming for under 50, so we achieved that. 



The lovely Poppy's Law pointing her toes at Osberton!


The showjumping was big for her level of experience and she jumped her socks off just rolling the middle part of the combination. The following day she was amazing XC. She galloped round, inside the time, giving me a super ride, nand making me feel excited about next year with her. What a little star she is, she will now have her winter holiday back at home in Derbyshire.

The following day, the 3.30am alarm was worth it when Cooley Roller Coaster jumped a double clear in his first Intermediate at Little Downham! Having gone so well at Blair his owner Sheenagh and myself decided to test the water at the next level, to see what we could be aiming for next year. Charlie did a 30 dressage, and just 8 time faults finishing 6th. Charlie goes to Oasby Intermediate in a couple of weeks time as his last run. 

Laura and Johnny also had a good event at Little Downham, double clear and finished just out the top 10. They have one run left as well this year. 


21st Sept 2016


I can count the number of events I have left on one hand, and a couple of early mornings Autumn Hunting means we are heading towards the winter. A great time to train, reflect, plan, prepare, get freezing cold and question ones sanity! 

I've had some fun recently. Firstly at Frickley Park, contesting my first BE80! Jo Preece's 4yo homebred 'Simba' had his first event and went very well indeed. It was lovely to have Jo there too. Simba jumped a double clear, with a nice test of 32, and was brilliantly behaved all day. He felt silky smooth XC, and will now have a break again before coming up as a 5yr old to futher his education. I also took Cooley Code (Blondie) my lovely little chestnut bred for the job by Ramiro B out of a TB mare. He was also very smart, doing a 27 test, and double clear. That was his 2nd 90 competition, and sadly because I have ridden at Advanced level I can not be competitive, but its a great way to start their eventing career. Ellie won the ribbons at Frickley with a great 5th place in the BE90 on Clover. 



Blondie in his first BE100 at Allerton. He was 8th. 

Allerton was next on the agenda, we had Blondie doing the 100, Poppy having her pre Osberton prep run, and Laura doing the novice on Johnny. Blondie stormed round the 100, finishing in 8th. A lovely dressage test of 28, one unlucky pole down on a twisty track, and a great clear xc in the time. He feels like he really likes his job! 
Poppy did a lovely test in the Novice, scoring 29, then an uncharitaristic 4 faults at the first in the SJ, not sure what caught her attention but she soon regained her concentration to jumped clear. A fresh and keen XC round, where she stormed through the finish left me excited feeling how good she felt. She is really beginning to cover the ground, and loves her job! 
Laura did a smart test, although we were dissapointed with her mark. Johnny is improving all the time. An unlucky 2 down SJ, and a small miss communication XC left Laura feeling a little frustrated, but its early days at Novice level, and they are both gaining positive experience with each outing. 
Teaching has been really busy recently, and I am enjoying helping such keen people, and hearing how they get on at their events. So huge well done to you all getting on so well. With Osberton just round the corner, I am just putting some final preparations in with Poppy, who will be in the CIC* 6yo class, and her big brother Spider is doing the 2* Guinea Pig test for more arena exposure!




4th Sept 2016

Feeling Inspired! 

Normally at this point in the year, I am beginning to feel a bit worn out especially if its been full steam since March, but having had a slightly quieter year than normal, I am feeling VERY keen and chomping at the bit to get out there and compete! My enthusiasm has been fueled by a recent trip to Germany to watch Ingrid Klimke at her home, training her horses. What an Inspiration! Just fantastic to experience. Thank you to Gill Watson and the MTBTG group for organising the trip. 


Lunchtime in Germany, it was an inspiring trip, and great fun to meet new people! 
 

This last month has been pretty busy. My young ones all made their eventing debut at Shelford very successfully, and they all felt really confident and happy. Both 4yr olds were placed, and Cooley Code would have been right up in the money but had to be HC because of me! The 4yr olds will have a rest now, they have achieved everything I have asked of them with confidence and class. Cooley Code will carry on competing as he is 5 now, and needs some more events under his belt. He felt class xc. 


Hazzle Dazzle (Harry) competing in the 4yr old class at Shelford. He finished 6th. 

 

We left a very hot Shelford, did a quick turn around and set off to a miserable, wet Somerford Park with Poppy’s Law, Cooley Roller Coaster (Charlie) and my apprentice Laura’s Cefalu Wildfire (Johnny) all in the Novice. I love Somerford, but I wasn’t prepared for the weather, and was quite glad when I had finished and could change out of dripping wet clothes! Charlie was having his final prep run before Blair, and felt great. I had done quite a bit of extra fitness work, and he stormed round the XC. He jumped a double clear with a few time, and was 8th. Poppy was slightly distracted by the window wipers on the judges car in her test, but still performed very sweetly for a 35. She also jumped a super double clear, what a little star. Laura did a good test, a little misunderstanding at a fence in the SJ and a fab XC, she was thrilled with Johnny who is improving all the time. 

Charlie was bright as a button after Somerford so it was all systems go to get packed up for Blair. Ellie and I left very early on the Tuesday morning, and unfortunately due to night road closures had a very long journey up to beautiful Blair Castle, but it was worth it when we arrived to perfect going, and such an amazing setting. 

Charlie put his best foot forward and couldn’t have done any more for me all week. He really has a heart of gold. When I walked the course I thought there was plenty out there to jump, but that the hills would take there toll, so until I was riding it, I couldn’t predict how he’d feel. Charlie galloped round really well, and jumped everything easily. We finished well inside the time. I was really impressed with how he went, the ground really suited him, and I think the extra fitness work, and use of a heart rate monitor in the last couple of months has really paid off. 

We went in to the showjumping in 10th place, and he jumped a careful clear for me, moving us up the order to 8th. I was thrilled for his owner Sheenagh Mudford who has been so supportive in our journey so far. My mum and her friend Elaine also took the trip up to Blair to support us, whilst Laura and Justine kept the yard running smoothly at home. I am so grateful to my support team, as nothing would be possible without them. Thank you! You all know who you are! 


Sheenagh Mudfords 'Cooley Roller Coaster' at the trot up at Blair Castle. Thanks to Ellie Harding for making him look so beautiful!

Thankfully the drive home from Blair was smoother, and we arrived back in Stathern at 01:30 Monday morning. I then set off at 05:30 to catch my flight to Germany, returning on Wednesday evening at 10pm. Thursday morning I rode a very excited Coopers Law in the main arena at Burghley as the Guinea pig dressage rider. Nothing like 10 days of preparation (or not!) It was an opportunity not to be missed, and although quite excited, he listened in the arena, and apart from missing one change he did everything I asked. 


Spider having fun in the main arena in the sunshine! 

Wow what a weekend of sport at Burghley. An amazing competition, that XC dominated. 4* competitions are in a league of their own, and it takes total trust in a partnership to tackle those enormous fences! Well done to Chris Burton a deserved winner and an immaculate xc round. 

So its back to reality after a fantastic couple of weeks. I am hoping Charlie will do a couple of Intermediates before the end of the season, and Poppy is still aiming for the 6yr old CIC* at Osberton.

Some of my young ones will be up for sale, so if you are looking please get in touch. They all have exciting futures, and without buying and selling I can not keep this place running. 

Still on the look out for another apprentice (needs to ride well and have competition experience) so if you know anyone who may be interested, please get in touch with Justine through my website. 






24th July 2016

Exciting times ahead with some talented Young Horses

I have been busy producing some new young horses over the past month. My little batch of 4yr olds had their very first competitive outing at Fieldhouse BYEH class last Thursday. I was very proud of all of them, they tried very hard, and were a pleasure to ride. It ended up being a very long day, but they all coped well. There were 60 in the 4yr old class! 
Hazzle Dazzle (Harry) who is mine, and I have had him since buying him from his breeder as a yearling. He is by Billy Congo, and is such a kind, easy going horse, showing a lot of talent. Its really nice having one of my own again! He finished top of the pack in 6th place. I am hoping to do the 4yr old class at Shelford in August. 



Harry at Fieldhouse BYEH. He was 6th. 

All About Gold (Bling) belongs to owner/breeder Jo Newton. She is a super mare, again with a great temperament, and took it all in her stride, jumping very well. She finished 8th and showed a great gallop in the final 10. She will also go to Shelford.
Clementine De Brenne (Clemmi) owned by my mum Yvonne Chandler, showed all her class with some high marks in the dressage and jumping phases, but with some growing and developing still to do she didnt score as well in the confirmation leaving her on 70, just out the top 10. 
Golden Recipe (Elmo) Owned by Patricia Pytches, also rose to the occasion, and jumped a very good round, and just finished outside the top 10 on a score of 68. 
I do enjoy producing the young ones, and seeing how they improve. This little bunch are certainly ones to watch! 

Poppy's Law has enjoyed good runs at Skipton, Buckminster and Aston Le Walls Novice. Buckminster was testing this year, as the rain just did not stop, and the going was just awful. Poppy tried her heart out for me to finish 5th. I hadn't ridden in those sort of conditions for a very long time! I was certainly glad that Aston Le Walls was a nice, confidence giving run for her after Buckminster. Poppy's aim is still the 6yr old CIC* at Osberton. 

Winning Belle (Belle) owned by Justine Collins is a new addition, and has made an exemplary start to her eventing career. She is 5rs old, and seems to have taken to Eventing really easily, notching up 2 double clears at BE100, and a 3rd at Breckenborough in the 5yr old section with a lovely double clear. She will have a little holiday before continuing in the Autumn. 

Cooley Roller Coaster (Charlie)  has had a quieter time after Tattersalls, but started back Eventing at Aston Le Walls. He did a smart test and clear SJ round before we decidied not to run him XC, and save his legs for another day. He is aiming for the 1* at Blair Castle at the end of August. 

I am having fun doing some dressage with Spider, we are aiming for a couple of shows in August, so watch this space! 

It will be exciting to see how the Olympics unfold, and I wish Team GB lots and lots of luck! I am really enjoying the TV coverage of the Event Rider Masters, and with the 4th leg being at Gatcombe, the same weekend as the Olympics, (6th/7th Aug) I will be glued to the Computer to enjoy the very best of our sport. 

I have to say I feel very lucky to be sponsored by Fairfax saddles and bridles, my horses feel so happy and comfortable. If you haven't tried them yet i really recommend you do, the difference is amazing. I'd also like to thank Saracen Horse Feeds, as i feel my horses look fantastic in the condition and their coats gleam. The picture of Harry (above) really shows that. 







5th June 2016

So far.....so good!!! 





So it's been a busy few weeks, I got back from Tattersalls CCI* in the early hours of this morning, and I am determined to write my blog before I crash and sleep tonight! 

So last month the highlight was going to Chatsworth, simply one of my very favorite events of the year. Cooley Roller Coaster (Charlie) was contesting the CIC* in his warm up for Tattersalls for the second year running, and Poppy’s Law (Poppy) was contesting her first Novice. (Rather a big first novice, but Bradwall was cancelled due to the wet, so I was open minded as to wether I was running her or not) 

Ever the professional, Charlie did a smart accurate test to lie in 2nd place overnight on 42.5, he then jumped extremely well in the showjumping, annoyingly just touching the front rail of an oxer early on the course, but I couldn’t help feel pleased at how much he’d improved from this time last year. 

XC he gave me a great ride, eating up the challenge on perfect going, finishing 5 seconds inside the time pulling us back to second place in the big 1* section. This filled me with lots of confidence for his main aim the CCI* at Tattersalls, but I did just want to practise a couple of SJ rounds as with only running him a couple of times this spring I felt we just needed to push ourselves out of the comfort zone, so between Chatsworth and Tattersalls I contested 2 BS Foxhunter classes which were quite challenging, but really paid dividends on the last day in Tatts. 

Poppy rose to her huge challenge at Chatsworth beyond all my expectations! She never put a foot wrong all day. She did a lovely, neat test and scored a great score of 24, then jumped a clear SJ, and went on to storm round the XC clear with only 1.6 time faults and WIN! Boom! 


Poppy looking classy, and very similar style to full brother Spider! 


Proud moment collecting Poppy's prize with Nicky

 

Its not often my horses suprise me as much as that! I felt so pleased for her owner/ breeder Nicky Dickson, and the Williams family as they live (and Poppy was born) a few miles from Chatsworth at Hathersage, so to win on home ground so effortlessly was just fab.

Cooley Galwaybay (Katie) who is 6 like Poppy unfortunatly got balloted from Chatsworth so she went to do her first novice at Rockingham. By the Sunday the ground was quite deep so I took her steadily XC but she jumped a double clear and won her first point so I was really pleased with her. Poppy and Katie head to Catton Park and Skipton to gain some miles at Novice level now.

With Charlie in great form, Ellie and I headed out to Ireland last Monday, I hadn’t competed in Tattersalls for 6 years so I was looking forward to the trip. We arrived in amazing sunshine, which stayed with us all week much to the envy of everyone in England I think! Charlie has such a fabulous temperament that traveling him is pretty stress free, and it takes nothing out of him, so he arrived fresh and ready. Our trot up was Tueday, and dressage Wednesday lunchtime. Once again he produced a very rideable, fluent test to score a personal best of 41.5! We lay in 3rd place going in to the XC. The 1* XC was quite challenging in places, but very galloping and flat ground so he coped easily to finish inside the time, although the ground was a little on the firm side for him and his way of going.


Charlie makes nothing of the water complex in Tatts



His wonderfully supportive owner Sheenagh Mudford was so thrilled, it is so rewarding to give owners such fun and enjoyment with their horses! We remained in 3rd place, the course didn’t cause too many problems and the time seemed easy to get. Charlie sailed through the final trot up looking fabulous thanks to Ellie, and so it was just the showjumping to go........could we magic that clear round I knew he was capable of?????.... 


YES CHARLIE!! Clear all the way...

 

He felt great in the warm up, I was very concious not to jump too many outside, so he was fresh in the ring. It paid off, he jumped a class clear round for me, I was delighted. Jock Paget lying in 2nd had a rail, so I moved up a place. I finished 2nd, I couldn’t have asked anymore of him, and it was lovely to see him relaxing in the field this morning, munching away...both on his feet and whilst lying down!


Proud owner Sheenagh with Charlie after prizegiving


 

He is quite different to a lot of other horses I have ridden as he is so laid back, but he tries so hard for me when it matters, and I love that in him. We have some great pics of this week, it really was amazing in such wonderful sunshine, not like being in Ireland at all! 

Charlie will have an easier time for a few weeks whilst I make a plan for the Autumn for him. 

Special thank you to my home team who kept things running smoothly at home, couldn’t do it with out them! 

 



Back in the swing of things!

12th April 16



Well, the last few months haven’t quite gone to plan! I had a silly accident and badly injured one of my fingers which has been really inconvenient, but It’s well on the mend now, and I am really looking forward to the rest of the season. My home team have been brilliant in keeping things going and once again Tim and Isla Bennett have helped me by having some of the horses on the Water Treadmill. Great pre season core strength work, and they really do benefit from it. Kelsey and Ellie have been justly rewarded for their hard work in keeping the yard up to speed with a solid start to their Eventing campaign with a 3rd for Ellie, and a 4th for Kelsey at Oasby in the BE90, and Ellie 10th at Norton Disney as well. 


Ellie finishing the XC, thrilled with Clover's round, and 10th place in the BE90.
 
I competed at Lincoln the following weekend in the BE100 with Cooley Roller Coaster, and Cooley Galwaybay, It was great ground, and surprisingly nice weather (for Lincoln) and both horses ran really well. Rather too well infact, as I managed to get 10 time faults for going too quickly on Cooley Galwaybay, dropping us out the prizes, but Cooley Roller Coaster was 3rd in his section, bringing home a prize.
 
This weekend I went to Norton Disney, a really nice event, and great education for the horses. Thankfully the ground held up to the continuous rain we seem to be having, and 5 horses from our yard ran there. Ellie was first on Saturday and was placed 10th with another great performance on Clover.
I was on Sunday with 3 rides; Poppy’s Law and Cooley Galwaybay in the 100, and Cooley Roller Coaster in the Open Novice. Poppy excelled herself and was pleased to be having her first run of the year with a smart dressage of 24, followed by a double clear to win her section. Katie (Cooley Galwaybay) did a nice test although she got a little stuck in the mud, and then 1 down in the showjumping, but flew round the XC to finish 8th, and Charlie (Cooley Roller Coaster) was very happy to be Eventing again, and did a nice test and double clear with a few XC time faults (too slow this time!) to finish 9th.
Amy Martin and her lovely horse Sparky’s Reflection also came from our yard as Sparky has been with me for 6 weeks. Amy was 4th in the ON, so it was a rosette for everyone!
Mum crowned the day with an excellent picnic, and I loved  seeing all my long standing, supportive owners Sheenagh Mudford, Nicky Dickson and Dick and Karen Goddard all at the same time, for the first time this year! 
 
Looking forward, we have Eland Lodge, Kelsall and Bradwall coming up, just hope the rain stays away! 


Poppy (Poppy's Law) having a jump at home before going to Norton Disney where she won the BE100. 


Katie (Cooley Galwaybay) at World Class training, I am very grateful to UK Sport and the Podium Potential Programme for the training I receive. I have had Katie going in new Fairfax Saddles and a Fairfax bridle this year and WOW what a difference in her in every way. She is softer, more rideable and more even in the contact. The difference is just outstanding. 

My clinics have been going really well, and I am loving coaching people at all levels, and helping them towards achieving their goals. Its so rewarding to get a message after their event saying they have gone well! Sometimes little adjustments can make big differences. Keep an eye on my website and Facebook pages for more information. 









Happy New Year!
 
So all the festivities are over for yet another year, and 2016 has arrived! I have had a great couple of months painting, coaching, horse shopping,  hunting, riding, sun bathing and of course becoming an owner of a fabulous new Whittaker Horsebox!  I kicked off 2016 at Arena UK on New Years Day jumping my new little 4yo round the British Novice. I don’t think I have ever been to a show on New Years Day before! Must be feeling extra keen this year.
 
2015 had some serious highs and some real lows for me, but in all a fabulous season shared with a great team of Owners, Yard team, trainers and supporters. 
A special thank you to my team of Sponsors during 2015 for all their support; Fairfax Saddles, Saracen Horse Feeds, Trailer Vision, De Niro Boots, Tonics boots, Bennett Equine, Ride Fit, From The Neck Up and  Tech Clothing,
 
I am pleased to say I have some additional sponsors joining us this year, more details coming soon…….
Kelsey Read has joined the team on the Haddon Training Scheme with her horse Bailey. Kelsey worked last year for Rodney Powell, so has valuable Eventing experience. Kelsey has also enjoyed some days hunting with the Belvoir.
Ellie Harding has taken on Head Girl, and has found a super new young horse called ‘Clover’ who has been enjoying many days hunting, and can’t wait to get her out Eventing.
Justine Collins who lives in Stathern has joined the team to take control of the Office and has been successfully organizing my Clinics, and my Open Evening  (Burghley Night) which was a huge success at the end of October. I hope Justine will be a great asset to us, with so much paperwork involved in everything we do these days, I cant wait to start the year with someone to take control of it all!
 
I have spent many hours looking at horses in the last couple of months. Its not easy to find the special ones, that match your budget! I am excited by some of the new additions, and I am still looking to buy 3, or 4 year olds, so if any one has anything please drop me a message.
 
With the yard almost full now horses have come back from their holidays its all systems go here, with some indoor Showjumping planned and a bit more Hunting to be had yet! I am wandering what the weather is going to throw at us next………. I am dreading the real cold weather if it comes.
 



Open Evening, 30th Oct 2015

I thought I would share the opening video of my presentation held last night here at Low Woods. It was a really enjoyable evening, and a great way to end the 2015 season. 



Thanks to my supporters and all of the team that helped to make this great night happen.

Top row; Isla Bennet from Bennet Equine, Kate Hayward from Saracen, Ellie Harding - head groom, Nicola Dickson - Owner of Spider, Dani Olding of From The Neck Up, Vanessa Fairfax of Fairfax Saddles, Tim Bennet of Bennet Equine
Front Row; Emilie Chandler, Sally Williams - Owner of Spider, Justine Collins - Office


Osberton Young Horse Championships

3rd Oct 2015


I only ended up taking Claire Whites 'Quite Something' (Ted) to Osberton. Although I had qualified others, they had either been sold, or gone home for a holiday. Ted is a lovely young horse, just 4yrs old, he is a really nice horse to ride. He came 10th in the BYEH Final at Burghley, and Osberton was to be his last event of the year. I was delighted that he didnt really put a foot wrong all day, and finished on his dressage score in 4th. He was also best British Bred, as his owner claire White also bred him. Big thankyou to Caroline Harrison who kindly came with me for the day to give me a hand. We had a lovely day, and even managed lunch in the EHOA tent, VERY civilised!!
The sun shone at Osberton, and once again it was a wonderful place to be. I was amazed how many horses were on site, and my mind boggled to think of the value on that field, of both horses and horseboxes!! I was sad not to be staying longer than a day, but I am keeping a keen eye on the results whilst painting my stables! 


Ted is a really classy horse with a bright future ahead of him. He is being produced for Claire's daughter Isobel. 


Photos kindly taken by Gillian Fleming. Thank you. 



Time Flies by……..

30th September 2015.

 
Time has flown by since an amazing week at Burghley CCI**** with Coopers Law. So I apologise for not posting my blog sooner! Means I can just write more!
 
Trips to Allerton Park, and Kelsall Hill  followed on after Burghley, with a few younger horses,  and some new rides. I enjoyed a win at the latter with a new ride Stormhill Clover owned by Julia Birkin.
I am pleased to announce new support from ‘Tonics” boots which are amazingly comfortable, and De Niro boots for my new brown leather riding/ competition  boots. I have to thank R&R Country in Melton who has supplied them.


 Having some time out with Spider after Burghley, wearing my new Tonics boots which are very comfortable, and really smart.

I have had great fun teaching at my new Clinic’s, which have all been full. Everyone has been great to teach. Its been lovely to hear how they have progressed and how they have got on at their competitions. I am looking forward to the dates through the winter, and inspiring people towards next year.  Justine Collins has done a great job of organizing them, and I am very appreciative of her help.
 
I can count the number of events left on one hand, and its time to plan ahead and set our selves up for a great 2016. My new lorry is nearly ready, and paint is arriving to give the stables a facelift.  I am continually on the road searching for new horses to join the team, so if you have anything, or know of one please give me a call.
 
It is all change here, as Jitka Hola has left to go Self Employed and rent her own yard, we wish her all the very best for the future.
With horses going home for their winter holidays, Ellie and I will be busy doing yard maintenance and having a good sort out. Ellie is also looking to buy a young horse to bring on, and would love some days hunting (if any one needs a rider!) We will also be recruiting new members of staff soon, so if interested please get in touch.
 
Now you are up to speed with my general goings  on, let me tell you all about my Burghley week, with an amazing horse, a great team around me, and a few leg shaking, teeth chattering nerves!!
 
 
 
 
Burghley 2015
 
Burghley was a dream come true, to drive through the gates with a horse fit and ready to tackle the test after 12 years of hoping was an achievement in itself! I decided everything else that week would be a bonus.
Who’d have thought that Spider would be the one…….
 
I have several memories of a young Spider, one lasting memory is a day at Arena UK in his 5th year (a very testing year for our partnership) when he just seemed impossible, and his temperament very nearly got the better of me. I sat and cried in the lorry, and wandered if I could carry on with him. Thankfully I did. He went on to win the 5yr old Championship at the end of that year, and gradually he got better and better. The more I challenged him, the easier he became. Our partnership grew and grew.
 
First Impressions
I walked the course on Wednesday at Burghley, and having already watched the course preview, I had a vague idea of the questions ahead, but the TV lies about heights, widths, and angles! There is nothing to compare a 4* to, It doesn’t matter how many 3*’s, or Advanced tracks I have done, a 4* is simply in a class of its own. The fences started big and wide, and didn’t let up.
On my first walk, I thought Capabilities Cutting with the anglesd corners was a head scratcher as either way would have been fine, but a choice needed to be made. My gut feeling was that I liked the left side, as it gave Spider more time to read the question.
The gate on the Dairy Mound was an eye full, and I didn’t love it. I kept thinking of all the gates I had jumped out hunting, and that I would be fine, I just needed to get on with it. I was clear of my alternative, but was secretly excited about the challenge of the gate!  (I admit it looked better by about coursewalk 3!!)
The Rolex combination was another one I spent time thinking about, trying to find a line, wandering if 3 strides was wild, but felt 4 would be tight for him…… I walked this fence a lot of times!
The Trout Hatchery was like a gymnastic excersise on a serpentine! Spider used to creep in to Water but this year he has been very bold, and I hoped he stayed that way.
The Landrover Discovery Valley is a big question, and coming later in the course the ground is a bigger issue than the fence here, where it dips away infront of you, so the horses really cant see what they have to do until they are on it. I always think it is amazing that they can assess a situation so quickly. I had walked the course 5 times. Spider hadn’t seen one jump.
The next question, the famous leafpit. This fence has been in the course for as long as I can remember. Standing on top of there it looks a long way down! This year there was a moon fence 2 strides before it, I was dreading a mishap at the moon, and shooting up his neck, as the drop over his head would have been a long way down! From there it was a matter of keeping safe and getting home, as all the difficult questions were behind me.
So my first impressions………I thought it was big, and that so long as he kept his faith we would be ok. It was now or never to take the challenge, and he was well prepared, fit and confident.


 Having a chuckle during our first trot up. I was so happy to be there!


Dressage
Meanwhile trot up, and then dressage took place. I was thrilled with his test, he was more rideable than I have ever had him in such an atmosphere. It was the first time I had ridden the 4* dressage test, although I had practiced it quite a bit. We made 2 mistakes, firstly the first flying change from the medium canter was late behind. This had been great in practice previously, but the day before I had seemed to struggle with the movement, and it showed in the test. Then our second mistake, and most costly was that I didn’t establish the halt before the rein back for 3 seconds, and he scored 1’s and a 2. He had got tense in the medium walk just before the halt, and was very edgey in to the halt, so I favoured a brief halt so as not to upset him. Costly.
He executed the rest of the movements very well, and I was cross with myself as I halted in the wrong place for my last halt. I had leant it this way. I wont do that again!  In all, I was pleased. I was very grateful to Tracie Robinson for her help, and making me smile, instead of biting my lip when concentrating!  I felt managing him in a different way all week had really paid off. I had worked him away from the atmosphere so he didn’t get tense and then sore.  I hadn’t done the arena familiarization as I normally would, and I had lunged him a bit too. My score of 52 was a disappointing one for me. But to get the score I want I have to have no mistakes at all. That is what I am working towards!

Friday was the turn of the Young Event Horses. I had Cooley Galwaybay in the 5yo's and Quite Something in the 4yo. Both horses went really well, the judges didnt mark Katie well enough to get back in to the top 10 which was dissapointing, but Ted scored well and went in to the final 10. Much to my dissapointment the judge pulled him in 9th after the gallop, and overall we finished 10th. Still a good result, but he really galloped well, and I expected to pull up th line, not drop down! Guess that is just an opinion on the day. 
 
XC DAY
It was raining Saturday morning, I could hear it on the lorry as I woke up. I hoped it wouldn’ stay too long and make the day a wet one. I had arranged to have a walk round with Mark Kyle early that morning, as I often chat to Mark about a course, he knows me and Spider, and I needed someone to communicate how the course was riding before I left the start box. I had my plan A, with various options. The final course walk went well, I was happy, and I had a plan. I gave Spider some gentle excersise early, then left him in peace whilst I went back to the lorry and waited until the XC began at 11am. I had the luxury of watching the first few. It was all jumping well, the time hard to get. My nerves were running, adrenalin going, and my legs were shaking. Once I got my foot in the stirrup I was much more relaxed, I had a job to do, and I was going to give it my best shot. Jo Preece did a great job of leading Spider in to the start box, he can be quite excited. As I left the box, my immediate focus was on fence 1. As I landed I felt a rush of adrenalin, and said to myself ‘Lets do this’.
He cruised over the first few fences, feeling good, meeting them out of a rhythm.  Just the start I wanted. The first big question was the bounce out of the water, and although we got there a little far off he jumped it boldly and easily. He made Capabilities cutting feel so easy, like it was in a Novice track. We actually ran a bit deep to the next simple fence, and rubbed it in front, causing him to screw a little in the air. I heard the crowd gasp! It was a long pull up to the Cottesmore leap, and the ground was quite holding. He couldn’t believe his eyes when I guided him to the triple brush arrowhead 5 strides after the massive Cottesmore Leap! I gave him a pat, and let him take a breath, then it was all focus on the gate on the diary mound. Again he popped it, making it feel so easy. My doubts about the Rolex were about right, and 3 strides was long for him, and he had to make an extra stretch to get to the back rail of the corner, just clipping it with his back feet. He then ran on well, and despite running too deep to the first white oxer, he did the rest of that combination foot perfect. The trout Hatchery……..what a horse, he stayed on his line, and it felt great. I was a bit far off the step up to the bouce, and it looked worse on the replay from the video camera than how it felt. Pulling out the Trout Hatchery he began to feel a little tired. He jumped very well through the Discovery Valley and the Leaf pit. We were on our way. He was tired pulling up to the Main Arena fence, but he never lost his jump. I was just aware to support him, and get him home. We did get home, what a feeling of elation coming through the finish, we did it! 13 time faults was fair. I had been on my minute markers until about minute 8, and then I guess I looked after him. I couldn’t have been happier. My team did a great job looking after him at the finish, and come Saturday night he looked so well, sound and happy.


Bouncing out the water which was the first big question at fence 6.


Spider made this fence feel easy. It was massive!


The white oxer, jumping it well


 Through the finish......we did it! 


Showjumping……the final day
 
Lying 23rd overnight, we were to showjump in the top 25 which started at 2pm. Trot up was early in the morning, and thankfully Spider flew through without any doubt he was fit and sound.  I then walked the SJ course, and Ellie had the fun of riding an excited spider back to the stables!  The SJ course was a long one! It would be the first time Spider had jumped in such a ring with the grandstands all round. Like in the dressage he gets quite tense in the bigger atmospheres, so I hoped he would be ok. Di Lampard kindly came to help me warm in and support, great to see her there, Spider was feeling well, and worked in well over the practice fences. In the arena he felt like he shrank in to himself a little in that atmosphere, and some of the fences were quite spooky.  He jumped well, and tried really hard for me. We were a little unlucky to clip the gate behind, and then he just didn’t quite get enough height at the last fence. 2 down, which was unfortunate, as I wanted a clear, but realistically we can work towards a clear for the future. He prooved he could at Bramham this year.
We finished in 21st place. A fantastic week. The fairytale would have been a top 10 finish, but we can keep working towards that, I believe it is achievable!


 Champagne reception prize giving. I was 2nd in the pairs competition with Chris Burton. I love this pictute. Teamwork makes the dreamwork! (Nicky Dickson on left of me, Sally Williams on the right)

I have to thank Laurie and Kerrie Ibbotson for lending me their lovely lorry for the week, Ellie Harding for being super groom at only her 2nd three day event with me, Jo Preece for being a brilliant help especially on XC day. (Jo was with me at my first Burghley too,!) Mum for the pic nic, Dani Olding for the Mood board (lol) Paul for holding the fort at home, and supporting me there. Sally and Nicky who are amazing owners, and supporters.  Thanks to Alex Knott my vet who came and supported and made sure Spider had all he needed, and to Racheal Greetham my physio who kept him feeling good, and helped us lots after XC.
Thanks to all the people who were kind enough to send good luck messages, and their support through the event, especially the loud cheers on XC day!
A huge thankyou to everyone who has supported me along the way, and to my sponsors and supporters Fairfax Saddles, Saracen Horse Feeds, Tech Clothing, H3O Sports Drinks and Herbal Life, Bennett Equine, Ride Fit, Tonics boots, De Niro, and Trailervision.





Shelford Manor

20th Aug 15


It was a short journey to Shelford, which makes a nice change! We had 3 horses doing the BE100 on Weds, and Ted (4yo) doing a 4yo qualifier on Thurs. Im pleased to say Poppy's Law had another win in the BE100!! Clever Poppy, she is such a little professional, and takes it all in her stride. She is certainly following in big brothers footsteps!
Sheenagh Mudfords 'Cooley Galwaybay' also went very well, and finished 3rd. She jumped a super double clear, and really felt good XC. Really great photo of her below;



Fly The FlagII was having his last run with me, and he was 9th. 
Quite Something (Ted) put up a solid performance for a baby, and finished 4th, qualifying him for Osberton 4yo final. So it was a good couple of days, and Shelford team had done a great job with the ground on the XC. 
So its quiet here this weekend, Im envious of those running at the lovely Somerford Park, one of my favourite events! 



Homme House, and Hartpury CIC***

16th Aug 2015

I was south bound all week, firstly I took Cooley Galwaybay to contest a 5yo qualifier at Homme House on Tuesday. What a nice little event, one I had never been to before. The ground was quite good, and a nice layout. We had a nice day out! Katie didnt put a foot wrong, she did a 26.5, double clear and finished 7th. Not often a score like that puts you out the top 3, but on this occasion I had a 13.3, and a 17.5 dressage scores in my section which were hard to compare with!! Sadly we didnt qualify, but it was a good outing for her all the same. 

It was back down the M5 for us on Friday, this time with Coopers Law in the CIC*** at Hartpury, and most importantly our last run before the Big B (Burghley)!!! Spider had excelled himself in the dressage at Gatcombe, so we had high hopes, but the loud music and people moving about on the bank meant he lost concentration in his walk and jig jogged quite a lot! It was very in time to the random 80's Rock tunes that were being blasted out on the loud speaker!!!! The rest of his test was still much improved though, so I had to see the funny side, although our score of 51 was not as welcomed as the 37.5!!
We welcomed the rain all day friday, making the ground perfect for Saturday, although we got quite soaked in the process! It was a treat not to have to worry about studs in the dressage and jumping phases being on the all weather surfaces. 
He showjumped really well, just catching number 4 behind, which was a real pity. He felt great XC, just the run we needed. I just let him settle in to a rhytham and jump. I felt we had just got going, and I began to open him out and then we were through the finish!! He ran for 2 time faults, suprisingly quick seeing as I wasnt chasing the clock. 

I am pleased to say he looks great today, so now it has become even more real.....our journey to Burghley is game on! I 

Spider feeling classy galloping round the CIC*** at Hartpury




Gatcombe British Open

8th Aug 15

We had already decided to take Spider to Gatcombe, just to do the dressage, as we thought it would be worth while practise seeing as we already had an entry in. Our dressage has been our weaker link, and so we have been practising, and it paid off yeaterday. We did a personal best of 37.5!! I just couldn't believe it! He stayed with me all the way through the test, and I was able to ride him. 
We now go to Hartpury 3* next week for our last run before Burghley.






A busy weekend, and a sucessful start to my Clinics at home

6th Aug 


Last weekend was a busy one, but all worth while with each horse coming home with a rosette, and Cooley Galwaybay enjoying her first win in the BE100!
I was excited to have Spider out again for the first time since Bramham. I took him to do the OI at Burgham. It was worth the long drive up north (and 2.30am start!)  to get some good ground at a really well run event. Spider was excited to be out but did a lovely test to score 25.5. He was unlucky to have 2 down in the jumping, but he just felt a bit quick and tight. XC he was just class, making it feel very easy. He finished 3rd, and looked very pleased with himself! I have decided to head to Gatcombe just to do the dressage, then hopefully run him at Hartpury CIC***. 
The next day was the 5yr olds time to shine. I took the 3 of them to Chlomondly Castle in Cheshire;  Sarah Jewsons 'Fly the Flag II' (Fly), Nicky Dickson and Sally Williams 'Poppy's Law' (Poppy) and Sheenagh Mudfords 'Cooley Galwaybay' (Katie). 
All 3 were so well behaved, and jumped imaculate double clears, all finishing on their dressage scores. Katie won her section on a 27, Poppy was 2nd in her section on a 27.5, and Fly was 5th in his section on a 29. It was all very close! They all really impressed me and all have an exciting future ahead of them. Fly is now for sale and would make a super junior/ amateur horse he is so classy to ride, and easy to do. I will put him on my 'For Sale' page so have a look! 
I have ran 2 clinics now at home, with great help from Justine Collins who has organised them. I have really enjoyed teaching everyone, and meeting new people, and catching up with some old friends and previous clients. Last week we did dressage themed around test riding, so I had my 40 x 20m arena set out with all the white boards and markers. Great practise!
Last night was the jumping clinic where I built a course, and we had great fun jumping round! Everyone enjoyed themselves and I got lots of positive feedback. We have new dates so please have a look on my website. 


'Cooley Galwaybay' won her first BE100 this weekend. She has a bright future ahead of her. 







Camphire CCI*

27th July 15


Sheenagh Mudfords Cooley Roller Coaster (Charlie) was a little star in Camphire. It was his first 1*, and his first trip abroad, and he coped with it all like a pro, in his usual laid back, happy way! Ireland always seems to have an easy laid back feel, and they had had a lot of rain so on our arrival I was really pleased to see the ground was really good. We were drawn number 11, so did our dressage first thing Thursday morning, and Charlie did a lovely test to lead the class with 41.5. I was really pleased that he scored so well, and is coping with his work so much easier now. I walked the course, and thought it all looked good, and there was nothing he hadn't seen before, but it was going to be longer than he had tackled before. There were no problems, he found it all easy, and finished in the time, retaining our lead overnight. 
Saturday night was torrential rain and storm, and I lay in the lorry wandering if they were going to cancel the event it was that bad! However it did let up a bit Sunday and we passed trot up in the dry, then just had light showers for our jumping. It wasn't our day to win, despite Charlie trying really hard, it was really deep holding ground which he began to struggle with near the end and 2 poles rolled dropped us to 5th. However we were best Brit, and the result in itself was very good for his first one, and his day will come. 
It was just a really good week, Sheenagh really loved the whole experience, and Mum came out with Sue and Di, and Ellie's Mum came to support too, so Charlie had a great support team, and we enjoyed going out to eat, and even to the beach! Ellie did a great job grooming for me, and looking after Charlie. 











GB Reserve, Fieldhouse BYEH and Stafford.....

17th July 15


It was announced on Wednesday that Coopers Law (Spider) and I have been named as one of 6 Reserves for the GB European Championships at Blair Castle in September. So near, yet still so far! Thrilled to have been noticed though, and  Spider and I have done all we can, he has been exceptionally consistant at 3* level, and would have relished that hilly XC at Blair. How ever, I would say that despite showing at CIC*** level our dressage can be below in the 40's, at each CCI*** he has done we have been 50, 51, and 52, just not cracking what I would imagine is the desired score for selection. So onwards and upwards, I will aim for Burghley CCI****, a whole new level, and a big challenge. I last rode there 12 years ago, so I will take my opportunity to do so again with all I've got! Spider feels very well, so we start our campaign in a couple of weeks at Burgham OI, followed by Gatcombe or Hartpury depending on the ground. 

Yesterday we went to Field House to do the BYEH class with 'Quite Something" (Ted), Cooley Galwaybay (Katie), and Spiders little sister Poppy's Law (Poppy. Ted won the 4yr olds again, he had already qualified by winning at Rockingham, but he was so much more grown up today to win in good company. Katie performed really well, and scored highly, but Poppy also scored well so Sheenagh suggested I just rode Poppy in the top 10, as Katie had already qualified at Chatsworth. Poopy was a little star and finished fourth, missing a Burghley ticket by 1 place. Her main aim is Osberton this year, but the experience was really good for her. 

Sarah Jewsons 'Fly the Flag' earned his ticket to Osberton by finishing 2nd in the 5yo qualifier at Stafford on a 23.5! Clever Fly! 

Delighted to announce that Miss Cooper (Spider and Poppys Dam) has just given birth to a Jaguar Mail filly! Both are fine and well. Can't wait to meet the new little member of the Cunliffe family!! 




Buckminster Park

11th July 15


Nicky Dickson and Sally William's "Poppy's Law" Won the 5yo section......following in big brothers footsteps???? Hope So!!

Poppy's Law excelled herself to win the 5yr old BE100 class at Buckminster Park this weekend. I was really pleased as she has felt really good these last few weeks, and is just coming in to her own. (I also think she decided that her big brother (Coopers Law) shouldn't hog all the limelight!! )
Poppy is a lovely little package, and finds all 3 phases easy. She did a really balanced test to score 28.5, then jumped a double clear.  I am really chuff to have qualified her for the 5yo final at Osberton on our first shot. Poppy will now do the BYEH class at Fieldhouse, andd then miss the 5yo qualifier at Stafford now as she doesnt need to go having already qualified when the ground could well be firm again. 
The ground at Buckminster was suprisingly good, and full credit to the Buckminster team for using the brilliant Equivater machine that shkes the ground, not just spikes it. 
I had 2 others there in the same class Sheenagh Mudfords 'Cooley Galwaybay' (Katie), and Sarah Jewsons 'Fly the Flag II' (Fly). They both jumped double clears too, Fly finished 6th, and Katie 11th. I had a really enjoyable day, and I love educating the young ones.
This week is a busy one with Fieldhouse BYEH on Thursday, and Stafford 4 & 5yr old qualifiers on Saturday. 

At the beginning of this week, Jitka and I headed off to Addington for the Summer Training of The World Class Potential Squad. I took Spider and Charlie, and enjoyed some great lessons from Tracie Robinson, Nick Burton, Angela Tucker and Billy Twomey. It was a jam packed 2 days, but I enjoyed watching, learning and catching up with everyone. 

Spider has had his first gallop since Bramham today, and I had full grip of my neckstrap!! He felt in great form!! 






Fun, Festivals and a Win for Cooley Roller Coaster

28th June 15


Its been all go here in Stathern since Bramham, it was festival week which included a Carribean Night, Summer Ball and a Gymkhanna. It was great to have fun with friends and family after the pressures of Bramham, and I loved watching all the little kids at the gynkhanna on their ponies. The standard was much higher this year, and there was some great riding.......and some cheeky ponies! 

This weekend we were back on the Eventing, Cooley Roller Coaster (Charlie) was having his first run back in the Open Novice since Chatsworth at the lovely Skipton event in Yorkshire, and keeping him company was DG Legaland Jo (Big Ears)  in the Novice. Both horses put up a solid performance, with Charlie winning his section which was great. He is aiming for Buckminster then his first CCI* in Camphire, Ireland at the end of July. 

Charlie on winning form


I had hoped to get 2 horses in the BE100, but sadly entries were very full, and they remained at home. Their time will come. It was lovely to see Charlie's owner Sheenagh Mudford, and Mum once again did an excellent pic nic which we enjoyed in the sun. 

Spider has come out of Bramham well, and is enjoying some lighter work until next week. Sadly Gino Royale has picked up a small injury which will keep him off games for the rest of this year, such a shame when he was on great form. 

I am watching Hickstead on TV whilst writing, it brings back very fond memories of winning the Eventers Grand Prix with Kellymoss 8 years ago! Time flies! 


Tackling the Sussex Bank at Hickstead with Kellymoss at great speed! It was great fun!
Kellymoss going on to the Sussex Bank, Hickstead 08



Bramham....Spider was a Star!! 

15th June 2015


Well its all over, I have waited all spring to get to Bramham, its felt like a long time to do our thing, but we did it, and did it well! Clever Spider was just superb to jump a double clear and finish 9th in a hotly contested CCI***. Spider arrived on good form, on the back of running at Little Downham in the OI. It was a risk to run him so close, but he was keen and fresh at Chatsworth, and I felt an easy run would set him up nicely for Bramham, which it did. 
Spiders enthusiasm to do the job never altered all week, he was very pleased to be at Bramham and I was confident he was capable of the task ahead.


The XC was strong enough, very similar to last year, including the corners where I got un seated! The whole course had Ian Starks stamp on it and was big and very forward in the distances. He is a clever course designers who really rewards bold horses, but leaves no room for error because you have to commit to what you want to do. The ground was firm enough, but I was confident that by the Saturday the Bramham team would do everything they could to make the ground good. 
Drawn number 22, we had our dressage straight after lunch on Thursday. He was good and tried really hard, but a bit of tension crept in due to the atmosphere and then I lost the softness and his neck got tight because he got a bit strong, so I lost some precious marks. One judge marked him much lower than the other 2, which was a pity because my aim was an under 50 test, and we scored 50.3. Almost......but not quite!


I am sure it is confidence, and although at the time I felt a little dissapointed, actually for him he tried really hard. That left us in 40th, but it was all close, and I knew it wasn't going to be a dressage competition, so I had all to play for on Saturday. 
I woke up to heavy rain on Saturday morning! I know the ground needed it but after such glorious sunshine all week, I couldnt believe it could change so quickly! Thankfully it backed off when it was my turn to go, and I enjoyed a super ride. We were unlucky to be held on course, but it wasnt long before we were on our way again, and it didnt seem to bother Spider. He flew through all the big combinations, and was super bold in to the waters, making the long distances feel easy. He finished fresh and well, and full of himself! We were lying in 13th place overnight........



Sunday morning trot up he was still keen, and trotted up well. I then worked him to stretch his muscles and just feel how he was before it was time to get on to go down to the show jumping. 
It was a big, strong track, and I was thankful I had taken him to jump the 1.30m at Arena UK a few weeks ago! He tried his very best in the arena, and stayed jumping well all the way to the end. What a day to get that clear round! I was elated. It rose us up to 9th place, and that top 10 finish I so wanted.

Spider found prize giving quite exciting, and he won 2 extra prizes. One was presented by Rosemary Search, and it was the 'Opposition Buzz' Award for the best british bred horse nearest the optimum time. It was a lovely Bronze horse, and I feel very honoured to be the first person to have won it. He also won the SHB award for being the highest placed british bred horse. So proud of him, and elated for his owner/breeder Nicky Dickson and her niece Sally Williams and the whole family at Cunliffe. It is there local event and where better to do well! It has been an incredible journey so far with Spider, they deserve all the success, they have been so loyal, supportive and great fun to be with. 







'Quite Something' qualifies for BYEH Final leading from start to finish.....

24th May 2015


The beautiful Rockingham Castle was held over this weekend. We were just there on the Friday with Claire White's 'Quite Something' in the 4yo BYEH class and Rhain Carew-Jone's 'DG Lagaland Jo' in the BE100. 
Ted went really well in his 4yr old class, and was really relaxed all morning which was great news having had the experience of Chatsworth last week. He scored 77 before entering the top 10, then scored the highest mark of 10 for star quality and gallop. We were thrilled with his win, and getting that qualification so early on for Burghley. Its always a relief to get it in the bag. 
Big Ears put up another solid performance to finish 5th in the 100, with a good double clear. He then went on to Shelford on Sunday and went well again finishing 2nd. 
I also had young ones in the BE90 at Shelford, Poppy's Law, and Lord Fred. Both went really well and impressed me for the future. Sadly I have to be HC at that level, but the experience they gain is great. I also picked up a catch ride, Sarah Jewsons 'Fly the Flag' as sadly Nini French broke her hand at Rockingham. Fly went really well thanks to all of Nini's hard work, and was 4th. So a good day all round. Its really nice to get the young horses up and going, and showing me their talents! 

A little mention to congratulate Di Lampard on her great result for Team GB winning the Nations Cup. In her new role as performance manager that was exactly the result they wanted, and I wish her all the best. Di has helped me for 8 years now I think, and has been a real mentor to me. 

I am also looking for people to join a syndicate to buy an Event horse. This could be so much fun to have a group of people owning a horse. So if you are interested or know anyone who may be, please get in touch! 


Below pictures of Fred, showing his great jump! My face is not so great!!! 







Chatsworth 

18th May 15


Chatsworth really is a very special event, I think myself very lucky everytime I drive down the drive with horses in the lorry ready to compete at this prestigious event. This year I had 2 young event horses, Sheenagh Mudfords 'Cooley Galwaybay' (Katie) and Claire Whites 'Quite Something' (Ted). Sheenagh Mudfords 'Cooley Roller Coaster' (Charlie) in the CIC*, and Sally Williams and Nicky Dicksons 'Coopers Law' (Spider) in the Advanced. My pupil Ellie Harding was also doing her first CIC* with Spinlocks Designs 'High Havoc' (BB).
Friday was a busy day, but good times and some help from Caroline Harrison meant it all ran to plan for Ellie and I. Katie was first on in the BYEH, which was held in the main arena giving these young horses a lot to look at! Katie was lovely, she did a nice test and then jumped her socks off scoring the 3rd best mark. After the gallop she was pulled in 5th, so overall she finished 3rd, and qualified for Burghley. I was thrilled with her, and it was very special for Sheenagh as Chatsworth is her local event. 


Katie in the BYEH, finishing 3rd.


Next up was Charlie doing his dressage test, and as I got on him I felt him feeling very perky and Im sure he knew he was somewhere a bit special. He was very good in his dressage, and scored a 43.6, which was good enough for 3rd place over night! I have to thank Ruth Edge for all her advice and help with my dressage training over the past year, I feel that I am just beginning to reap the rewards, and it is really exciting to begin to get some good marks at CCI/CIC level. 
Ted was next, and he really did have a shock! Claire has bred Ted, and her and her daughter have done a lovely job producing him. I have just got the ride at some BYEH classes to give him experience and exposure. I had a very wobbly ride getting from the lorry park to the main arena, but one he was on the job his attitude was amazing, and he went very well. He has great balance for a 4yo in all 3 paces, and I really think he will be a super horse. He scored well, and went in to the top 10 in 4th place, then after being pulled in 2nd after the gallop we were 3rd overall, just missing the qualification for the final. Having him in the top 10 meant that sadly I missed watching Ellie's dressage on BB, but she did a great test of 43.6, so I dont think she missed me being there!! Ellie also showjumped on Friday evening, and I was really pleased with them both. This is not an easy phase and BB can be a little bit of a monkey, but they got round and it meant they could do their first 1* XC the next day. Its all good experience for Ellie in the future. 
We came home quite late Friday evening, did a quick sort out and left again Saturday morning at 5.45am. 
Charlie was showjumping first and tried his heart out for me, jumping a great clear, moving us up in to 2nd place! He then flew XC to finsih with in the time, and finished 2nd overall. What a great achievement for him, and Sheenagh was so proud! He just keeps on impressing me, and it just shows you that if they want to try for you, they can achieve so much. 


Charlie on his way to 2nd in the CIC*

Ellie had a magic round XC, and just 1.2 time faults. BB was forgiven for his showjumping, and we were all very pleased with the days outcome. The pic nic was amazing thanks to Mum, and everyone bought something too, there were quiches, cakes, sandwiches, wraps, etc etc...... All homemade and very tasty....Thankyou! The sun shone on Saturday afternoon and it was a really good way to celebrate a successful couple of days. How ever, I knew I had another day of competition to come on the wonderful Coopers Law. 
Jitka kindly bought him up in another lorry (Thanking Marcia and Andy Hawley for the loan of their lorry) at lunchtime on Saturday so that BB and Charlie could then come home, and I could stay over with Spider at Cunliffe with his owners before competing on Sunday. 
I love staying at Cunliffe House, thank you to the Williams family. Spider was stabled in the stable he was born in, I wander if he can remember???
It was nice to see Anna Cheaney who was also in the Advanced and stabled at Cunliffe with her horse Well Known G. Sally and Nicky had done a good job preparing supper, and we had a nice evening all together. 
Spider had an early dressage Sunday morning, and he did his best test to date, scoring 24.8. I couldn't believe he got such an amazing score! He was just beaten by Andrew Nicholson on a 22! It was perfect to be in the arena's out the back, away from any atmosphere, and just let him be relaxed and gain confidence. 
He showjumped well, just rolling the front rail of an oxer. It was the bogey fence of the class, but still I could have had a better shot really, we got their a fraction deep. 
XC he was great, cruising round for 7.2 time faults. In the back of my mind I wanted to save a bit for Bramham, so I didnt run as fast as I could have, but kept a good forward rhythm, and he does cover the ground. He finished 3rd, and I was chuff to bits for his ownners and everyone involved! He really seems to like it at Chatsworth, I think he knows its his home ground! 


Go Spider!! Jumping in to one of the waters at Chatsworth



Spider jumping well in the Advanced


So thank you to everyone who came and supported, great to see you all. I am writing this as the rain is falling outside, which is great news for the ground as it was beginning to get quite hard. Charlie will have a mini break, and the young ones will run at Rockingham or Shelford. Ellie needs one more Novice qualification to do a CCI* so we need to nail that. 


Great picture of Sheenagh with Cooley Roller Coaster, and Cooley Galwaybay. Thankyou Richard Sheane! 



Prize Giving for the Advanced. Great to have Sally next to me in the picture! 





Bradwall

2/3 May

Great education for the Young Horses


After our trip to Ireland, it was back to reality getting the young ones ready to go to Bradwall in Cheshire. Thankfully Ellie and Laura  had done a super job of keeping them going whilst I was away.
Poppy's Law is Coopers Law's little sister, and she was doing her first event of this year as she had a longer winter holiday than her big brother! I was really impressed with her all day, she was very easy and did a smart test of 26.5, then unfortunatly 2 down show jumping, just baby mistakes, and then she was very happy going clear XC. Lord Fred was also in the early stages of his career at his second event. He did a really nice test for 29.5, then again an unlucky 2 down when he wobbled through the double, but a great XC round and I was very pleased. Cooley Galwaybay (Katie) did her first BE100, and scored a fabulous 23 in her dressage! Then again a baby mistake in the jumping with a photographer very close to the fence, she lost her attention and just forgot to pick up over an upright which was a real pity as she jumped a great round. She impressed me on the XC, it was testing enough for a first 100. A small hesitation at the open ditch cost us 20 penalties, but in all a good performance for her. I had a new ride in DG Legaland Jo (Big Ears) who belongs to Rhian Carew Jones who was based with me last year. Now her work commitments are so that she has decided to pass the ride to me for now, and I was really pleased with his performance, he jumped a double clear with a few time faults. 
The following day I returned with Charlie, who once again tried his very best to do a 25, and double clear leaving us in 2nd behind Bettina Hoy. Charlie felt great, and I think his win at Belton has really upped his confidence, and he loved the XC at Bradwall. 
We all enjoyed a nice pic nic from Sheenagh, and luckily didnt get too wet although driving there on Sunday was torrential! 
Charlie heads to Chatsworth CIC* next, and Katie is doing the BYEH class at Chatsworth. This weekend my eyes will be glued to the screens in the riders tent at Badminton. I wish everyone lots and lots of luck, and I cant wait for the competition to unfold. 

Below; Lord Fred showing his talent at Bradwall. He is being produced to sell, so if anyone is looking for a nice 5yr old please get in touch.


Please take a look at my new page advertising 'Low Woods Livery'. I am looking to take full liveries for people who either ride them themselves, or simply when they have time at weekends, and we keep them ticking over in the week. I offer a superb service with high standards, excellent facilities and the facility to have on site coaching, or simply a bit of support and advice. Please mention to your friends, and if anyone may be interested do get in touch. We are an easy commute to Grantham Train Station which is only an hour and ten mins from London for any City people. 
I can make individual packages to suit peoples needs. 












Ballindenisk, Ireland, CICO***

GINO WINS!!!


Great shot of Dick and Karen Goddard and myself after Prizegiving. We were thrilled with the result! Owning an Event horse is always a journey and it was great to see Dick and Karen enjoy victory!



It was our first adventure abroad of the year, with Spider re routed from Belton, we took both Spider and Gino on the ferry to Ireland. I think I had slightly underestimated quite how far getting there would be, but with Jitka to help me drive, and Sally to navigate the journey flew by. We arrived in Ballindenisk Thursday late morning to lovely sunshine. I was amazed how beautiful Ireland was, as I only ever normally go in dark and raining November! It really is stunning scenery. Everyone was laid back, and really friendly, nothing was too much trouble and we felt very welcome. The boys settled in well, and Sally and I eventually set up my new Gazebo along with the fridge, freezer, kettle, heater etc, etc. Thanks to a company at Belton called Surf and Turf, its a great gazebo, and served us well for the next few days. 

Our dressage and showjumping was on Friday. Spider was first on, and did a lovely test. So much more relaxed than at Belton, and I rode him in his snaffle bridle instead of the double which seemed to work well. He scored a PB of 45.1, and we felt that our re routing was a good idea. Gino had been in a great frame of mind since he arrived , and I was able to produce an easy flowing test, scoring another PB of 40.6, leaving us in 2nd place. After all the work we have put in, and Ruth Edge's endless patience and help at last he did a test we always knew he could (and there is still more to come!) So thankyou to Ruth and to Dick and Karen. 

There was little time to enjoy the successful dressage as showjumping was at 5.30pm. Spider was trying so hard all the way round, until we had a bit of miss communication coming to an upright on the last line. I blame myself, I just didnt ride the corner well enough before hand. This cost us a rail, but I was really pleased with him. Gino pinged round clear, but half way he spooked violently before the combination, and for an awful moment I thought we were going to vere past it!! Thank goodness we didnt! His clear SJ kept him in 2nd place behind GB's Izzy Taylor. 

Cross country day was bright and sunny. Rain had softened the ground so there was a lovely cut in it. Spider gave me a great first ride, coming home in the time. He galloped easily and coped well with the irish banks, lumps and bumps that were presented on the course. He did the most important job of giving me lots of confidence to get out there on Gino, as Izzy Taylor had had a stop, I had it all to play for to try and win with Gino.

Gino didnt dissapoint, he gave me a foot perfect, quick round, to clinch the winners spot. What a great achievment for his wonderful owners Dick and Karen Goddard, and for my whole team. I always knew he would have his day, and he did. He is an amazing horse, that gives you so much. 

So 1st and 6th for me individually, and Team GB won the Nations Cup as well, so it was a good day all round. 
It was really nice not to rush home, so a little celebration with Jitka, Mum and Dad, Dick and Karen and Sally and some champagne was enjoyed! We then left for the ferry at 2.30am, and our journey home began. Both boys are home safe, and well. 

My attention has now switched quickly to the young horses who run at Bradwall this weekend. With their spooks and wobbles, just staying on board will be the aim of this weekend! 

Video below of Gino in all 3 phases. Thanks Dick Goddard




Spider in all 3 phases



Spider looking good before his test. The top hat made a re appearence (I left my other one at home by accident!) 


Spider jumped his socks off!


Jitka and me having a few bubbles to celebrate!


Prizegiving, to my left was 2nd placed Sarah Ennis (IRE) and to my right fellow Brit Nicky Roncoroni


Gino looking in a great outline before his test which was a personal best for both of us!













Belton....Mixed fortune at one of my favourite events....

19th April 15


Sheenagh Mudfords Cooley Roller Coaster (Charlie) excelled himself after our little mishap at Lincoln, and Won his Novice section at Belton in fine style. He added nothing to his 29.8 dressage, and jumped an immaculate double clear for me. I was thrilled for Charlie and for his owner Sheenagh, and he has gone out of Novice points in style :))

With the sun shining and a win under my belt I was all set to have a good crack at The Grantham Cup CIC***, which had over 100 competitors in, and many of the best in the world. Coopers Law is in fine form, and he was very keen all day at keeping an eye on the XC, and listening to the commentry as surely he thought it must be his turn to gallop round......sadly for him he just had a dressage test to do on Saturday, and although he felt great in the warm up, the main arena which is surrounded tightly by shops, marquee's, flags and people prooved all a bit much and tension crept in.......although he did all his movements, he lost too many marks for the tension and I was really dissapointed to get a 60. It left me in 80th place, and a long way to play catch up. After much diliberation and amazing support from both Sally Williams and Nicola Dickson who own him we decided to save him for another day, and withdrew him from the rest of the competition. Instead we are going to go to Ireland next week and contest the CIC*** there, along side his stable mate Gino Royale. We actually think the he just didn't think it fair Gino got to go abroad, and he was just down the road, but we will see what next week brings! 

Belton didnt fail to impress, I went back and watched people today, and there were some great rounds. I was very envious of them all galloping round the XC, but I know we made the right decision in this instance. 


Below; Picture of Charlie last year at Belton. Will update photo when I get one from Belton! 






Weston Park, and Norton Disney

13th April 15


It has been a busy three days and we have racked up some miles in the lorry. Ellie and I attended a Lucinda Green clinic on Fri, Norton Disney with 2 5yr olds on Sat and Weston Park Advanced with Gino on Sunday. All worth while and great fun. 

I have to admit that the high light of my weekend was competing the lovely Gino Royale at Weston Park. He excelled himself in all phases and made it feel so easy! I was chuff with his dressage although the judge wasn't as chuff as me, and gave us a 36, which was average in the section. He jumped a fab double clear, and the ground and course really suited him and he gave me a great ride, feeling really good. His next stop is the CIC*** in Ballindenisk, Ireland. It will be his first trip back to his homeland, lets hope he likes it there! I just have to take a minute to thank Dick and Karen Goddard for their support in getting Gino to be the horse he has become. Its only with their patience and trust in him and me that has got us this far. 

Norton Disney is a great event for the young ones! Newcomer 'Lord Fred' did his first BE90, and did very well, 32 and a double clear. He gave me a great ride XC, feels a really exciting prospect for the future. Cooley Galwaybay (Katie) was at her 3rd event, and she is just understanding what its all about. She too performed very nicely and I was thrilled with her XC. These two both head to Bradwall next, where Katie will do her first BE100. Fred will do another BE90. 

I am really looking forward to Belton at the end of the week with Coopers Law, and Cooley Roller Coaster. 




Blog Update
 
30th March 2015
 
We are nearly in April already! We have made a positive start to the year, with some mixed fortune. Lincoln was again one of my favourite events, and both Gino and Spider had a great run in the OI, both double clear with a few time on the xc. Spider was 6th in his section and despite pulling off a shoe just before his dressage performed really well all day. Gino was more settled than at Oasby, and gave me a great ride XC.
 
Charlie did his Novice on Saturday and did a nice test, a lovely clear sj, then jockey did an unfortunate dismount on the XC!
Ellie went well with High Havoc, just adding 8 faults SJ and 10 time XC to a smart dressage of 32.
 
Stafford was the next stop with Rockfinn (Rocky) who is with me to sell, and Cooley Galwaybay (Katie) 5yr old and belongs to Sheenagh Mudford. We had a lovely day with a productive mornings work, and a very nice lunch afterwards! I was HC because it was BE90, but both horses jumped double clear. Rocky impressed me with a 24.8 dressage, and Katie took everything in her stride and is an exciting prospect for the future.
 
Ellie was then at Gatcombe the following day which prooved very wet indeed! High Havoc went well in the mud, and a good day was had. They then Cancelled both Stafford and Gatcombe on the Sunday, so we were lucky to get our runs in.
 
I have enjoyed taking Liberty to her first show at Weston Lawns, were she behaved very well, and Poppy (Spiders Little sister) has been out and about for the first time since her winter break.
 
I am now having a good planning session as to what happens next, and where we need to enter. Its great the season is underway, and I’m excited for what is coming up ahead. I am going to take a bit of time for training with Ruth Edge, Di Lampard, and Lucinda Green. My big boys will continue their Water Treadmilling which I think is doing an excellent job, and so well run by Tim and Isla Bennett, I am very grateful to them for their excellent facilities and expertise. Their friendly, caring attitude is fantastic. Anyone who may be interested to take their horse please do, it really helps the horses core strenghth, and just like any human athlete it is a vital part of being fit, and strong. 

I am keen to get some short stay clinic up and running at my home. I can provide accomadation for horse and rider, training in all 3 disciplines, or any specific problem areas needing work. The short stay package will include a couple of evening talks and a night out at the local pub with excellent food. If anyone may be interested please get in touch to arrange. I thought 2 - 4 people at a time would be fun! 


 
 
 


First BE Event of 2015... Hello Oasby!!

At last it was here, and I was excited to hear my alarm go off at 4am to set sail for Oasby. Local, faithful, well run event which suits me perfectly to get the horses up and running. 
On Thursday I had Cooley Roller Coaster (Charlie) and Cavaliers Heart (SpiderB) both doing the Novice. SpiderB was on first, and he took a dislike to the huge stack of black plastic bales right next to our dressage arena and so we got though our test to the best of our ability, but sadly too many spooks lost us our marks, and we scored a 38. I was really pleased with his showjumping, just rolling a pole at the end of the course. He jumped well XC, and it was a positive start to our future together. 
Charlie a.k.a 'Mr Consistant' did a smart 27.5, and double clear finishing 3rd. He felt good, although I went a little quicker on him which took him by suprise for the first half of the course! These boys both go to Lincoln now next Saturday.
Friday was another early start, but an exciting day lay ahead with Coopers Law (Spider) and Gino Royale (Gino). Gino was electric in the warm up for the dressage, but did a nice test, although a little on the tense side for a 34.5. He jumped a great clear SJ, and then I ran him seriously slowly XC, as the ground was firm and it was his first run. Gino was not impressed that the handbrake was on and was very fiesty for the first half, but then he settled and jumped well. He was clear with time faults, but good to get a very excited horses first run done and dusted!! 
Spider was on best behavior, he did a nice test and a great double clear. He show jumped as well as I have ever felt him, and the XC was easy to him. Again sadly it wasn't a day for galloping in my opinion and 12 time faults put us out of the prizes.  
Having firm ground was not what I imagined I would have to be dealing with in March! BEDE Events did try and work on the ground which I was grateful to them for. 
Mum did a great pic nic, and even the sun shone. It was an enjoyable couple of days and I cant wait until Lincoln! 
These 2 boys will run at Lincoln too next Sunday. 
Ellie Harding with High Havoc (BB) ran in the ON, and did a smart test (30) then was nearly brilliant in the SJ until the last double where they occured 8 faults, but she had a great round XC, so made a good start to her campaign. 
Sally Williams has done really well in the BE100, and Caroline Harrison was 5th in the BE90. Well Done!! 
I have enjoyed being at home for the weekend, and riding some of the baby horses! What a contrast! To produce a horse from a baby to the highest levels takes such a lot of time, energy and patients, but I do enjoy getting to know each and every one of them I work with. 


Coopers Law in the OI, double clear and felt great.



I was very priviliged earlier on this week to go to Somerford Park and train XC with Lucinda Green. What a legend! I took Gino and Spider and we had a morning session over small fences on all sorts of angles and distances. Really making me think as a rider, and really improving the horses focus. We then rode a course of XC fences in the afternoon. Both horses were super, and I drove home buzzing. Lucinda has some excellent advice, and simple explanations which made the clinic 100% beneficial. Thank you to my Owners for supporting me in going, and to World Class for supporting the clinic. (See video og Gino below. With thanks to Dick Goddard)


A great clip of Gino from our Lucinda Green Clinic at Somerford Park last week.





Off we go!.....
 

1st March 2015
 
As I put my foot in the stirrup to get on my first horse I remembered why I do what I do. My horses were all beautifully turned out thanks to Jitka and Ellie, and I couldn’t wait to see how the day unfolded with the 3 horses we took to the EMDG ODE at Osberton today.
My first ride was Sheenagh Mudfords Cooley Galwaybay (Katie). A stunning mare, just starting her Eventing career. When I walked the course I thought it was quite a big ask for her today, but she has a good attitude, and the experience would be of great benefit. She lived up to expectations and did a wobbly but good test, just had the last down in the SJ whilst spooking at the flags and marquee, and went really well XC. Getting to number 1 was quite interesting, but once we were over we were away! She gave me a great ride, and Im sure will have benefitted enormously.
I was riding Bradley Hills Cavaliers Heart  for the first time at an event, and again was really pleased with the start we have made. He did a smart test, feeling really classy and with time and more strength I am sure there are more marks to come, but I was pleased with 28.5. One down SJ, but again some really pleasing bits, and he just cruised round the XC. Wow ,what a gallop he has!
Cooley Roller Coaster (Charlie) also owned by Sheenagh  gave me my first win of 2015. He really is the most genuine horse who always does his best for me, and I have huge respect for that!  He did a good test for 26.5, and finished on his dressage score, what more could I ask.
I was also so pleased for Sally Williams and Archie who were 2nd in their Novice section. Its not always been an easy journey for them so the result was well deserved.
Looking forward to Oasby in 10 days time with Cooley Roller Coaster, Cavaliers Heart, Gino Royale, and Coopers Law. Think Im going to holding on to my neckstrap tightly! 


 
World Class have provide my grooms with a special day. I sent Jitka and Ellie and they had a great informative day. Watching all the mechanics of how the horse moves and why we need to look after their precious legs. There was lots on Clean Sport rules and regs for both riders and horses. 
Jitka (left) and Ellie (right). I think I deffinatly had the most glamerous grooms lol!!





The Event season is nearly here……
25th Feb 2015


I thought it was time for a catch up, with Spring in the air, and entries have gone in ready for the 2015 season to commence! January and February have been challenging months! We have had a full house of keen and fresh horses, and with the weather being so inconsistent it was hard to make plans. How ever we have muddled through, even managing some British Dressage shows, and some BS shows.
 
For the forthcoming season I have Nicola Dickson and Sally Williams Coopers Law (Spider) aiming for 3 or 4*. He feels in fine form, and thanks to Fairfax saddles I have a much stronger horse across his top line. He has also started going to Bennett Equine’s Water Treadmill, an amazing bit of kit that really works on the horses core strength. Having just returned home from 2 days of World Class training I feel very excited to get him to his first event at Oasby. (Although it may take a couple of events to settle him!!) Sally and Nicky also have Spiders full sister Poppy’s Law (Poppy) who has just come in from her winter hols, and will be aimed at the 5yr old classes this year.
Richard and Karen Goddards Gino Royale (Gino) has also wintered well, he too is stronger and benefitting from the treadmill and continued training with Ruth Edge who has really helped me with him. He has felt fantastic at the BS shows, and loved XC schooling despite the rain at Somerford Park last week.
Sheenagh Mudfords Cooley Roller Coaster (Charlie) is feeling well. He has been performing some new moves when being turned out in the field, but still a total gentleman under saddle. He had a successful outing at the BD at Valeview last weekend scoring 73% and winning his Novice class. He will aim for a 1* this year. Sheenagh has also bought a new one. An exciting prospect, a 5yr old black mare called Cooley Galwaybay (Katie) She is stunning, and I hope she will progress to do the 5yr old classes this year.
I am pleased to welcome Bradley Hill and his father David as new owners to the team, with Cavaliers Heart (SpiderB) and homebred Kannans Liberty (Liberty). Both are really smart horses and I am looking forward to getting them out and about.
I am pleased to say Jitka Hola is still with me as Head Girl, and former working pupil Ellie Harding has come back to work with us, which is a great team. Laura Watson has also been working on a part time basis and is proving a valuable member of the team, so is longstanding part time help Dee Goodbourne.
Jitka and Ellie both have their own horses to compete this year.
We have some young new horses in to sell once they have done a bit more, so keep an eye on the For Sale Page. Sadly DHI Jetset has moved to pastures new, but he has a fab new home and I wish them all the very best.
I have to congratulate my long term Mentor and Trainer Di Lampard on her new role as Performance Director for British Showjumping. It is a well deserved job, and Im sure she will do an amazing job, they are very lucky to have her in charge.
 
Being a member of the World Class Potential Squad is a great addition to my training. I am enjoying working with different trainers and taking on new challenges. The attention to detail is incredible, and the mind set to achieve those performance differences is vital.  Just when you think you are nearly there, actually you feel even futher away! The desire for perfection and consistency becomes higher and higher. The will to win even greater!
One of my aims for this year is to increase my horsepower.  For the longevity of staying competitive within the sport it all comes down to horsepower.  So if you, or anyone you know could be interested in owning a horse, would like me to compete their horse, or is interested in being in a syndicate to run a horse then please get in touch.
 
 
 
World Class Home Visit, 22nd Dec


An interesting afternoon, with a visit from The World Class Team to see my yard, and meet my home team. Felt very priviliged to have so many experts in the same place at the same time. Emo and Lyric are enjoying some fuss! Thanks Dick Goddard for the photo! 

Wishing everyone who has supported me through 2014 a great Christmas and New Year, and I will be back to blog in 2015!!




World Class Development Programme Selection

4th Dec 2014


I am very excited to announce I have been selected on to the World Class Development programme 2014-2016. This programme is supported by UK Sport and The National Lottery, and provides a network of support and opportunity to improve all aspects of my performance, with the end goal being standing on the podium for Team GB.
 
I have just got home from my Induction days where we got to hear what the programme is about. There were different guest speakers, and it was interesting to hear points of view from riders already on the programme. I found it nice to be altogether with the 4 diciplines; dressage, showjumping, eventing and para dressage, meeting riders with the same goals but in different disciplines. I met Holly Gillott who is based in Wymeswold and Joe Clayton who is based at Micheal Whitakers just down the road.
 
December seems to have come round very quickly, Spider and Gino have just come in from their winter holiday and have shoes on, so I have sat on them……and survived the first couple of hacks!
I am excited to have a new owner on board Bradley Hill who owns Cavaliers Heart (Spider B) who is at Intermediate level, and an exciting prospect for the future. Bradley also owns Kannons Liberty (Liberty) a homebred 4yr old by Kannon, who shows a lot of athletic ability. We are looking forward to producing her.
 
I am still looking for members of staff to join our team, so if anyone is interested please be in touch.
 
 
Finishing the season on a high....

14th Oct 2014

 
I can’t believe this Eventing season is over already, time seems to have flown by. It’s been a year of ups and downs, but on the whole a positive one, and I’m very excited about next year already!
We have achieved the goal of qualifying for 4* with both Coopers Law and Gino Royale, which was the main aim. Cooley Roller Coaster has been unbelievably consistent through the season, and Poppy’s Law has had a gentle introduction to the sport and taken it all in her stride.  I have been thrilled with DHI Jetset who has been very classy through the season, although sadly he is now for sale.
I have a couple of potential new rides for next year which I am excited about, but I am also looking for more new owners, and horses for the 2015 season, so any one interested please get in touch.
 
The Young Horse Champs at Osberton was a good experience for all 3 horses I took. I didn’t go with high expectations, as all 3 were relatively inexperienced compared to some horses the same age.
Poppy’s Law (Poppy) is Spiders full sister, and she has done the bare minimum this year, so this was only her second event. I was very pleased with her dressage test, and how she coped in such a main arena with flags, tents, shops, banners etc…. The showjumping was quite a big track for her, and she had 2 down, but I was pleased with her attitude. She then popped round the XC easily, and I think with a holiday and some proper work in the spring she will be a really nice 5yr old with an exciting future.
I had a horse called ‘Chance In a Million’ in the 5yr old class. He belongs to Nicola Baguley and Sue Browne, and I just had the ride on him for Osberton as Nicola had already done a great job through the year. The performance was good, little moments were our lack of time together probably showed, but a 31 dressage, one down and a good clear XC gave me a good feel as to what he could be like next year, and I think he is a very nice horse for the future.
Cooley Roller Coaster (Charlie) rose to the occasion, and did a smart test for a 48.9. The Showjumping was big, and he jumped so well, just rolling a pole. I was thrilled with his performance XC, going inside the time and giving me a super ride to finish 20th out of 100 6yr olds.  
 
It was all systems go the to catch the ferry to Boekelo on Monday evening with Spider. We travelled with Olympic rider Nicola Wilson and took the Hull – Rotterdam overnight ferry which reduced the hours of driving by far. We had an easy journey, and it was fun getting to know Nicola. We arrived at Boekelo and settled Spider in. The facilities are very good, although it did decide to rain when we arrived!
To my surprise after trot up I got a call from Philip Surl saying I had been put on the Nations Cup Team! I was not expecting that at all! I was number 3 in the team, and given the chance I was determined to give it my best shot! The XC course looked technical and twisty, with a lot of angles and blind turns. There were certainly things Spider had never tackled before.

 
My dressage on Friday morning went well. The atmosphere in the main arena is like no other arena I have ridden in, and with the big screen very close to you,  horses have to be very focused on their job. I was pleased with his test, most of his work was personal best, but sadly he was tense in his walk coming towards the big screen, and we missed our last flying change (which is normally his best one! ) So little mistakes lost us a lot of marks and a 51.5 was our mark. I had hoped for a test in the 40’s so I was a little disappointed, but at the same time really pleased. The highlight of the day was that I borrowed Tina Cooks Tail coat with its flag, and Olympic buttons on……I felt very privileged to wear it, and can only dream that one day………


 
Suddenly it was Saturday, and I was feeling nervous, I just wanted to go as well as I could. The time was proving hard to get, but the weather was good, and in general the course was riding well, with problems scattered around. At last it was my turn, and Spider felt fantastic in the collecting ring so there was all to play for. I had some good advice from Nicola who had just completed a great round on Watermill Vision, and then we were off….
Spider was amazing. He never faulted or stopped looking for the next fence. We were a few seconds up at 6 mins, but at 9 mins we were just a few seconds down on the clock, and couldn’t quite catch them to make the 10min, 30 sec optimum time. We were 6 seconds over, 2.4 time faults, but one of the fastest of the day, and it rocketed us up to 11th place from 35th.





He looked ready to go again Saturday evening, and trotted up well Sunday morning. Then another long wait before we show jumped, and it was nearly brilliant, just the last fence falling! We stayed in 11th place, and we were the highest placed British Nations Cup Team member. Nicola was delighted with her 5th place, so our journey home was one of celebration! Sadly we had to make a dash for the ferry as soon as the competition had ended, so we missed prize giving…….and nearly missed the ferry…….but they kindly waited a few extra minutes!!!
Boekelo is one of the best events in the world. The hospitality is amazing, and I loved every minute. Jitka did a great job looking after Spider, and Sally, Nicky and Mum all came out to support. The coverage on the Live Stream was also enjoyed by everyone still at home, which was great for
So now I’ve got to think what to aim for next Spring………Badminton????.........
 
I would like to take the time to thank my loyal, supportive owners and their wonderful horses. My hardworking team at home that keep the show on the road, Mum for all her fabulous picnics, my amzing farrier, vets, physio’s, and dentist that keep the horses in one bit, and able to perform at their best. My very patient trainers; Di Lampard, and Ruth Edge who have been a backbone of support through the year and Caroline Moore who’s built me brilliant XC lines to practice at Valeview. To UK Sport and Lottery Funding that have supported us on the Nations Cup Squad, providing us with invaluable Team experience and a small insight to Senior Championships.
Vanessa Fairfax from Fairfax saddles who’s saddles have improved my horses comfort and performance beyond belief. Saracen Horse Feeds who have given endless advice all year. Peter Terry from Tech Clothing who has provided myself and my team the lovely Stormtech jackets which have been invaluable on wet days. (We seem to have had a lot of wet days this year!) Also Nicky Dickson who provides me with H3O Sports drink to keep me hydrated to do my job. 
Closer to home my ever supportive boyfriend Paul, my family, and my friends.
THANK YOU, and lets all look forward to a successful 2015!!!




Frickley, Purston Manor, Allerton Park

22nd Sept 14


I feel like September has flown by without me even blinking! The month opened with Burghley, and another great competition, with the XC having strong influence on the results which is how it should be. I went on Friday and Saturday. I watched the Young Event Horse on Friday, and all the XC on sat, as well as walked the course. Avebury's performance was immaculate and his third victory of the worlds toughest 4* was an incredible achievement. 

My BE100 at Frickley didn't look very big on the back of walking Burghley, but non the less its horses for courses and its all about building blocks for the future. I just had the Copstakes horse 'Denver' there, who was very good and did a 33, and double clear, finishing 6th in his section. 

I just had Charlie at Purston Manor doing the Novice, and he ran really well, finishing 4th. It was a nice final run before the CIC* 6yr old champs at Osberton at the beginning of October. 

I had never been to Allerton before, but will certainly go again, it was lovely. Denver ran well in the BE100 finishing 7th, and being my final event with him this year, he has now gone back to his owner to do the last few events with, so we wish them lots of luck.
Emo also went to Allerton, and after a lovely dresage he stood on his shoe in the lorry and stood on a nail! I couldn't believe our luck, but he seems fine after a few poultices! 
Spider had his first Advanced outing since the spring, and I was very excited to run him. Having been accepted in to Boekelo we needed a good run, and clever Spider did just that. He was feeling in fine form with some extra curricular moves in the dressage and the SJ collecting ring, but a 30.5 dressage, one down, and a fab XC with 17 time faults left us in 7th, and an ideal prep run before Boekelo CCI*** in October. 

So only a few events left now, Poppy is doing the BE80 at Brooksby before her 4yr old champs at Osberton. I have also gained the ride on Chance in a Million for the 5yr old champs at Osberton, so looking forward to a busy few days there. 






Blair Castle

31st Aug 2014

I’ve just finished watching WEG, and what an amazing competition.  A roller coaster of a competition to the very end. So sad to hear that Harry Meade lost Wild Lone after the XC, after everything they had achieved it was a cruel twist of fate.
 
Sandra Auffarth’s horse looked just amazing in the showjumping, and they thoroughly deserved their Gold.
 
Britain did a great job, and once again Zara pulled it out the bag with a great performance. Annie Clover showed her inexperience in that huge main arena today, but I am sure they have a big win to come in the future. Poor William Fox Pitt, so near to a Gold medal, just an unfortunate pole down.  Team Silver is a great finish, and well done to everyone involved.
 
It makes me so hungry to be able to compete at the higher levels, I am sat here trying to work out how I can! If any one has any suggestions or is interested in being involved in a syndicate to buy a horse please get in touch.
 
I did leave Blair Castle feeling excited after competing Richard and Karen Goddards Gino Royale in the CCI***. It was his 2nd CCI*** this year, and he is improving all the time. He shows so much ability in all 3 phases, and at 10yrs old he is still a young horse.
 
It was a long week at Blair, as we were 2nd to last to go, so didn’t dressage until Fri afternoon. I was glad to get my chance to perform and get the competition underway. I was pleased with a personal best from Gino of 48.9, and still improvement to come. I am grateful to Ruth Edge who has spent a lot of time helping us since January.
 
The XC was ran a different way round this year, but involved a lot of hills, and plenty to jump! The optimum time of 10 mins 8 secs was going to be tough. After a lot of rain early in the week, luckily the weather was kind to us for XC day, although as the wet ground had dried it had become quite gluey in places.
 
Gino set out in a great rhythm, and jumped really well. He gave me a super ride. We just need to keep shaving off some seconds, as we were a little over the optimum time, getting 7.2 time faults leaving us in 13th place over night.  He finished well, and trotted up well on Sunday morning.
 
The showjumping was the last class of the day, so we didn’t jump until 4.30pm. It was a long day to wait, but Gino tried his heart out. It was such a pity to have one down, as he is such a great jumper and tried his best. We finished 11th. A great result for our small team, and his loyal owners. I really can not wait for next year to come round, and I really hope we get our chance to be back at 4* level. It really would be a dream.
 
Back at home Rhian did a good job of keeping Spider and Charlie ticking over so they could go to Richmond. Spider could only get an entry in the Intermediate HC but I just needed a run. It was wonderful to feel him fresh and cheeky, and I was really pleased with his performance. He did a lovely test of 25, just one down in the SJ, and a lovely clear XC with a few time faults.  I hope he will now run at Allerton Advanced and then fingers crossed Boekelo CCI*** in Holland in October.
Charlie was good too, he got in a bit of a muddle in the counter canter  in his otherwise very nice dressage test, to score 33. He jumped another double clear, and finished 10th. His consistency is amazing. He now goes to Purston Manor and then Osberton for the 6yo CIC*.
 
With Burghley this week, then Blenhiem, there is going to be a lot of sport to watch, and I can’t wait.  
I am going to be looking out for potential rides, new owners and potential syndicate owners…….girl on a mission!!


Gino at the trot up, it was cold and wet at Blair for the first few days! 



Gino showing his class on the final day.


Jumping the last fence, I was grinning at the fact we'd gone clear!


Jitka did an amazing job all week, this is just after we had finished the XC.

 My faithful team that make it all possible, and Blair Castle in the background. (Sue Luger, Dick Goddard, Jitka Hola, with Mungo, Me, Karen Goddard and Mum.)
 







Skipton, Shelford and Somerford Park

16th August 2014


It feels a while since I have had time to sit down and type away on my computer, but today I am catching up on all paperwork which is well over due, and so thought I'd best update my blog as well!

Skipton was a beautiful event, much updated and improved since last time I went. The ground was perfect, and Tim Bennett has designed 3 lovely flowing courses which encouraged all the horses to go well. I had a busy day on Saturday with 4 to compete. Charlie was doing his 2nd Novice, and once again pulled out all the stops for a double clear. It was a big Novice but very inviting, and with a good pull up hill. We incurred 11 time faults so just put us out the top 10. Emo and Denver jumped very nice double clears in the BE100, and finished 5th and 8th. Canto just rolled a pole in the SJ, missing a top 10 placing by just a few marks. 
On Sunday I was back with Coopers Law's sister, Poppy's Law in the 4yo class. She was so good, first time on a XC course and popped round like she had done it all before. She finished 3rd, and secured qualification for the 4yo Final at Osberton in October. I decided Emo and Poppy both deserved a little holiday for a few weeks before picking them back up to finish the season. 

On to Shelford with a similar team, Charlie excelled again, and finished 2nd in his Novice! Canto was very good and jumped a double clear to finish 5th, and Denver had a green mistake XC which was a pity. I took another 4yo belonging to Annie Borrett called Skye, it was her first event, and she was so well behaved. Having only been here 6 weeks I decided the XC was a bit too bigger question so we just did the dressage and the showjumping which she did very well. 

After 2 days at Shelford, I had a 3.30am departure to Somerford with Gino. Gino is feeling very well at the moment, so I thought an outing would do him good. I had planned on just doing the dressage and SJ, but the ground was so perfect that I ran him steady XC as well. He needed a gallop so it just made sense. He was great, nice test and double clear. We head to Blair CCI*** next week! 

His team mate Spider will not contest Blair, I just didn't feel he was quite ready in his fitness and so we are hoping to go to Boekelo in October instead, which also hosts the Nations Cup Final, so fingers crossed we get there! 





Burgham....

25th July


I was very excited to be loading up Spider and Gino for their first run after Bramham! It was off up North to Burgham where they were entered in the Open Intermediate.Travelling up the night before gave me chance to work them at the event the day before, Spider was keen, and pulled my arms out, and Gino was impeccably behaved........The next morning Gino was wild and Spider was impeccable......
Gino felt great, just sharp, and his test wasn't quite as good as Id hoped, but all was forgiven in the next 2 phases when he pinged round with a double clear. I did run slowly though, and incurred rather a lot of time faults leaving him 11th. 
Spider did a lovely test to score 25.5, and again he jumped a good double clear, finishing 6th. Two solid performances and happy horses, I couldn't have asked for any more. 
I also took Denver with me for the BE100. He did a much more consistant test and a great double clear. It was a long, hot day but a really productive one. 





Time for a Catch Up!!.......

Since Buckminster, we have been enjoying the sun and being kept busy with a full yard at home. Poppy's Law (Coopers Law's full sister!) made her BE Eventing debut in the 4yo class at Stafford on the 12th July, and she was very good, a 29 dressage, and just rolled a pole in the SJ.  I decided not to run her XC as I thought there was a lot of 'skinny' fences, which were not my idea of educating a 4yo and giving her a nice time xc, so I thought she was better waiting for another day. She then went on to do the BYEH class at Field House later that week, and finished in 8th place, performing impeccably and having her first little gallop when we were called back in for the Star Quality top 10! Her next aim is Skipton 4yo, and Shelford 4yo. 

I also had Leanne Wilkins Hallowberry Hi Fi at Stafford and Fieldhouse doing her 5yo class. She was great again, and finshed 3rd at Stafford and 7th at Fieldhouse. Leanne has now taken back the reins, and we wish her lots of luck and fun for the rest of the season! 

The Copestake family own the lovely 'Denver' who again is with me to gain some mileage, and I am really pleased with his progress, he is a very classy horse who shows a lot of talent. He only did the dressage at Stafford as the ground was rather firm, and he has Burgham, Skipton and Shelford coming up where hopefully the ground will be better for him. 

Sheenagh Mudfords 'Cooley Roller Coaster' (Charlie) was out again at Aston Le Walls doing his first Novice, and Im delighted to say he won his first point with 8th place and a double clear! He did a very smart test of 27.5, then  tried so hard in the SJ I think we wasted time in the air and got 2 time faults! He was very good XC for his first time at that level, and just got 5.2 time faults. What a star!  He is such a trier. Im looking forward to Skipton, Shelford and Richmond with him. 

Im pleased to say Spider and Gino are in great form, and enjoying being back out and about. We all enjoyed a good days showjumping on Sunday at Weston Lawns, Gino especially was like a rubber ball in the warm up and I couldnt stop smiling jumping him again! They go to Burgham this weekend for a run in the OI. 

We also have a couple of young mares in, 'Skye' belongs to Annie Borrett and is the bonniest little horse I know, she just loves life and Im aiming to take her to shelford for the 4yo class with Poppy. 
Gill wise has sent a lovely homebred called Bethany, she arrived un broken but is a lovely model and type, and has taken to being ridden very well, and is enjoying her work. 

Rhian my working pupil has been making good progress with 2 double clears at Eland Lodge and Buckminster, she is looking forward to going to Carlton this week end. 

I have visited Di Lampard for some good Show jumping Training, and Ruth Edge has been coming to the yard teaching dressage. Its nice to enjoy some training, and move the horses on in their education. 






Winner, Winner at Buckminster Park!
5th July 14


It felt great to be going to an event again, after our short mid season competition break, and with 5 all in the BE100 I had a busy day ahead of me. I didnt know what to expect today, and 2 of my rides it was my first event with them (Hallowberry Hi Fi, and Denver)

DHI Jetset (Emo) and Canto Boy won there sections. Emo has been knocking on the door for a good result, and it all came together today, he finished on his dressage score of 22.5. Canto's win was a nice suprise as it is only his 2nd BE100, and he is with me to sell, so a win is a great result for him. He is a very classy horse so anyone looking get in touch! 

Hallowberry Hi Fi (Hallie) belongs to Leanne Wilkins, who has produced her very well, and all I had to do was hop on and enjoy Hallie today. She finished on her dressage score of 30, and was 3rd in the 5yo class. Leanne was chuff that Hallie has now qualified for the 5yo finals at Osberton. 

Cooley Roller Coaster (Charlie) was once again Mr Consistant, such a trier and he finished on his dressage score of 30.5 to take 5th. 

My other new ride was Denver VI, an exciting prospect for his owner Connie Copestake. He finished in 9th with a double clear. He is a big boy who will take time to mature, but he shows real class. 

In all a great day, I really enjoyed riding so many, haven't done it for a while. It was nice to be so local, and have nearly all the owners to enjoy the day and watch their horses. Mum put on a great pic nic, and after heavy rain this morning the sun shone for us. 

I am going to enjoy a large G&T tonight im sure!





Bramham
8th June 14

 
We arrived Tuesday evening, to the beautiful Bramham Park in Yorkshire. Jitka, Paul and I settled the horses in,  got unpacked and set up camp, fridge, freezer, camper van, you name it we had it!
 
At the last minute I was volunteered to do a Coursewalk with the Sponsors of the event, and discuss some of the fences with Course Designer, Ian Stark. I was intrigued to get a sneak preview of the track, and it was interesting to listen to Ian about how he expected the fences to be ridden. The course was big, combinations were complex, but it was there to be jumped and I felt very excited about the challenge ahead!
Wednesday became ‘wet Wednesday’, and it was rain coats and excersise rugs on! Both boys felt pleased to be there, and worked well and trotted up well.
 
Spider was drawn number 4, so his dressage was Thursday morning, and Gino (61) was Friday just after lunch. With some help from Ruth Edge, Spider did a really settled test, just missing his 2nd change. I was disappointed with my mark of 51. Looking at the judges test sheets, it was his canter work that needs more expression, so I will keep working on it, and I feel sure we will reep the benefits towards the end of the season.
Thursday evening is the Cocktail Party in the Members tent, and with champagne flowing it is often a good night, and it was. I had put a Lasagne in the oven for us all………we didn’t make it back for dinner!
 
Gino was next up. He worked well early Friday morning, but seemed a bit naffed off with all the dressage, so I gave him a little jump before his test to put a smile back on his face! Again with help from Ruth, Gino performed his best test at that level to date, scoring a 49. Again a few mistakes, but so improved, and still more to come!
 
XC day had a bad weather forecast, but we all know that can be inaccurate…….sadly bang on 9am as predicted it began to rain, and didn’t stop until 6pm. Torrential rain all day, put a whole new slant on the XC. It was tough, slippy, and variable going, but I love the mud so It was showtime….
Spider set off fresh and keen, jumping everything easily. Towards the end around the 8 minute marker, there was a double of corners. Feeling good, I set up well, and he just seemed to catch his knee on the first corner, tipping me clean out the front door. My hopes and dreams were over in a second, and I was sat in the road. Spider carried on quite happily (obviously had had enough of me) and he proceeded to go through the Sponsors area of the next fence and jump a wall back towards home! Thankfully he was eventually caught and is absolutely fine! I was left feeling a bit bruised, and walked home.
Having seen the Doctor a second time I was then allowed to ride Gino.
Andy Thomas the Physio kindly strapped up my arm, Tanya Kyle, Sally and Paul were all great at Icing my arm, giving me ibuprophen and hot tea, and just supporting a shakey me! I knew I would be ok once I was back on board Gino, and If I wasn’t I promised I wouldn’t ride.
Sure enough I was fine,  and had a good warm up with an over excited Gino.
 
My Bramham story very nearly came to another abrupt end at fence 3 when Gino pecked badly on landing,  but thankfully he stood up, but that sharpened us both up, and made me very aware of the muddy conditions. He jumped so well round the course, never making a mistake. I took one long route at fence 9. It was a table, curving 5 strides to an owl hole, then another curving 4 strides to a corner. The ground had got slippy, and I was worried I could just lose his left shoulder round the turn to the final corner, so I played safe. I was a little disspointed to be nearly a minute over the time, but he finished well within himself, and I know next time to ask more at the start. Being his first 3* I was a little unsure how he would handle 10 mins, with all the hills, and muddy going, but he coped really well.
So with Spider looking over his door wanting to go round again, it left just Gino to Show jump on Sunday. Jitka and Jo worked really effectively icing Gino several times to help stop any bruising and soreness. He looked good Saturday night, so we went to bad happy.
 
Sunday morning is always a nerve wracking time, but we need not have worried, he looked good, and trotted up sound and happy. The SJ course was big, and the ground tacky, and although he felt a little flat in the warm up, Gino was just amazing once he got in the ring. He jumped one of his best rounds, but just landed a little flat over the oxer before the final double, and I never quite got my distance catching the back rail of the triple bar. I was cross with myself, as he was jumping so well I should have done more to move him up to the triple bar. We finished 23rd. I was thrilled to tick the box of qualifying him for a 4*!!! How exciting is that!!! He will have a small break now whilst we have a think and make a plan for what he does next.
 
Meanwhile Spider will be aimed at Blair Castle CCI***, with a couple of runs before that.
 
I felt very lucky all week to have great people around me who did a great job. Also thank you to all who have helped train, and treat the horses and myself so we arrived in great form. I knew I would learn a lot about my horses this week, and I certainly did……they are both just as good as I hoped! It wasn’t the dream result I had hoped for, but I can keep building on their performance, and mine.  I know they were both fit enough, and very capable of the task ahead.










 
 




Glorious Sunny Chatsworth!

19th May 2014

 

One of my absolute favourite events of the year, and this year didn’t disappoint! I had Gino and Spider in the Big CIC*** section, ‘The Dodson and Horrell Challenge’. It was my first time competing in this class here, I have always just done the Advanced, so I was excited and up for the challenge! The boys felt in good form, and with Bramham just round the corner I knew I wanted a nice run from both of them.
I arrived the day before my dressage to work them and settle them as having not ran since Belton I thought they might be a bit fresh, and I was right! By Saturday though we were settled, and Gino did a great test for him, showing real improvement in his work. He scored 51.4 which I was slightly disappointed with as I hoped for a late forties test but never mind, there is plenty of improvement to be had. Spider worked lovely in the morning before his test, then by 3pm felt like he was a bit fed up of waiting, and came out a bit tight. I struggled to relax him before my test and even though he didn’t make any mistakes, the tension crept in to his canter work and so we had a few more 6’s than I would have liked, leaving us on a 52, just behind Gino.
However, as the next day unfolded, it certainly wasn’t going to be a dressage competition! My boys jumped there socks off! Gino pinged round almost on auto pilot round the showjumps and jumped clear. Spider felt amazing too, so much so that at the second to last fence he jumped it so well I was slow to hold him on the four strides and he just caught the last fence with his hind legs, what a pity!
The XC was demanding to say the least! I went to watch early on, and there was a particular complex early on at fence 6 that was causing many problems. It was a big table, curving 3 or 4 strides to a corner, then another curving line to a triple brush skinny. I walked my line so many times, and watched people make a real mess of it. I wanted a line on 3 and 3 strides so that they jumped well and smoothly, keeping confidence and momentum as the huge water was the next fence. With some last minute advice from Mark Kyle I had 2 super rides through the combination, and all the way round. The ground really took its toll. It was very gluey, and tired the horses. Both of mine jumped really well right to the end, but I kept the accelerator pedal off because of the holding ground conditions.
Gino came home with 21 time faults, and Spider 14. Spider finished 12th, and Gino 16th. Thrilled that both were top 20 in such a big international class.
So we are Bramham bound! They both feel great, and all my prep runs are done. Chatsworth was a perfect pre Bramham, which will be their first CCI***.
 
In the meantime, I have the young horses at Shelford and Little Downham, so looking forward to getting them out again.
 
 



Rockingham
 

2nd May 14
 
Rockingham couldn’t come round soon enough! With Bradwell cancelled last weekend, the boys haven’t run since Eland Lodge and I was looking forward to getting them out again!
 
So today Casper, Emo and Charlie were all set to do the BE 100 at the lovely venue of Rockingham Castle. This is the events 2nd year, and it is a really smart, classy event, ground was super, and their attention to detail was second to none. I think this event will get bigger and bigger, and has a real International feel to it.
 
Despite my bad start to the day (set my alarm for the time we were leaving instead of an hour before!) All the horses went really well. Charlie did another good dressage test,  (27) he is so consistant! And jumped a confident double clear. Emo did a nice test, but a 20 x 40m area isn’t very big with his big movement! He scored a 30 which was in the first few. Emo then jumped really well finding it all easy, and finished ojn his dressage score. Casper did a sweet test, and scored 33, and again jumped a good double clear.

I was thrilled that Charlie won, Emo was 3rd and Casper was 6th. Clever boys!

Charlie has been so consistant this year, 3 wins and a 2nd. What a star!

Sadly Solihull has been cancelled tomorrow which is a real shame for Canto Boy, who I was really looking forward to doing his 2nd event. 
 


DHI Jetset (Emo) in the SJ







Eland Lodge
 
12th/ 13th April 2014
 
 
A new ride for me ‘Canto Boy’ did his first BE 90 on Saturday at Eland Lodge, he is a really nice horse that has previously done a bit of Showjumping. He did a nice test to score 30, and jumped a great double clear. He felt like he really enjoyed the XC, although it was a long way round for a BE90 with hills, and 5 minutes long! He will sleep well for a few days! He would have won but I have to ride non Competitively at that level.  He will do another BE90 at Solihull, and a BE 100 then at Shelford.
 
It was an early start on Sunday with the 3 ‘BE100 Boys’ as I call them!  Cooley Roller Coaster (Charlie), DHI Jetset (Emo) and Captain Corlea II (Casper)
 
They were all great. Jumping double clears, and doing nice settled tests. Emo did a 21 dressage, and Charlie a 27.5. Casper got a 35. The XC was quite hilly and this early in the season they all had a bit of a shock! But they all galloped round well, and will have learnt a lot from it. Charlie got 0.8 time, Casper 1.2, and Emo 5.6. In very competitive sections, Charlie was 2nd, Emo 6th and Casper 10th.
 
I got home and then went to the Gallops with Gino and Spider, who felt very well! I am competing at Bradwall next with the BE100 Boys, then Rockingham.


DHI Jetset



Cooley Roller Coaster



Thankyou to Dick Goddard for the above photo's!




5th/6th April 2014

Buzzing after Belton…..
 
Building up to Belton, I had a lot of pressure on myself that I wanted to do well with Spider and Gino in the Advanced. When I saw the section lists, there was some hot competition!
All I wanted was good performances, and both horses answered my wish.
 
Dressage was on Saturday, and Gino was first to go. He warmed up really well, and he is improving all the time. The arena’s were in a very atmospheric ring, with all the shops close, and lots of people mingling around, flags flapping and children shouting. It just put Gino on edge, and I couldn’t quite push my hand forward to really let him go, and he didn’t really stand still in any of his halts, but we scored 8’s for our half passes, 7’s for his changes, and some other good marks to bring a score of 33.4, leaving us in 11th place overnight.  There is still so much more to come, I feel confident we are really on the right track with his work.
 
Spider again was really relaxed outside, but just got tense as we went in. I thought he did some super work, his lateral work has improved a lot.  Sadly he really couldn’t contain himself any longer in his walk, and jogged most of it! There is a lot of walk, and it felt a very long way! I have to say I was disappointed to score 38, but that left him in 9th place, so in comparison to the rest of the section it was quite a good score. I felt pleased as their work is really improving, I just know I can get more marks!
 
I was excited Saturday morning, but nervous as well. Last year it was their first Advanced with no expectation, this year I knew they could do it, just hoped we didn’t make any silly mistakes.
 
The showjumping was technical, with a lot of jumping efforts. Gino was first to go and was very excited in the collecting ring! He was keen in the ring, but pinged round clear. Spider tried his heart out to jump another clear round with 1 time fault. I was really pleased both had jumped clear, it was game on for the XC.
 
I rode Spider first XC, he cruised round with 4 time faults. He was very good everywhere, and I was thrilled with him. Gino was next, and again gave me a great ride, he feels so brave, almost too brave sometimes! I had good brakes, and just made sure I really had him a few times on the course. These little moments probably wasted the odd second, but I was pleased to hear he had only come home with 8.4 time faults. His gallop has really come on this year.
 
Spider finished 3rd behind Coolio and Avebury (both Olympic horses) so that wasn’t bad! Gino finished 5th, right up there with some very good horses and riders. I was buzzing from my rides, just incredible horses who I am very lucky to ride.
 
Mum put on a fantastic picnic with help from Dick Goddard, and we all enjoyed some fizz when it was all over. Thanks to my Team at the show and at home, couldn’t do it without you!
 
Looking forward to Eland with the younger horses, and then Bradwell and Rockingham. Spider and Gino don’t run now until Chatsworth in the middle of May. 











14th and 16th March, Loving Lincoln, especially in the Sun!

Cooley Roller Coaster Wins BE100 again! 


I love Lincoln, and in contrast to last year we enjoyed perfect ground and sunshine! There was quite a lot of fog first thing friday which meant finding the dressage arena's wasn't easy, but that soon lifted to be a nice day. 
Friday saw Cooley Roller Coaster continue his run of form by winning his BE100 section on a 26! He was very good in all 3 phases, especially XC, he gave me a lovely ride, the galloping course really suiting him. I was thrilled with BE100 first timeer Captain Corlea (Casper), owned by Jenny and Camilla Bingham. He finished 3rd on his dressage score of 28.5, and seems to have taken to Eventing like a duck to water! Casper is for sale and would be a gem for someone to event, he is really lovely to do. 

Today I woke up very excited to be taking Gino and Spider out again. Spider was on first and did a good test, although I felt a little on the edge. However we disguised this from the judge, and got an amazing 23! Best score ever! He showjumped really well, but once again that last fence fell. He felt top class out on the XC, and answered every question easily. I had a lovely ride, and couldn't have been happier. A great prep run before our next outing at Belton. Spider got 0.8 time faults, and finished 4th in a very competitive OI. I felt I could have been at Badminton warming up for the showjumping as the collecting ring was packed with big names, on their top horses! Great to be riding amongst them! 

Gino wasnt quite as settled as at Oasby, but still did a nice test and got 29. He showjumped very well and clear although quite keen! XC I let him run quick and open up fences 1-3, the fence 4 was an oxer to a corner on a curving left turn. I came too forward to the oxer, had a huge jump and despite trying I just couldnt get to the corner, so a 20 penalties. I was annoyed with myself for not getting a quieter jump at the first part, and also realise I could still do with a bit more steering too! After that silly mistake, I ran him really slowly, which actually will have done him the world of good, and hopefully settled him in preparation for Belton. 

Thanks to all my owners and support team for providing excellent help, info, and a wonderful picnic! Its time to take a breath now, and look forward to Belton 5/6th April with Spider and Gino, and Eland Lodge with Emo, Charlie, Casper, and Lyric. I have also got an unaffiliated event lined up at Solihull for Emo and Lyric on 30th March. 

Photo's from Today, thanks Dick Goddard!


Gino is ready to go!



Spider SJ









'Oasby 7th and 9th March 2014

Big Boys are back in action......and loving it! 


It was the day I had been looking forward to, but after taking them both to work at Oasby on Thursday (Gino was off his rocker!) anything could have happened! However thankfully both Gino and Spider are far too professional, and when I had my jacket and number on they knuckled down and tried their very best for me. 
Gino excelled himself in his dressage and did one of his best tests to date, where I felt I could really ride him. He got a 25.5, jumped a brilliant clear in the showjumping, and I had a lovely smooth ride XC. I tried a different bit which seemed to work very well. 8.8 time faults meant we finished 6th. 
Spider also did a really nice test, so much lighter than last year, and did some lovely shoulder in's which I was thrilled to recieve 8's for. He got a 31. I was hoping it was a late 20's test but never mind. He showjumped really well, as out of the mud would not be his favourite going. He was so unlucky to have the last fence off, which was the last part of the combination. He gave me a lovely ride XC, and there was a mix up with his time faults! Eventually I think he got 7.2, which left him in 11th. We thought he had finished 8th but 11th is fine! Both boys came home with smiles on there faces, and so did I. They felt great, fit and ready to go. 








Captain Corlea makes he BE debut....
Jenny and Camilla Bingham's Captain Corlea aka 'Casper' also made his affiliated debut in the BE90 and had an excellent run 30, and double clear. He went very well in all 3 phases, and felt super XC! He is with me to sell, and will make a super horse for someone. My working pupil Sarah Heynes had a great run on George, once we have done a bit more work on the dressage she will be well away! I was also thrilled for Sally Williams who came 4th on Archie, he went so well I was very proud of them both! Also great reults for my former horses, Hallowberry Rocket went really well with Harriet Edmunds, and it was nice to see Machismo Star flying round the XC with Tyler Cassells. Eva Carrier aslo went well round her first intermediate with Cavetto. 

Looking forwards to Lincoln and continued sunshine!





Oasby 6th March 2014

Sheenagh Mudfords 'Cooley Roller Coaster' kick starts the season with a win in the BE100...


Charlie excelled himself in all 3 phases, with a 25.5 dressage and double clear he won his BE100 section well. I was thrilled for Charlie and Sheenagh, he was so consistant last year, but just didnt quite get in the top placings, so our winter training seems to have paid off! Clever Charles!



Richard and Karen Goddards and my own DHI Jetset (Emo) excelled in the first 2 phases, with a 25 dressage and lovely clear SJ, but a silly green mistake left us out of the rossettes with 20 penalties on the XC. An overall pleasing performance for this talented young horse. 







23rd Feb 2014

Building up to and completing the first event of 2014........


Despite the weathers best attempts to prevent the season starting, I am pleased to say that the EMDG One Day Event at Osberton ran today, and the conditions were perfect! Not even any mud! It feels good to have got that first event under my belt, and as I was riding round the XC, I realised I had really missed it over the last 4 months, and felt much better for having a XC fix!! 

Today I just had 2 horses, DHI Jetset (Emo) and Captain Corlea (Casper). My working pupil also had her first event of this year with her horse George. Sarah went really well, although George was quite keen! 
It was Emo's first event, and he was very good in all 3 phases, feeling very classy in the XC, and seemed to love it. He has a really scopey stride which felt like luxury galloping accross the parkland. He won his section, and £75! Clever boy! 
Casper also went very well, he is having a career change, and has come from a showjumping background, so it was all very new to him! I was really pleased with his attitude in all 3 phases. Both horses go to Oasby next, and I am really looking forward to that. 


DHI Jetset in the showjumping phase at Osberton 23/2/14, winning his section.

I have had a lovely new arrival in the yard; 'Rosgan Lyric' owned by my parents David and Yvonne Chandler. He was bought from his breeder having been lightly showjumped, and nicely produced. He seems a really kind horse, with scope and classs, and I cannot wait to begin Eventing him. Just need to introduce him to XC! 

Nicky Dickson's young horse 'Pink' (Spiders half sister) has made her competition debut at both dressage and Showjumping shows. I am looking forward to getting her out XC as soon as possible. 

Spider and Gino are in fine form, I am thrilled with how they feel, and I can not wait to get going. My dressage help from Ruth Edge is really helping with Gino. I am looking forward to a couple of days training at the end of this week. 

On a personal note, I have discovered 'Spinning' which is a really good work out, and even ran with a local club on Wednesday night. XC running in the dark was......interesting! We have gone from being quite quiet on the yard, to having a lot of horses arrive, so it is all systems go! I am looking for another working pupil if any one knows any one that may be interested in the opportunity please get in touch! 

With 10 days to go before Oasby, I am going to be cramming some XC schooling in when I can, a BSJA Show, and some training with Ruth Edge and Di Lampard, lets hope the weather stays kind! 





25th Jan 2014

All systems go.....


We have made a good start to the years competitions, with another dressage show and a Showjumping show under our belts. I have also enjoyed going training with Di Lampard and Ruth Edge.
 
This week has been a busy one, with a dressage show on Weds, and a showjumping show on Friday. Emo dazzled at the dressage show winning both Prelim tests with 76%, and ticking the qualification box for the regionals! Charlie tried hard in both his novice tests, and I felt we had some good work.
Pink made her competition debut, and I was thrilled with 66% in the Prelim, as she behaved impeccably. Pink’s test was at 8am, and Emo and Charlie followed on. Spider however was not on until 7.40pm! So we went home before going back with Spider who won both his Advanced Medium tests with 67%! Despite him being rather cheeky in his first test and towing me down the centre line! (On several occasions!)
 
Arena UK held a three day Winter Novice Show, so it was a perfect place to start. Charlie was good jumping clear in the discovery, and Spider and Gino both jumped double clear in the newcomers. I was thrilled with Gino in the Foxhunter, he felt fantastic, so much softer and straighter. Spider was unlucky to touch the first fence, but it made him think and he was super the rest of the way round.
 
Sarah had her first show of the year with George who went really well. She is looking forward to the JAS Competition at Arena UK on the 1st Feb.
 
This week will be a little quieter, I have some more training booked in. It is great to be able to train this time of year without the pressure of competitions. 




12th January 2014

Happy New Year!

I am enjoying having the horses up and fit already, which is earlier than I have done in the past, but it gives me time to train, and think about trying new ideas. Everyone has wintered well, and I am excited about this coming season, now that January is here, it isn't that far away! 

Jitka is still Head Girl, and doing a fabulous job! I am also pleased to welcome a new Working Pupil - Sarah Heynes, and her horse George to the team. Coopers Law (Spider) and Gino Royale (Gino) lead the team of horses and will both be aimed at 3* level this year. Cooley Roller Coaster (Charlie) and DHI Jetset (Emo) are both lovely, exciting 6yr olds. I also have a 5yr old mare called Pink who is Spider's half sister, and she is just at the beginning of her competitive journey having done a couple of days hunting and training shows. 

I am thrilled to have been included on to the UK Lottery Funded World Class Programme which opens up many doors for me with regard to training, advice and support. Exciting times ahead! 

We made a good start at our first show of 2014. I took 3 horses to a British Dressage Show at Valeview on Sunday. Emo wowed the judge in his Prelim to win with 76%! Charlie was a close 2nd with 71%. In the Novice Emo really impressed me with 71%, and Charlie did some much improved canter work and scored 69%. Spider was very excited to be out and about, but kept himself in control for his Medium and Advanced Medium test scoring 69% in each, and winning the Advanced Medium.

Our Team won lots of rossettes for us at our first show of 2014.....Dressage at Valeview!
























Rider Rankings 2013

I have achieved my goal of being in the top 50 Riders in the B.E Rankings 2013 by finishing 42nd with 296 points. 
Spider has finished 36th in the Top 100 horse B.E Rankings! Clever Spi! 
Next Goal is Top 20!! 



Last Events of 2013.

21st Oct 13

Rocket has brought the season to a close with 2 good Novice runs. He was very good at Little Downham, doing a good test (although I was dissapointed with the mark!) and a great double clear, finishing 2nd. 
Last weekend at Oasby we enjoyed a solid performance in all 3 phases, but much to my annoyance I got 2.8 time faults for going to quickly!! I think he is just more than ready to upgrade to Intermediate! It is a shame the end of season has come already. 
Considering Rocket has only been Eventing this year since July, his accumulation of 19 points is pretty impressive. I feel he has a great future ahead of him. 
Spider and Charlie have gone home for their holidays, we have sold Canderija, and so I have a few for schooling, and breaking in at the moment. 
I will be sad to see this Event season end, it has certainly been one to remember! HUGE THANKYOU to all my team and to the horses for trying their hearts out for me. Roll on 2014!!

On another XC note, Sally, Paul, Ellie and I did the "Eaton Stampede" 10km XC Race on Sunday. Mud, hills, and xc running. Paul finished ahead of all us girls, but I got first female (there wasnt many in it lol!) and won a £30 Sainsbury's Voucher, so I thought it was well worth the effort! I really enjoy doing these races, and think it helps me understand how the horses feel and need to be trained. Un-even ground is deffinatly a killer on the legs and body! 








Aske Hall

28th Sept 13


Di Lampards Hallowberry Rocket won the Novice at Aske Hall yesterday on his dressage score of 32.5. He led from the start, and jumped a great double clear. He realy loves his job, and improves on every outing. Aske is always a good event, and the ground was perfect. The showjumping is always a test as it is on very undulating ground, but Rocket coped well, and I was really pleased with our win. He has been really consistant so he deserved it! He now goes to Little Downham and Oasby. 









Nations Cup GB Team Victory
 
Montellibretti, Italy. 19th-22nd Sept 13


Our team (left to right) Katie Sims, Calador, Paul Sims, Jitka Hola, Coopers Law, Emilie Chandler, Liz Browne (vet), Philip Surl (Chef D'Equipe), Trig Point, Nicky Roncoroni, Frankie Murreel, Raphael II, and Dani Evans. ( Alex Van Tuyll was missing!!!)

 
 
I never imagined I would get selected for a Nations Cup this year, let alone Win it, and take Individual 2nd. It is all credit to an amazing horse, loyal owners and a brilliant support team so Thank you all so much. Thankyou UK Sport for funding this opportunity.
 
Our adventure began on Sunday 15th Sept. All the team met at Nicky Roncoroni’s yard in Kemble, Gloustershire. We packed up and left at Midnight with 10 people, 4 horses, and one UK Sport funded Landrover Discovery pulling a small trailer full of kit and equipment.  Jitka and I travelled in the Discovery, as Jitka drove a lot of the way. Sadly I have not got a license to pull a trailer, so I was navigator and DJ! Our journey on the whole was very smooth. We Stabled Monday night in Dijon, France, and Tuesday night in Milan, Italy, before arriving at the Event on Wednesday morning. All the horses and people had travelled well, and we all got to know each other well on the long journey!
 
Trot up was Thursday late afternoon, which gave the horses time to settle. Spider felt good from the moment he arrived, the heat and the journey had made him settled and relaxed as soon as he arrived, as normally he is very over excited.
I was drawn 3rd to go for the Team,  which I thought suited me well, and Team GB were drawn 1st. Paul Sims was first to go of our team, so number 1 of the event! He got the dressage off to a great start with a personal best performance by nearly 9 marks! Dani Evans was 2nd to go on her impressive horse Raphael II. I feel sure this combination have a big future and a big win in there at some point. Dani did a good test with some super trot work, just the canter showing a bit of tightness. I was 3rd to go, and Spider performed really well, our only mistake being the flying change right to left, which is his weakest movement anyway. He scored a personal best of 46.4. I finished 3rd after the dressage with our 4th rider Nicky Roncoroni going in to the lead with a nice fluent test on the experienced Trig Point.
The team lead after the dressage, and we were 1st, 3rd, 6th and 7th.

In full concentration warming up for our test.

 
XC was next, but our class wasn’t starting until 2pm, so there was lots of time to kill! DVD’s got watched, the course got walked, and Spider had an early morning leg stretch. I was due out on course at 3.04.  All the usual nerves of excitement kicked in, and I just wanted to get out there and do it! Confidence in the team was high when both Paul and Dani came home clear, just inside the time.  At last it was my turn, 3,2,1……
 
Spider was fantastic, he galloped round easily, making nothing of the big jump in to water, and the technical coffin. He came home well inside the time. Our only thing was that we had lost a front shoe, so there was a slight language barrier in trying to get the farrier to the stables, as Spider was so excited trying to get him to stand near the start of the XC was impossible! I quickly put my shorts on to get back out on course to watch Nicky, who flew round easily. What a day, we were now 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th
With my shoe back on, Spider looked fresh and sound Saturday evening. Thanks to our supporters, we had a feast at the lorry, and then to bed. I think the heat and adrenaline had taken its toll, and we were all eager to nail this win the next day.

Making the XC feel easy....


I have dreamed of wearing that flag on my hat silk, I just hope there are more chances to do the same again!!!


 
Sunday trot up at 10am, very civilized! All the horses looked good and passed.  Our SJ track was fairly technical, with a mixture of very short and long distances. As we were all in the top 4, the collecting ring was busy! Dani sadly had 4 down, which was disappointing for her, Paul just rolled the middle part of the combination but a good round, and Nicky and I jumped clear. I was thrilled with Spider, what a star. I felt he couldn’t have gone any better for the stage he is at, and he has been amazing all year.  Having been accepted in to Boekelo CCI*** I was so tempted to take him as I really want to go, but I feel another massive journey in 3 weeks time is just too much. Instead he will have his usual well deserved holiday and come back in December. Look out Bramham 2014, We will be trying our hardest to win you!
 
Special thanks to Jitka, who has kept Spider in amazing form, and not missed a thing. She did a very good job all week (he was the best looked after horse in  my opinion!) Jitka also drove the Landrover and Trailer there and back, nearly 3000 miles!
 
Our adventure was amazing. It has been so nice to get to know my team mates, and have a good giggle throughout the week. My only wish is that I hope we are together on a team, another time.
 
Thankyou to my supporters, Mum and Dad, Nicky and Sally, and Dick and Karen who all came out to cheer us on, and wave that GB flag……and cry to The National Anthem!!!! I loved having you all there.
 
Looking forward that was my last major event. I just have Hallowberry Rocket doing 3 Novice Runs, and perhaps DHI Jetset will do his first event at Oasby. Then it is all over for another year. Seems a shame when this trip has made me VERY hungry for more!! I am now looking out for new rides, owners, and working on some Sponsorship deals. So if anyone is interested in sending their horse, or becoming an owner please do not hesitate to get in touch.
 
 
 
 
 




In the Local Press

13th Sept 13

It was great to see these 2 articles in the Melton Times today



Below; Article about being selected for Nations Cup with Spider


Below; Emo photographed doing his lap of honour






Burghley Young Event Horse Final, 2nd in 5yr olds, 4th in 4yr olds......

6th Sept 13


DHI Jetset jumping his way to 2nd place in the 5yr old final! Look at the height he got over this one! 


DHI Jetset on the XC phase

Ian and Heidi Woodheads DHI Jetset finished a brilliant 2nd place in the 5yr old final. He showed all his talent and really impressed the judges, especially the Star Quality Judge, Ian Stark who pulled him in first after the Gallop, earning him the full 10 marks. I also had Sheenagh Mudfords 'Cooley Roller Coaster' there who was a very good boy, and did a lovely test, and a nice round jumping but wasn't marked that well which was a shame, but that can be the way of the class, and its all up to the judges on that day. 

Cooley Roller Coaster jumping really well, but unfortunatly his marks were'nt quite good enough for the top 10.



This afternoon my catch ride 'Chance In A Million,' Owned by Sue Browne and Nicola Baguley finished 4th in a very competitive 4yr old final. He too scored the highest mark for the Star Quality and Gallop section. All credit to Nicola who has bred, produced and qualified him, I felt very lucky to have the ride on such a nice 4yr old, so I am glad we got a good result. He also won Best British Bred Horse and got a lovely rossette. 

Chance In A Million with his many rossettes with his Owner/Breeder/Rider Nicola Baguley. 


Chance In A Miliion showing his class in the XC phase infront of Burghley House.


Thanks to Dubarry I won two hip flasks, which will aid my Hunting Season Im sure!

When we were all finished we walked the 4* XC Course, which has many questions. I will watch the competition unfold tommorrow with interest, and I wish everyone luck. 





First Hound excersise of the yer....

4th Sept 13


It was a lovely morning to go out on Hound Excersise with the Belvoir Hounds this morning. We met them within hacking distance, and had a really nice time. 

Below, left to Right; Ellie on Bobby, Jitka on Pete, and Me on Rocket. 




Keysoe

Mon 2nd Sept


It seemed strange doing an event on a Monday, but it was a good opportunity to give Rocket another run. He did a nice test, 35. An unlucky pole coming out the double in the showjumping, and a fab clear XC with 1.2 time, and I didnt press him as ground was firm enough. We finished 11th, and it was a good educational run. He finds it all easy, and just needs to get mileage and experience. I dont think he will be long before he steps up to Intermediate level. 

Looking forward to Friday BYEH Final. Hope Emo, Charlie, and Chance are in good form!



Blair Castle

25th Aug


It has been a busy few days up in Scotland, in the beautiful grounds of Blair Castle, both Coopers Law (Spider) and Gino Royale achieved double clears in the CIC***. Spider finished 7th, and Gino 21st in a high class field, and I couldn't be more pleased with them.
I have to say a special thankyou to Jitka Hola, who has worked very hard with Spider since his over reach at Burgham, as it was touch and go wether we would be able to run him as although sound, the wound was  deep. I'd also like to thank Jenny Daynes for her advice and laser machine, and Matthew Barlows faith that it would hold up! 
Thankfully we set off on Wednesday with both horses for our adventure up North. There was Sally, Jitka, Mungo and I, and our early start gave us a good journey all the way to Blair. Gino had his dressage on Thurs afternoon, and Spider Friday, which I was pleased about because Spider lacked work due to the over reach and was VERY excited to be there! Gino was settled and in good form from when he arrived which was an improvement on Bramham! 
Gino did a really good test for him, both changes were clean, and the Medium trot stronger. A trip on our first move off from halt, and a wonky extended walk which was jockey error just lost us a few valuable marks, and I was a bit dissapointed only to score 53. I hoped it would be better. Once again the judges were very varied in their marking. 
Spider was on Friday morning, and by then he felt in a good, sensible frame of mind. I was really pleased with his test, he couldn't have gone any better for me at this point in time. I was thrilled with a score of 180 from judge Nikki Herbert, and gutted with 153 from the Australian judge. What a difference! His mark was 48.8, so still good. 
Sally, Jitka and I enjoyed the drinks party hosted in the Castle, but didnt make it to the Scottish Dancing (dancing has never been a strong point!) We stayed on site to eat each night as Mum had prepared some great food, which makes things easier, as we were always busy until late. 
I'd been waiting for Saturday to come all week, and it was good showjumping in the morning and XC in the afternoon. Gino jumped a great clear round first for me. He is amazing, he has only touched one pole in his first OI this year, and has jumped clear in all his advanced and 3 stars, and finds it easy! 
Spider was jumping great outside, and continued that in the ring. A super clear with confidence, and I was thrilled. I think his re fitted Devoucoux saddle has really helped (Thankyou James Trevatt from Devoucoux!) Di Lampard has helped me a lot with him during the year, its a matter of strength and confidence with him, and yesterday he felt great. Our clear rounds moved us up the order, and Spider was in the top 10 which went XC in reverse order. 
Gino was first on the XC, and ran very keen but brilliant as ever. Everything feels in fast forward, his brain and body working so quickly. Running up the hills was no problem, but he would have like to have ran down them at the same speed, which I was not so keen on! 10 time faults was ok, and my qualification for a CCI*** achieved! He finished in 21st, which shows the class of the field. Those 10 time faults were costly in the placings. 
Spider was faultless, and gave me another super ride. I really felt he was at his best, and I just picked up 4 time faults. Most importantly I had a super ride and actually feel like Italy (Nations Cup Team) could be happening!! Very exciting, as this will be his next run. 
Having finished very well, a few hours later Gino was very sore behind from what looked like a small insignificant speedy cut on his hind pastern. It was a puncture wound, something small had gone in and out on course, so we had to pack up very quickly and get him to Edinburgh Vet Hospital ASAP. The infection was confirmed, and an op carried out. Thankfully he should make a full recovery, but that will have to be his last run this year. Such a freak thing to happen, but Vet and Staff at Edinburgh were amazing so Thankyou. Looking forward to him coming home ASAP!!! From such a high to a long worrying night. You just never know whats round the corner with horses. 
Looking on we have the Novice at Keysoe coming up with Rocket, and then the BYEH Final with Charlie and Emo. I have also got a catch ride on a lovely 4yr old, 'Chance In A Million'  owned and bred by Sue Browne and Nicola Baguley so Im really looking forward to that day, and of course walking that big 4*course.......Next year maybe?????......hope so!

 Below; Spider just before starting his dressage test


Below; Blair Castle, the glamerous entrance to the drinks party.......there was even the red carpet lol!!


Gino jumping one of the Olympic fences from London 2012.


Spider jumping in to the 2nd water, which was big. He cruised through.


Having a de brief after the XC with Mum


Having some pre test practise with Ian Woodhead.


Gino just about to start his test. 


Shelford 14th Aug

It was all go go go over the last 2 days, I had Rocket competing at Shelford on Weds Morning, then Gino doing 2 Advanced Medium tests at Valeview Dressage Show in the afternoon. Both horses were very good. Rocket seems to really like his Eventing, and considering this is only his 3rd Novice, he finds it all very easy. I was please with 4th place at Shelford. 

Cooley Roller Coaster (Charlie) was the following day. He did a lovely test to score 30, then a great double clear and he finished 3rd. He is really consistant in his performances.



Di Lampards and Dietmar Ackermann's 'Hallowberry Rocket' on his way to 4th place in the Novice. He is an exciting prospect for the future.


Sheenagh Mudfords talented 5yr old, 'Cooley Roller Coaster' (Charlie) on his way to 3rd in the BE100. 



Burgham 10th Aug 

Jitka and I left on Friday with 3 horses, Coopers Law, Gino Royale, and Hallowberry Rocket. We set sail up the A1, and Burgham is just off there, so even though it is quite a long way it was an easy drive.  It was a well run, friendly event with good strong courses on good ground. 

Rocket was very good in his 2nd Novice, 28 dressage, one unlucky rail coming out of the combination, and a super clear XC with 6.4 time faults. I was very pleased with him, and he seems to really love it. He finished 5th. 

Gino was excited to be at an event, and he gets better and better. He did a nice test to score 31, jumped a lovely easy double clear with 11.6 time faults finishing 6th. 

Spider was excited all day! he kept his competition head on though, and did a smart 29 dressage and a good double clear finishing 3rd. 

It was nice to give them both an OI run before heading off to Blair in 2 weeks time. 









GB Nations Cup Team Call Up!!

I have been selected to go to Montelibretti in Italy to be part of the GB Squad in the CICO*** on 19th-22nd Sept. This is one of the competitions in the F.E.I Nations Cup Series in which Britain are currently in 2nd place.  
I will take Nicky Dickson and Sally Williams' Coopers Law (Spider). It is really exciting to have been recognised and given this opportunity. I had the Nations Cup series in my sights for next year, but to be given the chance this year is a dream come true. 

My plans will stay the same until Montelibretti, A nice OI run at Burgham this coming weekend, followed by a CIC*** at Blair Castle (22-24th Aug). Fingers crossed all goes well at these events, and we get our first chance to fly the British flag!















Sheenagh Mudfords 'Cooley Roller Coaster' Wins Carlton BYEH




26th July 13

I was delighted with Charlie today, he has been knocking on the door of qualifying for Burghley, and today he did it in style! He scored really good marks, and 37 out of 40 for his jumping, 28 for dressage, and 15 confirmation, which gave us a 3 point lead going in to the top 10. He galloped really well, and was pulled in 5th. I wasn't sure if we had hung on to our lead, but to our delight we had. It was well worth the trip to Carlton, which is futher than I thought!  So I am excited to have 2 going to Burghley. 

My day was a busy one as I went to Arena UK this morning with Ruby, owned and bred by Di Lampard, she jumped double clear in the British Novice, and we are heading back there tomorrow. 




Aston Le Walls, Buckminster Park, and  Fieldhouse BYEH

21st July 2013


June was a quiet time, I was lucky enough to go Sailing in Greece for a week straight after Bramham, and Jitka my head Girl got to go home for a week too, to meet her new born nephew.
 
Eventing began again at Buckminster Park on 7th July. I have Di Lampards Hallowberry Rocket (Rocket) back to event again for the rest of the season, which is great as he is really nice. He lives a double life being a show jumper and an eventer. He began his Eventing at Buckminster and was 9th in the BE100. I also had Sheenagh Mudfords Cooley Roller Coaster in the 5yr old class who did a nice test and a double clear but finished just out the top 10, it just goes to show how competitive these age classes are! Chris Saunders’ DHI Camelot also continued his consistency, with another double clear. 
 
The last few days have been full on. On Thursday we went to the BYEH qualifier at Fieldhouse E.C with Cooley Roller Coaster (Charlie), and Ian and Heidi Woodheads DHI Jetset (Emo). It was hot, but both horses excelled themselves. Charlie led for a long time scoring well in all 3 parts totaling 78. With 74 in the class higher scores began to creep in, and one of those was Emo. He scored an amazing 86, which is the highest score I have ever achieved at a BYEH class. Going in to the top 10 Emo was leading and Charlie was 6th. I begged Nini French to take her shorts off and put her jods back on to ride Charlie for me in the ride off. It was a good result, Emo was pulled in first after the gallop, and Charlie in 4th. The final placings were Emo in 1st, by a mile, and Charlie in 5th, just missing a BYEH Qualification for Burghley. Charlie will go to Carlton to see if we can get a ticket to Burghley there.
 
It was then straight to Aston Le Walls with Rocket doing his first Novice, and Gino and Spider in the Advanced. Friday I had 2 advanced dressage tests, and Rocket all 3 phases. Spider and Gino were very relaxed for their tests, and performed fluent and accurate tests, but the firm ground did limit the ability to really extend the paces. Spider scored 29.8, and Gino 32.3.
 
Rocket was great, he did a good test apart from breaking in his medium trot. He scored 33. He jumped a very good clear showjumping, and found his first novice easy. I ran with the handbrake on due to the firm ground, so came home with 20 time faults. It wasn’t worth chasing the clock, but a double clear has given him his first point! First of many I hope!
 
Back the next day to Showjump and XC Gino and Spider, who were very excited to be out again. They were both super, and jumped double clears. I ran slowly on both, Gino got 38 time faults, and Spider with his long stride got 17 and still came 5th.


 
My plans have began to change though as I have been rejected for the Intermediate Championships with Coopers Law at Gatcombe as he has over qualified himself with his result at Bramham! So he now heads to Blair Castle CIC***. Gino was aimed at Hartpury but has been waitlisted so we have withdrawn his entry and will aim him for Blair as well. I was delighted to have been shortlisted for the British Nations Cup Team competitions at the end of September with both horses, so we will be keeping fingers crossed.


 
 
 
 
 
Brilliant Bramham CIC***

10th June 13



I think I may well of under estimated the intensity of having 3 first timers at Bramham in the CIC***!!! It was all go, go, go.....not even time to go to the Cocktail Party! It was 100% worthwhile though, as all 3 horses were just brilliant. 
Tullibairds Showtime has gone from strength to strength this Spring, and he was first to go. He did a lovely test and scored 47.2. His trot work was very good, and I am still developing the canter, and his changes were both a bit late behind which lost us a few marks, so imagine how good it could have been! He lay in 6th place after dressage. Coopers Law was settled and did a smart test to score 49. He was so relaxed that his changes were behind my leg, and again didn't happen well enough to score well, but the rest of his work was great, and I was so pleased he kept calm.
Gino did his best test of this year, after several rides, he came out in a super frame of mind for his test, and stayed relaxed, balanced and rideable. I was slightly disapointed he didn't score late 40's, but a 51 was still good, and it certainly wasn't going to be a dressage competition! 
The XC was BIG! But it was Bramham, and I guess I expected it to be, it always has been. Ian Stark is a great course builder because if you have a good ride, horses grow in confidence from his courses, even though they are big. This years course demanded you to hold a line and think on your feet, and ride what was underneath you. The undulations were going to take a toll on the horses, as were the endless big oxers, and ditches. I told each of my horses before I got on them that if there was a day they needed to believe in me, it was today!
They all showjumped first on Saturday morning. Tullibairds Showtime excelled himself with an immaculate clear round. Coopers Law was nearly there, but sadly just rolled the last two fences, he finds this phase quite hard work, but I believe he will keep on improving as he really tries hard for me. Gino Royale popped round clear, jumping for fun. I then spent a couple of hours watching the CCI*** and seeing how the course was riding. 
The XC did cause problems, but I stayed positive, and just couldn't wait to get out there and see what was what. Tullibairds Showtime was a star, he kept in a super rhythm and jumped effortlessly round all the straight ways. He is such a super horse to ride, always looking for the next set of flags. I was suprised to see I only got 4.8 time faults, as I wasn't chasing the clock for their first CIC***. It was a relief to know I had had one good round, I just hoped the other 2 would be as good.......and they were. Coopers Law has an effortless gallop, and although I wasn't chasing the clock, he cruised home with just 0.4 time. He really impressed me and has been very grown up all week.....at long last! 
Gino gave me a super clear. Again after our tumble at Chatsworth, it was most important to have a good ride, and check everything felt as it should. It did, his confidence was 110%, and he was more settled than he has been the last couple of times, which meant our rhythm stayed even, and he made the course feel easy. Gino got 8.8 time faults finishing in 12th. Coppers Law was 10th, and Tullibairds Showtime was 6th. What great results in their first CIC***! 
I couldn't have done it all without my super team, Jitka Hola, Jo Preece, Sally Williams and Paul Luger, who all had the horses in the right places at the right time, and were super efficient at the after care as well. Big Thankyou to my super owners Chris and Chrissy Saunders, Richard and Karen Goddard, Nicky Dickson and Sally Williams who have supported me all the way through producing these horses, which can be a rollercoaster of a ride! Thankyou to my sponsors; Techclothing who supply me with the best waterproof coats on the market, and Nicky who supplies me with H3O Sports Drink, which kept me fully hydrated and able to keep me as a rider at my best for all 3 horses on a hot afternoon. It plays a big part of performing at my best.
It is amazing to be part of high class eventing sport with a great team of owners, and supporters, with exciting young horses. I really appreciate just how difficult it is to get there now more than I ever did in my Young Rider days! I just hope these days continue, and I will make sure I enjoy every minute! 
The 'A' Team will have a breather now, and then plans will be made for the Autumn Events. 




Chatsworth
 
13th May 13
 

Coopers Law impressed his home crowd to finish 6th in his Advanced section. He was super in his dressage test, and scored 27.9, which left him right up there in the top 3. He tried really hard round a big technical SJ track, and just had one down. He galloped his way round the undulating XC easily, and added 14 time faults. The XC ran the opposite way round this year, and probably didn’t ride as smoothly although it was a kinder start, and no long pull up hill on the way home. Sadly the weather deteriorated and the afternoon was wet, windy and cold, and changed the ground conditions very quickly.



Tullibards Showtime really stepped up to the mark in his first Advanced, and showed me what he is made of. He did some lovely work in his test, just need to do more work on the flying changes, but 31.3 was a very good score. He was excellent in the showjumping, he gets better and better, and jumped a great clear for me. I took him steadily XC, having just had a fall from Gino, and a big hold on course for an accident involving a motorbike score collector, my main aim was to have a solid good ride, and give him a good experience. The plan paid off, and he jumped round foot perfect with 24 time faults. He finished 14th, but we were all very pleased with his performance.  
Gino Royale did a nice test, a little enthusiastic at times! He scored 34.3. His Showjumping felt amazing, he loved it in that main arena, and jumped for fun, never going near a rail. His enthusiasm continued round the XC, and I was having a great ride until the sunken road 3 from home. The distance was very short, and he jumped so well in over the first element he made up ground, jumped big in to the hollow, then tried to bounce out, realized he couldn’t and breasted the step up causing us to fall. We are both fine, bit bruised, but will fight another day.
Thanks to all my family, owners and supporters who gave me a few words of confidence before riding the next two.
Love riding at this level, it becomes a whole different sport. I am hungry for more! Cant wait until Bramham………


 
On Friday at Chatsworth I took Shenagh Mudfords Cooley Roller Coaster (Charlie) and Chris Saunders DHI Camelot (Lance) to the BYEH. It was all in the main arena, so what an eye opener for 5 year olds! My two were impeccably behaved, and Charlie really impressed the judges and finished 6th.
 
This Friday we are at Rockingham Castle, a new event, so I hope it is nice.  I have Beauty B in the Novice, and Ille Du Ramier (Pierre), and Cooley Roller Coaster in the BE100. 


Brilliant Belton, and Hartpury Winter Dressage Champs……
 
15th April 13
 

The last few days have been exhausting, but thanks to a great team, and some great results it has all been worthwhile! On Friday I had my CIC** dressage test at Belton at 8.23 am, which enabled me to get up early and do Grey Spiders test, before dashing off to Hartpury in another lorry (Thankyou Sally Williams!) to compete at the Winter Dressage Championships with Beauty Bee. Grey Spider did a lovely test, and held the lead for most of the day in the CIC**, but just got beaten by one of the last to go, so he lay 2nd overnight, which was a great place to be and all to play for.
Beauty B was in the Novice Open, and performed a super test. The arena was very atmospheric, but she rose to the occasion, and I couldn’t have been happier. The judges were very divided, and one judge had us to win, one 3rd and one way down the order! So we finished 5th, on 67.98 % ,  Still a great result at the Nationals!


 Beauty B (Bee) at the National Winter Dressage Champs, we were 5th.


The weekend was only just beginning, it was back to Belton on Saturday for 2 Advanced dressage tests with Spider and Gino, and Grey Spiders Showjumping and XC. I was paranoid I was going to muddle all the dressage tests together and produce a new one with having to perform 3 different, and quite complex tests in 48 hours.
Gino was quite tense during his test, but he charmed the judges to score 28.5!  Spider was quite excited too with quite strong winds and quite a lot of atmosphere, he scored 37 which compared well in his section. Grey Spider jumped really well, and with a clear in the showjumping, I was well in contention for the class. Seeing as last time out we parted company, I wanted to give him a really good ride XC first and formost. The course caused a lot of problems, but Grey Spider was foot perfect, and he sailed round with just 2 time faults. We won by 5 marks in the end, a great result for his owner Chris Saunders, and all my team.


 Tullibards Showtime (Grey Spider) on his way to winning the CIC**


It was Gino and Spiders first Advanced, and I felt well prepared. Gino was first to go Sunday Morning, and got the day off to a good start with a smart clear round in the showjumping. I ran quickly to watch the first few XC, before setting off on Gino. He was just super, it is so exciting to be back riding at that level, I get such a buzz from the difficult fences, and the feeling the horses give you round the course. Gino looked to jump between the flags all the way round, and I got 10 time faults.
Spider was up next, and in the showjumping collecting ring he got quite upset in the high winds, with leaves and bags blowing across the floor, and flags flapping, that un known to us he pulled off a front shoe just before he went in the ring. He didn’t jump his best round, wether it be the loss of his shoe, or the high winds in the ring. 3 down was a shame, but looking back he coped very well under the circumstances! I was thrilled with him XC, he was bold and brave, and made it all feel easy.

Dick and Karen Goddard, very proud owners of Gino Royale (Gino), 3rd in his first Advanced.

Gino finished 3rd and Spider 14th. Good effort I’d say! Very proud of them having produced them from the start! Just wish I could clone them so I can have more rides at that level!
Monday morning came round very quickly, and the young horses were all ready for some proper work. I am moving in to my house as well this week, so its all go go go! 



Aston Le Walls Unaff

6th April 13


The sun shone at last! Despite a cold frosty start, at last we ran in some sun. It was 3 horses first event, they were in the 90 class. Pierre owned by Chris Saunders is a lovely young 6 yr old, who hasn't done much in his career yet. He was very good at his first event, doing a nice test despite a wobble out the arena! He jumped a good double clear with a few time faults, but I was thrilled with his attitude. 
Lance is another young horse owned by Chris Saunders, he is 5, and again was really well behaved and did a nice test and double clear, finishing 5th. Charlie is owned by Sheenagh Mudford, he is also 5 yrs old. He was second, finishing on his dressage score of 30.5. 

I also had DHI Cadans Z (Daniel) in the 100 class, he was good, double clear and 31 dressage, so he had a good run before he goes Novice at Solihull. 

It was thrilling to get the young ones out, and see how they coped with it all. They were all excellent, and have an exciting future. 

It was nice to see that 'Douglas' showed his true form at Weston Park by winning the Advanced, he was a horse I produced to Intermediate level and then was sold over a year ago, but I thought a lot of him. I hope he continues to have a lot of success.

This week I have my head down preparing for the National Winter Dressage Champs with Beauty B, and Belton with Gino Royale, Coopers Law, and Tullibards Showtime. Roll on the weekend! 






Burnham Market 

28-30 March 2013



Spider on route to 3rd place in the CIC**


Gino making a technical 2* track feel easy. He was 6th in the CIC**

Burnham Market proved an excellent alternative to Gatcombe, and I enjoyed success  in the CIC** with Gino Royale, Coopers Law who finished 3rd and 6th. Tullibairds showtime was well in contention until I got un seated jumping out of the sunken road half way round the XC! I was frustrated but it was just one of those things. I couldn’t help but be thrilled with all of their performances.
Spider was very good in all 3 phases. He has come out this year in a different class, and it is exciting to feel him so good. I have used a Fairfax girth on him and I am sure it has made a big difference to his jumping, and allowed him to be freer in his body over a fence. I wouldn’t have believed it could make such a difference, so I have to thank Di Lampard for recommending it.
Having always ridden Gino twice before his dressage test at a competition, at Burnham Market I only had time to ride him once and it showed. He was a bit too tight to get the marks he can, and he got a deserved 52.2, which left him in 21st. However after a good clear SJ and super ride XC he finished 6th.  Both of them feel ready to tackle their first Advanced next time out and I cant wait!
Grey Spider will go to Belton CIC** next, and I will be trying to repeat or better  his excellent dressage mark of 43.7.
I also enjoyed 2 horses in the BE100 Open on Thursday morning; Chris Saunders’ ‘DHI Cadans Z’ (Daniel) and Charlotte Monks ‘Beuaty B’. I rode Bee for the first time at Lincoln BE100 and she finished 4th, this weekend she bettered that and was 2nd. She ran really well, especially XC, which again was a good sign, as we are going Novice next time out.
It was my first event with Daniel and I am still getting to know him, but I was very pleased with his performance.  He did a nice test, 35, and jumped a very good double clear, just adding 5 time faults to his dressage score so he finished just out the top 10.
I have to say thank you to support team, the horses looked amazing, and everything was so well organized I could concentrate totally on trying to achieve the best performance possible.
Draycott house was cancelled next week end, but I have entered the unaff at Aston Le Walls instead with 3 first time BE90 horses, and Daniel in the BE100. The following week is the National dressage Championships with Beauty B, and Belton……that is going to be a busy week end!
On another note, I had entered a 10k run race tomorrow, which I thought was at Woolaton Park, Nottingham……….looking at my entry confirmation it turns out I have some how entered the London Easter 10k, in Richmond Park, London………I will travel any distance for an Event, but that’s too far for a 10k run!!!!!! Oooops…...
 



My Event Season gets off to a flying start 

10th March 13


Once again I started my Eventing season at Oasby, sadly not in glorious Spring sunshine, but dense cold fog! Despite the weather we had a great day with all 3 horses in the Open Intermediate; Coopers Law (Spider) Owned by Nicky Dickson and Sally Williams, Gino Royale (Gino) Owned by Richard and Karen Goddard, and Tullibairds Showtime (Grey Spider) Owned by Chris Saunders. 
Spider was in great form, and feels stronger yet again this year. He did a super dressage test to score 26.5, jumped a great double clear and won his section. We even beat the likes of Opposition Buzz, and High Kingdom who were London 2012 horses! He really loves his job, and found all 3 phases easy and effortless. 
Gino has grown up, and performed his best test at a one day event yet. His work in the warm up was the best I have felt him, and he did a nice test to score 28. He was jumping very well, but an unlucky backrail fell going in to the double, so 4 faults cost us a win, and he finished 6th, but I was very pleased with him, and he was very pleased to be out, and rather over brave on the XC!
Grey Spider did some lovely work in his dressage, and scored 30. He jumped a lovely SJ clear, but I got 2 time faults on him which frustrated me. I need to turn him up a bit tighter in the future.He was really good XC, I ran for 5 time faults with him, and we finished 7th. 
I was thrilled to have 3 great results, and feel that we are on track for the step up to Advanced which they now need to make. 
I am very grateful to my team for helping the day run smoothly, especially Jitka who was experiencing her first event as super groom,  and Mum for providing a great pic nic. 

Coopers Law showjumping. You can see how foggy it was, and it stayed all day!



I went back to Oasby today, and instead of fog we left in snow! I was waiting for the text message to say they had cancelled but thankfully Oasby hadn't had the snow we had. All credit to the organisers who had moved the dressage arena's, show jumping arena, and XC collecting ring to create fresh ground. 
My two working pupils, Ellie and Lizzie were competing in the BE100. Ellie did a great dressage 29.5, an unfortunate rail in the SJ and a good clear XC left them in 3rd, which was a great result. Lizzie went  very well too, 30 dressage, one down SJ and a speedy XC. I am not sure at this point in time where Lizzie fiished, but I am sure it will be top 6. I was really pleased with how they both rode, and their confidence is really growing. They are looking forward to upgrading to Novice very soon. 

Looking forward I am at Lincoln in the BE100 Open next Friday with a new ride 'Beauty B' Owned by Charlotte Monk. The following weekend is Stafford, and Gatcombe. I just hope we can say goodbye to snow, fog, rain and wind, and get some sunshine!



Working Pupils get the season off to a great start

2nd March 13


Well done to Ellie and Lizzie, who both had an excellent first run at Aston Le Walls. Both scored 34, and double clear with no time! Lizzie finished 10th in her section and Ellie finished 15th in hers. Both combinations went really well in all 3 phases. I had a day of being driver and helper, and in between the girls riding I did all my month end book keeping! Good day all round. We all enjoyed a celebratory drink in the evening. Roll on Oasby, the season is up and running! 




Taking XC to another extreme........

1st March 13

I had great fun last Sunday with Jitka as we took going XC to another level, and ran round Aylesfords XC course in a running race called 'The Beast'. We went up and down hill, through the water jumps and over the XC fences! We also had two pond crossings where we waded through water up to our waist, and a cargo net to crawl under. I decided it was much easier on a horse, but loved the challenge!  We both felt very proud of ourselves, and we are trying to find a 10km race this Sunday. My whole team are getting fit to do the Stathern Duelathon on the 17th March, which is 5km run, 18km on a bike and another 5 km run!! I did it last year and it was great fun. It gives me a small insight to helping with my horses fitness and recovery. 

I have also managed to get my horses out XC schooling, which has been great after a long hard winter. The ground is good, and they were as pleased as I was to be galloping across the grass!

Lizzie and Ellie have their first event of the season tommorrow, and Im looking forward to Oasby a week today! I hope the sun stays shining!

Below; Jitka and I after finishing 'The Beast XC Race!' 





I jumped my first indoor 1.30m class!........Exciting!

18th Feb 13


I couldnt help but be excited yesterday after jumping Gino in the 1.30m B & C Qualifier at Arena UK. One of my dreams is to have a showjumper and jump the big tracks, it gives me a real buzz! 
It was time to dust off the show tack, and get out there jumping some proper tracks. I took my 3 top horses to Arena UK last Thursday, and again yesterday. On Thursday I jumped the Newcomers and the Foxhunter with all 3. Gino was quite firery, and took until his 3rd round to settle, when he jumped a good clear in the foxhunter. Spider tried really hard, just having 4 faults in both the Newcomers and the Foxhunter, but he really feels like he has strengthened yet again this year, and was really trying for me. Grey Spider also jumped very well, with a lovely double clear in the Newcomers, and  a good, solid performance in the Foxhunter. It was a really enjoyable morning as being at a Premier show I was surrounded by professionals, and it was great to watch some good riding, and talented young horses. I enjoyed myself so much, I decided to go back on Sunday! 
Sunday's first class was the Foxhunter, so I entered all 3 again. Spider jumped a great clear, as did grey Spider although I got 2 time faults. Gino was a bit fresh again, and with people moving in the galleries he knocked down number 1 through lack of concentratiion! Just Spider was through to the jump off, and he just rolled number 1! He tried so hard, it was the biggest track he will have jumped. I was very pleased with him. I decided grey Spider had done enough, and I was pleased with his round so didnt do any more with him. However, I felt Gino needed another round to settle, so the next class was the 1.30m, so thats what we did. Roll on 2013, and if it keeps raining, i'm off show jumping!!!





Beauty B Qualifies for Dressage National Championships

11th Feb 13


I have a new ride this year 'Beauty B' who is owned by Charlotte Monk, who has also produced up until now but due to heavy university commitments has decided to place her with me to Event and Dressage. 
Charlotte had qualified Bee for the Novice Winter Regional Championships, and so even though my partnership with Bee is still very new, I decided we would go to the Regionals at Bishop Burton yesterday. I was thrilled to finish 2nd, with 70.6% and qualify for the National Winter dressage championships. Unfortunately my other Bee (Beeswing) who had qualified for the Advanced- Medium Restricted Champs has had to miss the Regionals due to a small injury, but will be back in action soon and I will aim to qualify her for the Summer Regionals, and hopefully the National Champs. 

Over the last month, preparations have been underway for the season. Horses are feeling fit and well and entries are in for Oasby...,,, all we need is the snow to stay away!!!

This year I have Gino Royale, Coopers Law, and Tullabairds Showtime all aiming to compete at Advanced level. 
Beauty B, Hallowberry Rocket, and Cadans Z who are all aiming for Novice/ CCI*, and Cooley Rollarcoaster and  DHI Lancelot,  who are nice 5 year old all set to make their debut in the Eventing World. 







Happy New Year! 

10th Jan 2013


I nearly put 2012!.... It is all systems go here, and I went to my first show of 2013 yesterday with Beeswing, who set the year off to a winning start! Bee went very well in Advanced Medium 98, scoring 70%, and beating the rest of the people by 5%! We even got 7's for our walk pirouettes, which has to be our best mark yet! I really enjoyed the show, and her performance was very pleasing. I have only ridden this test once before, and yesterday certainly felt much improved, and easier to execute. 
I think I am going to aim to go again next week, and then get our heads down with some training before the Winter Regional Champs on the 13th Feb at Bishop Burton. 

I would like to welcome my new team. Jitka Hola is my new Head Girl. Her experience and attention to detail is second to none, and the horses love her. 
Elenor Harding and Lizzie Kerr have come with their own horses, and they are both at Novice level, aspiring for good results, and to move on up the grades. 
We have a full yard already, and so everyone is busy, working hard, and thankfully the weather is being kind to us, so we have been able to do lots of work with the horses already, so their fitness is building up according to plan. 

Great news from B.E, that Coopers Law (Spider), Tullibairds Showtime (Grey Spider) and Gino Royale (Gino) are all on the Equine Pathway Scheme, which highlights talented horses for the future British Senior Teams. 

My House is going well, it is fully insulated now, and plastering will start next week. It is a busy time for me as I have a lot of decisions to make! I have decided that it is best for me to start riding in the dark, that way if I get interrupted through the day, I still get the ones I need to ride ridden! 

Looking forward I have booked myself in for a few days training, and have 2 days of Equine Pathway training to look forward to, as well as a Lucinda Green Clinic on 1st March, and My sports Physc session on 23rd Feb. Just hope the snow doesn't make an un welcome arrival between now and March!











Beeswing has qualified for the Winter Advanced Medium Regional Finals

1st Nov 12


I have not ridden such a difficult test before, as Advanced Medium 98.......it was all go go go, I think we both had a sigh of relief when we had finished! Bee was good, but a couple of silly mistakes early on cost us some valuable marks. We were 2nd and scored 66.8%, which was enough to give us 4 points needed to complete our qualification for the Advanced Medium Regionals. Although I had learnt the test, Karen Goddard kindly read it for me, which really helps. 
So our trip to Solihull was worth while, and I have a few months to practice a bit more as the Regionals are in February at Bishop Burton. 


The dressage bug is back.....

28th Oct 12

Clever Bee felt fantastic today when we took on our first Advanced Medium Dressage competition at Valeview. I have never ridden at this level either, so I was thrilled to win, and have now got the dressage bug back, and i am itching to qualify for the Winter Championships, so Im going to enter Solihull next week! 

Going to a dressage show with one horse, compared to the Eventing scene is so easy and stress free........one saddle, one bridle, one numnah, arrive 40 mins before time, do your bit then home. The only complicated thing is remembering the bridle number and keeping my white breeches clean! Love it!.......especially if there is a win too! 

Im quite looking forward to next Thursday already! 





End of the Season 2012....Rocket scores his first win 

22nd Oct 12

So that is it for another year, its been wet, frustrating, but very successful, and next year could be very exciting for the whole team. 

So Norton Disney was my last event on Friday, I had Nibbles in the Novice, and Rocket in the BE100. Rocket did me proud and produced a nice test of 31.5, then popped round double clear, and feeling like a very classy XC horse. He has a bright future. Nibbles was almost as good as last week, an un lucky 4 faults in the jumping cost us 2nd place, but we still finished 5th, and once again he was fabulous XC. I came to the last XC fence thinking..." this is the last xc fence you will jump of 2012, whatever you do dont miss now!"....my mind works in strange ways! 

I said my Goodbye's to Jenny today, who has done a great job as my working pupil over the last 6 months, and I wish her lots of luck for the future. She has moved to Beanie Sturgess's yard in Gloucestershire. 

Im looking forward to deciding on the internal details for my new house, and taking a holiday for a week somewhere hot, where I can have a lie in, and re charge my batteries. 




Double Win at Oasby

14th Oct 12

My run of luck has continued through this weekend with 3 good performances at Oasby. On Friday I had 2 new rides; Hallowberry Rocket owned by Di Lampard in the BE100,  and Kilarfassy Breeze owned by Leanne Wilkins in the Novice. On Sunday  Gilly Kinlochs Beeswing had her first outing of 2012 in the Open Novice. 
Oasby is a great venue for the start and end of season, good going, flat ground, and well built showjumping and XC courses. Despite endless rain on Thursday evening, conditions were perfect, and even the sun shone! (it was just fairly cold and the thermals were out!)
Rocket was in shock doing his first BE100, but put up a great performance in all 3 phases and finished 5th. Kilarfassy Breeze a.k.a 'Nibbles' was a little star and did a smart test 28.5, and jumped his socks off in both phases to win his Novice. My working pupil Jenny Olley also enjoyed a sucessful day as it was her horses first BE100, and he went double clear so she was delighted, and she rode very well.
So all the boys had jumped double clears, so I had a word with Beeswing to tell her not to let the girls team down......but I think she had it all under control, and I had a great time in all 3 phases, she made it feel easy and like we had never been away from the Eventing. We finished on her dressage mark of 26.5. 
So one week to go before the season of 2012 comes to a close. Same three horses run at Norton Disney next week end. 




Osberton CCI**

1st Oct 2012

Hello October! I feel like I've  just got warmed up, and the Eventing season is about to close! At least we have finished on a great high this week.
I had three horses at Osberton this year, and once again enjoyed a successful week, with Richard and Karen Goddards Gino Royale(Gino)  finishing 3rd, and  Chris and Chrissy Saunders' Tullibairds Showtime (Grey Spider)  finishing 5th in the CCI**. Chris and Chrissy's Ballydune Captain (Shane) sadly missed out on his rossette chances after striking in to himself on the XC, and we withdrew him before Sundays showjumping when lying in 7th place, which was really unfortunate. 
We arrived Tuesday afternoon, and got set up and settled, before a very busy Wednesday. Trying to ride 3 twice, trot up, arena walk, and course walk,  kept us very busy all day! All trotted up very well, and Shane and Grey Spider felt ready to do their dressage the following day. 
Shane got a sunny Thursday morning off to a good start, and did a calm and accurate test which put him in the lead for most of the day on 47.9. He ended up in 8th after the two days dressage which was very good. Grey Spider did his 2* test on Thursday afternoon, and he did some lovely trot work, then just got a bit tense in his canter and showed me how clever he could be by putting in a flying change in his counter canter! He is a year ahead of himself! He scored 47.1  which left us in equal 11th after both dressage days.
Thursday evening was spent trying to settle a very excited Gino! He was doing some very smart extra curricular dressage moves at one point! With some help from Ian Woodhead we finished the evening with some very nice work, but I was up before sun the following morning and he was so well behaved in the dark, but as the sun rose he was still fresh! After another ride later in the morning, we finally got back on to do our test and he couldn't have done any more for me. 44.3 left us in 8th place in the hotly contested 2* before XC. 
XC started early, I was course walking  again before sunrise, and Shane was due out on course at 8.03am. The start was delayed and we lost a shoe warming up, so eventually (if a little late) we got out on course. He was very good, and was on time until we pecked very badly jumping out the 2nd water near the end, and he did exceptionally well to stay on his feet, the ground was looking very close at one point! Anyway we stayed together, and galloped home for 1.2 time faults. 
The two star horses were due later in the afternoon which gave me a chance to have my final walk round the 2* and watch how it was riding. Grey Spider was first to go, and gave me a super ride, and made the time easily. He was great, and finished really well. Gino was my last ride and was just foot perfect, and gave me a fantastic ride. I was so relieved to have had 3 super clears, and loved each of my rides. My XC support team (Jo Preece, Jenny Olley, Sally Williams, Paul Luger, and Heather Harrison) worked all day, and were magic. We were all exhausted by night time, and took some persuading to go to the Party, but once there with a bit of good music everyone enjoyed them selves. 
Sunday morning confirmed our doubts that Shane wouldn't complete his CCI*. In his efforts to stay up he struck in to his pastern and was very sore. It was decided we would save him for another day, and if he felt sore it wasn't fair to jump him, so sadly even though lying in 7th place overnight we withdrew him. That meant all my focus was on Gino (in 4th) and Grey Spider (in 7th) to jump clear rounds. It is such a nerve wracking time, as I knew both were good jumpers, but it is so easy to have a fence, or a time fault, and it can drop you down the line. I really wanted to hold my positions, if not better them. Di Lampard who has helped me for years, excellent trainer and mentor, came to help me, which helped the old nerves! Grey Spider put up a solid performance and jumped a super clear. Gino obviously knew and didn't want to be out done by his stablemate and also jumped a clear. I finished 3rd on Gino, and 5th on Grey Spider. What clever boys! A fantastic weekend, celebrated with wonderful supportive Owners, family and team. 


Gino feeling very strong in his lap of honour!



Gino flying over fence two......this was a good indication I was about to enjoy a super ride


My great team, who"s care and attention is second to none


Grey Spider demonstrating his lovely technique over number 1. He went on to jump a good clear round.



Jenny and Grey Spider at Prize giving. Jenny looking very proud!









The Big Weekend..... National Dressage Championships, and Gatcombe Horse Trials

Good job I like a challenge as i had one on Friday with competing at Gatcombe in the morning, and then the National dressage champs with Bee in the afternoon! It took a lot of organisation and some good team work but it all came off without a problem. I swapped my car for Sally William's lorry early in the week, so I could take Bee to Stoneleigh on Thursday afternoon, have a ride there, and get familiar with the surroundings. Sally then came to Stoneleigh in my car that evening, and I met my event horses at Gatcombe Friday morning, whilst Sally stayed with Bee. 

I felt very privilledged to be at the championships, but is was also quite daunting as It was a whole new experience. Bee had felt in good form all week so I was hopeful we could put up a good performance. She continued to feel good, and on Friday afternoon she felt as good as she could have done, and went in the arena and performed as good a test as I could have wanted. The only thing which let us down were the walk pirouettes where she stuck for a stride both ways. We finished 4th, which was a great result. Sadly her owner Gilly Kinloch couldn't be there, but apart from that I had a great time, and now have big plans for the Advanced- Medium Champs! 

I have posted pictures of prize giving and the video below;






Beeswing, 4th in the National Medium Restricted Championships  14th Sept 12








Gatcombe Horse Trials


Gino Royale (Gino) and  Tullabairds Showtime (Grey Spider) were in the Intermediate on Friday at Gatcombe, and Ballydunne Captain (Shane) was in his first CIC* over the weekend. The Friday boys were both had a good prep run before the 2* at Osberton. Gino was pleased to be out and was a bit uptight in his test, but jumped a fab double clear, and was just super XC, coming home with 6 time faults. Grey Spider did a nice test, and was unlucky to knock down the first element of the combination because he jumped a super round too. XC he felt really good, and ran for 8 time faults. I wanted them both to have easy rounds so I wasn't chasing the clock.  They both finished just out of the top 10, but I was pleased, and hope we can now go to Osberton ready! 

Shane was doing his first CIC*, and he rose to his challenge. He did a lovely test on Saturday and scored 45.3 leaving us in 8th out of 130 in the 1*! On Sunday he tried equally as hard and jumped really well. Again an unlucky pole fell in the jumping, he just touched a back rail. XC he was super and went clear inside the time. We finished 8th. He is such a trier, and wants to please me with everything he does. I enjoyed a really nice meal out on Saturday night with Chris and Chrissy Saunders who own Shane and Grey Spider, and in all had a great few days. 

Love it when a plan comes together! Thanks team, couldn't have done it without all of you! 

Looking forward to Osberton now, Gino ad Grey Spider in the 2*, and Shne in the 1*........it is going to be a busy week. 


Tullibairds Showtime has a good prep run before the CCI** at Osberton next week











BYEH 4yr Old Final 31st August



Morelands Arrival (Arri) had the biggest day of his life, and he rose to the occasion with style. I was so impressed with him and his ability to perform in the ring, and with so many people watching in the glorious sunshine in Burghley Park. 

He did a sweet dressage test, and scored a nice mark of 22. His jumping round was one of the best I have ever ridden in that final, he was class. He scored 35 out of 40, which was 2nd highest mark in the class, and one of the best throughout the day. To rise to the occasion with the limited mileage he has, was so impressive. The last two outings he has really surprised me with his ability, and I believe he is an exciting one for the future. He scored 12 out of 20 in the confirmation, which meant we were 11th, and just missed the top 10, but what a great result for him, he has certainly earnt himself a holiday for a month or two now.

It was great to have his owner Benny Stenderup and all her family there to support. His breeder from The Morelands Stud, my family and supporters, and nearly all my other Owners who were supporting too. Mum did a superb picnic which was enjoyed by all. 

I was fortunate to go back and watch the 4* action on Saturday, sitting wishing I was riding there again.  The XC is a huge challenge,  and sadly a lot of horses were looking tired towards the end. I think the ground was a little tacky still, and took its toll. Sinaed Halpin looked so good XC, it was dissapointing for he not to win. Andrew Nicholson looked as good as always, and a well deserved win for him and Avebury, who is a horse I have followed since watching him jump and liking him at Brighling 2* a few years ago! 

I am looking forward to going to watch Blenhiem 8/9 yr old class next Saturday, and hopefully will have one of mine there next year!



Blair Castle CCI**


 Coopers Law (Spider) looking very handsome at his trot up for the CCI**


Coopers Law (Spider) owned by Nicola Dickson and Sally Williams finished 3rd in his first CCI** at Blair Castle this weekend.
 
Sally, Archie (Sally”s horse), Spider, Mungo and myself arrived Tuesday lunchtime, I was very relieved that my lorry had made it  all the way up there, seeing as the day before it had had to have some emergency repair work to the Radiator (with thanks to Birleys Garage at Long Clawson)  Despite driving through heavy rain, it was sunny when we arrived, and we quickly got settled in.
We didn’t dressage until Friday lunchtime, so it felt like a long week until we really got the adrenalin going.
 
I was really pleased with his test, and very disappointed with a mark of 53.6. However during the section it became obvious that the marking was all high, and apart from Andrew Hoy way in the lead on 41.4, the rest of us were in the 50”s, and I ended up in forth place before the  XC.
 
The XC course was big, but fairly straight forward. There were 3 combinations on a curving three strided right hand bend which I thought was a little strange, but it was all there to be jumped, and with heavy rain on Thursday night it was going to be wet enough, and quite heavy going up the hills.
 
I had to wait all day to go XC, I didn’t know what to do with myself! I spent most of the day with Paul in Pitlochery, my highlight being playing on the slot machines in an amusement arcade! Eventually it was time to go, and I enjoyed a super round. It took plenty out of him running up the hills, but he kept a good rhytham, and jumped really well.  I finished with 6 time faults, we were the 2nd fastest of the 2*, no one finished within the optimum time in the 2*. Saturday night he looked bright and really well, which after a hard XC test was great to see, and meant we could enjoy our BBQ, and put Spider to bed without too much to worry about in 3rd place.
 
Sunday was sunny, and a great way to finish the week. The SJ course was decent, and the ground in the main Arena was a bit tacky, but he was feeling good, and fresh for his final task. In the ring he was jumping very well until the last three fences, when he touched 2 poles and 8 faults. Show jumping clears were very few, and we retained 3rd place.
 
A great event, organized so well, in a super setting where XC still holds a strong influence.
 
I was grateful to my team for all their help and support at Blair, and for the ones who have kept the yard going at home. Spider has deserved a well earned rest now, and he certainly enjoyed his turnout this morning! 







Blog Update……Well overdue!

 
Apologies for the lack of updates over the last 6 weeks. Things have been busy busy, and my computer has been playing up a little, and my patients with it has been limited!
 
I would like to Welcome new owners to the team; Chris and Chrissie Saunders, who own 3 lovely horses, Tatort (Donald), Tullabairds Showtime (Grey Spider) and Ballydune Captain (Shane).  Sadly Sam York who has produced them all so well, was un able to compete for the rest of the season due to injury, so I have taken them on until the end of the year. Grey Spider is at Intermediate level, and aiming for a CCI**, Shane is at novice level, aiming for a CCI*, and Donald is for sale. (More info coming soon on my website)
 
I have enjoyed 3 novice runs with Shane so far, all double clear, all finishing in 4th place! Consistant anyway! He is such a trier, and he is now aimed at Gatcombe CIC* and Osberton CCI*.  Grey Spider has run in the ON at Aston Le Walls H/C, and then competitively at Aston Le Walls, and Somerford Park Intermediates, being placed 3rd in both. I really enjoy riding him, and love his attitude to his job. I am really looking forward to Gatcombe Intermediate, and Osberton CCI**.
 
Morelands Arrival (Arri) Owned by Benny Stenderup is a lovely 4yr old by Billy Congo. He qualified for the Burghley Young Event Horse Finals at Field House by finishing 3rd, and he really impressed me. He is growing and filling out all the time, and I am looking forward to the BYEH Final this Friday.
 
Gilly Kinlochs Beeswing has turned in to a dressage diva, and I was delighted to qualify for the National Medium Restricted Finals, which are on the 14th September. The only technical hitch is the fact it’s the same day Gino and Grey Spider are at Gatcombe! So it will be a busy day!
 
Richard and Karen Goddards Gino Royale (Gino) is well, and aiming for Osberton CCI**. He finished in 4th place at Hopetoun CIC** at the end of July, but finished the course tired and I decided Blair would be too soon after, especially if it was wet again and the ground holding (which it was) so my decision to re route him to Osberton was justified. We did enjoy a little spin round the Hickstead Eventers Grand Prix. I was thrilled with him, he couldnt have gone any better. He loved the arena, and just made two mistakes, clipping the planks and then having coming out the devils dyke off, he just struggled to read the devils dyke well enough, so I think before next year I will practise. I was a bit steady, as I wanted to give him a good ride round this year, and we finished 13th. But look out next year, we will be back!

Its nice to see the horses I have produced and sold doing well;  Douglas going well with Oliver Townend, finishing 3rd in the Advanced the other week at Aston Le Walls, and Machismo Star going double clear in his first CIC* with Tyler Cassells. 
 
It is also an exciting time for me as my house build has started, which is also taking any of my spare time. Its amazing to at last see it coming together. It has been my plan since I moved here 6 years ago, so to see things finally happening is a mixture of daunting and exciting. I know nothing about building houses, so Im trusting my builder knows his stuff!






Catton Park

17th June

To my amazement Catton Park went ahead on Sunday, which meant Gino and Spider got their run in the OI. I was in a funnt frame of mind on Saturday, just not knowing wether or not the event was going to run due to the endless rain. We put off packing the lorry until the last minute, but fair play to the organisers for sticking it out and going ahead. It was only the XC that was muddy, the rest was perfect. 
Gino was a little above himself after his last outing where he won! He did a nice test, but it felt a little fragile, and not quite completly through and soft, he scored 33. In the showjumping he was unlucky to have a back rail of an oxer at fence 6, but then at the end of the course he was too strong and not really listening and ran too deep coming out of the double and had another one down. Think my braking systems needed a little fine tuning! XC I ran him very slow, which was needed just so he had an event to just chill, and not speed round. 
Spider was in a lovely frame of mind from start to finish. He did a smart test, to score 30, and jumped a very solid double clear. I didnt press XC as the ground was very cut up and wet in places, but still let him be competitive and came home with 6 time faults and we finished 4th. 
A good outing, and a nice day. It is hilly at Catton which is ideal preparation for Gatcombe in a few weeks time. 




Bramham CIC*** Dressage Test 

I was privileged to have the chance to be the Guinea Pig dressage rider at Bramham CIC***, so I grabbed the chance to give Spider some main arena exposure, and his first attempt at half pass, and flying changes in the arena! The day before was a little shakey, and I suddenly doubted that he was ready to tackle the test, but with a little persuasion I believed we could do it, and it would be good experience. 
He did a lovely test, got both his changes and some very smart trot work. We scored 50.6, which would have left us about 25th out of 90 starters. There is still plenty of places to improve, and he got a bit tense in his walk and rein back. I was very pleased with him, and hope to be there for real next year! 


Little Downham 
19th May 12
At last we were back out Eventing again! It has been a month since the boys last ran, and they were very pleased to be at a party! We had dressage yesterday, which went very well. Spider did a very good, accurate test and scored 46.3. Gino did his best test yet, and scored 46.5. I was thrilled with both, who couldn't have performed any better for the level of training they are at. I was even more pleased when I was in 2nd and 3rd overnight of a strong CIC** section. 
Spider was first to showjump this morning, and due to a confusion from the collecting ring steward one moment I had 15 horses before me, and next minute I was next in. It was a real test for my nerves I know that much! So as best I could we jumped in as quickly as possible, about 4 jumps in all (not ideal!) So I felt a little under prepared, but had to get on with the job in hand. He jumped very well, and was unlucky to have a back rail of an oxer, which was so slow to fall off!  It was a good performance from Spider, with such little preparation! 
Gino was next, and jumped a great clear round despite the rider seeing a bit of a long stride to the last fence! (Thanks Gino, I owe you one!)
Spider gave me a super ride XC, he was foot perfect, and galloped effortlessly to come home with 1.6 time faults. Gino was leading going in to the XC, and I was going to do my best to retain our lead. We did, he was super. I was buzzing when I finished the XC, and knew he couldn't be beaten. What a result! 
Credit to my whole team, the horses looked and felt fantastic. They felt so fit and well, both bright and cheeky this morning. I feel very priveliged to be riding two top class horses, with an exciting future. 
Last Wednesday I enjoyed a pure dressage show with Beeswing who is back in action. I really enjoyed doing two Medium tests with her. I have to say i was quite nervous (think it was because I was out my comfort zone) but needn't have been as she was very good, and won both her tests. There was a lot of rule book reading to see what I needed to do to qualify her for the Summer regionals, and I need two more points in a Medium Qualifying class, so Im entered next Weds at Arena UK.......watch this space!! 
Beeswing back in action at Valeview Dressage Show......More bling required I think!
Weston Park

15th April 12


An early start on a very cold morning, but wha else could be expected at Weston Park, at least it wasnt snowing this year.
Spider was a star from start to finish, he did a lovely test, (28.5) and jumped a double clear. I thought I had ran him slowly XC but he only came home with 6 time faults! He really covers the ground! I felt really excited by his performance, and feel that going up to Advanced next year should be well within his ability. 
Gino found crossing the XC course before the dressage a little too exciting, and never really settled again. He didn't do as good of a test as I had hoped, but still scored 33.5. He jumped very well, although he was quite fresh in the Showjumping collecting ring! 
It was a great day, we finished 4th and 13th. Mum provided a fantastic picnic, and the sun shone on us, (although it was still quite cold!)

















Belton


1st April 12

I was really looking forward to Belton, Gino and Spider were both entered in the 7 & 8 yr old Futurity class, which Spider won last year. We did dressage on the Friday, and the sj and xc on early saturday morning. 

Gino was great outside warming up for his test, but the main arena atmosphere, and spooky XC jumps next to the arena meant that as I rode round before the bell, I could feel him getting quite tense under me.  His test wasn't as good as it could have been, although some of his weaker movements he did very well! He scored 35, and left us trailing in 20th place over night. 
Spider excelled himself, and did a lovely test, apart from a little bit of tension in his walk, and scored 28, which put him in touch with the leaders in 6th place overnight. 

Gino showjumped first, and jumped a great clear round. (YouTube video below) 
Spider however, just didn't feel himself, and although he tried hard to jump well he just rubbed off the last show jump for 4 faults. Belton was always going to be an early test in his fitness plan, as he started later than Gino, and  with feeling a little flat for what ever reason we decided not to run XC, and give him a bit more time to get fitter. He will go to Weston Park now. 

So it was all down to Gino, and I couldn't have asked for a better XC performance. I had an amazing ride, on a course which caused a lot of problems. He was clear, and inside the time, which pulled us right up the order, and he finished 5th. 

This week we have outings with the 4yr olds, and dressage training on Thursday. I also need to box up to the gallops as the ground has gone firm at home. Although with rain and snow forecast, it may not stay firm for very long!
















Season gets off to a good start
I started the 2012 season at Oasby  Horse Trials last weekend. With only one horse it was all very laid back! Gino Royale (Gino) ran in the Open Novice, and performed very well in all three phases to finish 2nd. 
Yesterday we were at Lincoln Horse Trials, in the Intermediate. Gino was in great form, he did a 30.5 dressage (despite a hail storm in the warm up!) and jumped a fantastic double clear to win his section. I was thrilled as I wanted to qualify him for the Intermediate champs at Gatcombe, which we have now done. He has also upgraded to being an Advanced horse in points now.......very grown up. 
It was a great day, but also a little sad as Douglas has been sold and was delivered to his new rider. I wish him lots of luck, and hope Douglas goes on to be the top class horse I always thought he was. I will continue to follow his progress. 
Happy New Year! 

It seems to have come round so quickly! Hello 2012!......

I had a super winter sun holiday before christmas, and then enjoyed all the usual festivities at home with friends, family and plenty of wine.......

All the horses are very well, and have now come back in for the season ahead. I also have some new young horses that are in to sell, and are very smart. So it is all systems go here! I am looking for new working pupils if anyone knows anyone?

I am excited about Gino Royale and Coopers Law who are both 8yr olds this time, and on the Equine Pathway. They will both be aimed at a Spring 2*. Douglas and Cavoa are sadly for sale, and Beeswing will be campaigned in the Autumn. 

We have just had a very good Owners Lunch, where it was good to catch up with everyone, and make a toast to the season ahead.











=====================================================================
Sometimes things don't quite go to plan.....
Le Lion D'Anger
24th Oct 11
I had been so excited about the opportunity to compete at Le Lion D'Anger Young horse Championships with Coopers Law (Spider). Sadly it was not meant to be. Having arrived in France after a 15hr journey, Spider had sustained an injury during the journey. It was advised that we didn't compete him, so sadly we came home. It was so dissapointing for everyone involved. He is fine now, and will have his winter holiday as normal, and be back next season. 
You really just don't know whats round the corner in this game!
I have finished 73rd in the top 100 riders list, with 168 points. I was hoping to be in the top 50, but its an improvement on last year.  It's time to look back over the year, analyse performances, think of plans for next year, and make new goals. I think a holiday could be due as well!!
Osberton ....Richard and Karen Goddards Gino Royale 2nd in CCI*
2nd Oct 11
Gino exceeded all our expectations by finishing 2nd in the CCI* this weekend. (well we were joint first really!) Mike Jackson and I had the same dressage score of 43.7, and led from the start. It was my slightly quicker xc round that put me in 2nd place overnight, and clear sj rounds from both of us meant that I finished on the same score as Mike, but in 2nd place. So close!  That is the 3rd time in 12 months I have been 2nd in a CCI* on 3 different horses! i'm going to find that winning edge for next year!!
Gino was a total professional all week. He has improved so much in the last 4 months. I was shocked to lead the dressage, on a brilliant score of 43.7. Thanks to help from Ian Woodhead, i was able to ride him in a good outline, and earn the marks he is capable of but have never quite achieved in this phase. Having performed on Thursday afternoon, we held our lead, which doesnt happen very often. 
I had a very good xc ride, and he made it feel very easy, almost too easy! He was a bit keen to start with but soon settled and gave me a super ride. It was almost not quite big enough for him, but hopefully he will be full of confidence having ran well within himself. 
Having trotted up well on Sunday morning, we were 2nd to last to show jump, and I so wanted to jump a clear round. He did, and in style. I was lucky enough that Di Lampard (who I have trained with for a number of years now) came to watch us, and helped keep my nerves to a minimum. I was rather hopeing Mike's horse might knock one down, but he rode a great round to keep 1st place. 
It was a great week for my good friend Becky Parrott, who along side her sister rent a few stables from me and are based at the yard. Becky and her horse Athlone Dolly jumped a double clear at their first 1*, finishing in the top 40 placings. 
It was a really fun week, for horses, riders, grooms, helpers, owners etc, etc, well done to the B.E.D.E Team for making it a great week!
Aske Hall
I just had Spider competing today in the Open Intermediate at Aske Hall, in Yorkshire. He did another good test, and so I was dissapointed with a mark of 36, although in comparison to the others in his section he wasn't too far out. He showjumped well on tackey ground, and it was an error on my part which lead to him having the first rail of the combination down, so I was cross with myself, as the rest of the round was very good, much better than last week at Gatcombe where he was just over fresh having not ran for a while. He then gave me a super ride XC, which has really given me the buzz, and I feel excited about Le Lion D'Anger. It was interesting that I ran him at Aske in July, and the course was exactly the same so i really felt a marked improvement in him today, making it feel easy. He will run again at Oasby before his trip to France, but so far we feel we are on track!
Gatcombe Park 
16th Sept 11
Spider was very excited to be out, having not ran for 6 weeks, and Gino was having his final prep run before Osberton CCI*. 
Gino did his best dressage test yet, and scored a 29, which I was thrilled with as I thought he'd done a good test. Surprisingly he had 8 faults in the jumping, and was quite spooky in the ring. He jumped very well XC, and came home with 4 time faults leaving him in 8th place. 
Spider did a lovely test until his walk movement......he heard the commentary, lost concentration, whipped round and bounced up and down and then carried on as if nothing had happened! That cost us quite a lot of marks, and a score of 37 left us too far off the pace. He was fresh and strong jumping, and had one down showjumping, and was clear with 9 time faults XC. I was pleased to just get a run under his belt in preparation for Le Lion. He goes to Aske Hall now this Saturday. 
Mixed Fortunes
6th Sept 11
Sadly Bee had to be withdrawn from Blenhiem due to an infection in her leg. I was so dissapointed as she has been in super form, just one of those things. 
On a good note, Spider has been selected for Le Lion D'Anger 7yr old Championships at the end of October, so we are all excited and looking forward to that. 
Somerford Park
21st Aug 11
It was  up to Cheshire for the Intermediate class with Bee, Gino and Douglas. Spider was originally entered instead of Bee, but he suffered a bad cut in the field which has put him out of action for a week. 
Bee was first on, and she did a super test to score 25.5. We picked up 3 time faults in the showjumping, but a good solid clear round was the most important bit to me! Cross country she was excellent, just felt strong, quick and easy. There were plenty of questions out there, and an ideal preparation for Blenhiem in a few weeks time. We got 8 time faults, and finished 6th. 
Gino was a little star, he did a good test for him and scored 35. Jumped a good clear round, but again I got 2 time faults which i was frustrated with. XC he was amazing, and jumped for fun round the testing track. We came home with 6.4 time faults, and he finished 4th. I am so excited about him, just need to quietly keep working on the dressage, and when he is strong enough to carry himself, i hope we will see better marks. 
Douglas did a smart test, 26.4. After a long wait for the showjumping in the collecting ring, we jumped a nice round for one down, and 4 time faults. I think we were both a bit laid back after the delay! I ran him steady XC again, as I am giving him some nice runs in preparation for Osberton CCI**. 
In all we had a good day, I was pleased to be back in the rosettes again after a quiet time! 
Mickey was back in action at Shelford mid week, and led his BE100 class from the start with a 29.5 dressage and double clear. He then went so well XC i got 10 time faults for being too fast. I was annoyed with myself, but thrilled with him. I ended up in 11th place instead of winning it! 
It was a good day all round for the team. My working pupil Louise Duncan jumped a double clear in her Novice, and another student Katie Pytches won the BE100, and was 10th in the Novice, all jumping double clears. 
31st July 11
Chomondeley Castle....... The biggest and most technical track i've ridden all year, so much for a nice, confidence giving Intermediate!......
A new event in Cheshire, which I am sure will become a highlight in the Eventing calendar. The castle is in lovely undulating parkland, on sandy soil, with plenty of scope for bigger things. 
I had a mixed day in the end. I took Gino, Spider and Douglas, all in the Intermediate or Open Intermediate. All did good tests, Douglas scored 27, Spider 30, and Gino 36. The showjumping wasn't an easy track, very twisty and on undulating ground. Douglas and Spider jumped clears, Gino rolled 2 poles, which was un like him. He just felt a bit strong, and with the xc going on behind the ring he was a little distracted! 
The xc was a very strong track, too much for Intermediate horses, especially young ones. There was question after question. On the plus side i have learnt a lot from them, and it did ride well. Gino was out first, and i ran him slowly as he has Gatcombe this coming week end. He jumped super, answered every question and gave me a great ride. Spider was up next, and all was going well until the fence in the water which we met on a half stride, and too deep. He didnt have enough time to get his front legs up, and he nosedived, depositing me under water! I was soaked through, but thankfully had packed a change of clothes, as I still had Douglas to showjump and go XC! Poor Spider didn't deserve that at all. Speaking to someone afterwards, the wishing well was not designed to be put in water, and was an after thought on the course design. The log in was a big enough test in itself. The whole combination wouldn't have looked out of place at a 3*! I was so wet, and had thought to carry on but i felt like i could have slid off, so thought we'd retire. There is always another day!
Douglas was back to himself, and gave me a wonderful ride. Foot perfect everywhere. He was quite strong, and I did go slowly incurring time faults, but I was thrilled with him. 
Looking on I have Gatcombe this weekend with Bee and Gino.
Gino jumping the Wishing Well in the water at Chomondeley Castle. Later in the day i fell in the water, and got a soaking!
Aston Le Walls
23rd July 11
It was Bee's turn today, she was running in the 8/9 yr old Advanced class at Aston. She warmed up brilliantly for the dressage, and went in and did a good test, but still improvement to be had. Having had perfect flying changes outside, they were not as good in the test which was a shame, as she could have earned a few extra marks on them. 
She showjumped well until the end, when at the second last she had a real spook at it, so i jammed my leg on and she had it down, and then the last was the the combination, and again we rolled the last element. It just seems so hard when it is two strides coming out the combination for her to shorten, the same happened at Barbury. 
It was a great XC, on fab ground, so i gave her a real spin, she went really well, and answered all the questions. We came home with 8 time faults. Im excited for her future, she makes the xc feel easy. It was an enjoyable day, I love riding round the bigger tracks, it gives me a real buzz! Roll on Gatcombe and Blenhiem!!
 
Hutton In The Forest
17th July 11
Having travelled 4 hours north, worked the horses yesterday afternoon at the show and stabled locally, we had the frustating news that due to the heavy rain fall overnight, Hutton was cancelled. 
So back down the M6, and i've just got home. The joys of English weather!!
Melton Times Sports Awards.....
                               
                               .....Winner of Horseman/ Women of the Year 2011!
To my surprise i was awarded The Melton Times Sports Award, Horseman/ Women of the Year at an awards dinner and Ceremony on the 30th June. I felt very priviliged  to be amongst so many local talented athletes, in a diverse range of sports. We had a good buffet and drinks followed by the awards ceremony.
I made sure i had a stiff G and T inside me, my nerves were in overdrive, I hadn't felt that nervous since i did a very high bungee jump in New Zealand years ago! Its amazing how nervous i get when out of my comfort zone! 
I was announced the winner on stage, and received a very nice glass trophy. I also had to say a few words, which i hope came out ok! 
The Melton Times Team go to a lot of trouble to organise these awards, and I am very appreciative of that. With all the highs and lows within sport, awards like this give us the boost we sometimes need to strive to be better, and achieve our personal goals. 
Barbury Castle
11th July 11
Barbury lived up to all my expectations, and was a beautiful event on amazing ground. I just had Bee in the CIC**. Although we warmed up well, our test just had a few little mistakes in it which cost us valuable marks, and left us down the leader board on a 55.3, which was slightly dissapointing, but with a 120 strong field in my section, there was no room for error!
She showjumped well, just rolled coming out of the combination, which walked short and rode even shorter!
XC she was magic, I enjoyed a memorable round for 10 time faults. An upgrade from a snaffle to a dutch gag made all the difference, and im looking forward to our next event.
Aske Hall
2nd July 11
It was a hot and sunny day with a very early start, but all worth the effort with pleasing performances from Spider, Gino and Douglas. 
It was Gino's first Intermediate, and he made it feel easy. He did a nice test, and a double clear with 8 time faults. He finished 5th, not a bad effort for his first time at that level! 
The course rode twistier than it walked, and had enough questions in it. The ground is also very undulating, in all 3 phases! This made me realise how much we ride on manicured surfaces these days, and with hills, lumps and bumbs in the landscape, I had to work extra hard to keep the horses  in balance.
Spider was very pleased to be eventing again, he just about kept a lid on it in his dressage, as I turned to do Medium trot I felt he was never going to stop at the end of the diagonal. He showjumped well, and breezed round the XC with 6 time faults, leaving him in 2nd. 
Douglas was having his first run back since Brigstock, hence I put him in the Novice HC. He did a lovely test, and clear sj. XC i used it all as a training excercise and really made sure when i took a whoa, i got one, so ran him nice and steady for a confidence boosting round. 
So all good, im looking forward to Barbury  with Bee. 
Catton Park NRF........Gatcombe here we come!
17th June 11
 Gino jumping a good SJ clear to qualify himself for the Novice Champs at Gatcombe.
It was Richard and Karen Goddards Gino Royale's time to shine, putting up his best performance to date to finish 2nd in a hotly contested NRF at Catton Park yesterday, qualifying him for the Gatcombe Novice Championships in August. 
He did a really good test, and for the first time in his career broke the 30 barrier to score 29.1. A great double clear and 7 seconds within the optimum time on the XC left us in 2nd. Recent rainfall meant the ground was excellent, and we could really enjoy ourselves. 
It seemed strange just having Gino there, but I think he loved the one on one attention! 
Looking forward to July, I have Aske Hall, Hutton in the Forest, Aston Le Walls and  Cholomley Castle, so things will get busy again. All the horses are fit and well, and ready to campaign the rest of this season. 
Pipped by Pippa......again!
CCI* Houghton Hall......Coopers Law 2nd
it was my first visit to Houghton Hall three day event, and it was well worth going. Spider was in the CCI*, and Beeswing in the CCI**. 
Spider had his trot up on Tuesday afternoon, and did his dressage Wednesday. He was very well behaved all week really, although at the first trot up he was a bit of a handful! Dressage went smoothly, and he did a really accurate, flowing test, apart from one mistake in the rein back he couldn't have tried harder. We scored 38.5, which was an amazing mark, certainly the first time i've scored under 40 in an F.E.I Test. One judge gave him 78%! We held the lead almost until the end of the class, but the Pippa Funnell pipped us scoring 37.9. 
He was excellent on the XC, I had a little bit more bridle than at Chatsworth and it worked a treat. He really felt like he was cantering round, and i was 10 - 15 seconds up on all my minute markers, finishing well under the optimum time with little effort. I think he would have quite happily ran round again! 
Spider was bright, fit and well on the last day, and jumped an easy clear retaining our 2nd place behind Pippa. I was thrilled with him, and it was a great way to round off a successful spring season. 
CCI**
One of those 'if only' moments..........
Bee was contesting her first CCI**, and after such a great result at Chatsworth, hopes were high. She did a super test, to lie in 2nd place behind Rodney Powell on a score of 42.8. I still feel there is more to come, when she learns to sit even more. 
XC she gave me a great ride, i had a run out early on at fence 8. It was a double of logs with a drop, 4 or 5 strides to a skinny tree stump, and she jumped so well over the logs that the tree stump came up too quickly for her and she never registered it. I kept my pace up, and continued to take all the direct routes, as I wanted to learn from it. She was just brilliant, and came home with 8 time faults. We were still in 26th place, as the course had caused a lot of faults. 
Bee was bright and sound the next day, and jumped a solid clear round, which i was thrilled about. Im looking forwrd to contesting the Intermediate champs at Gatcombe with her, and Blenhiem 8/9 yr old class in September. 
Sadly Mladen who has been a super groom since January is leaving today. We will miss him very much, and wish him all the best in the future. 
Brigstock
21st May
Back down to earth with a bump!
I just had Douglas at Brigstock in the CIC**. We did our dressage on Thursday and the rest today. He was quite spooky and a bit tight in the main arena for his test, and although his trot work was nice, his canter was a bit tight. he scored 53, which put him 15th after the dressage, so still not bad. 
Today we showjumped this morning, and he jumped really well, again a little spooky. He certainly needs the main ring exposure, to gain confidence in such atmosphere. 
Having waited around all day to go XC, we set off simply wanting to get a qualification, as the ground was plenty firm enough, although they had agrivated. 
It wasn't our day, we fell 3 from home at the tree stump on the mound. Pleased to report both of us are ok, I think we will fit in a nice easy, confidence giving run somewhere soon. 
Looking on to Houghton which is this coming week, Spider and Bee are in grat form after Chatsworth, so keeping my fingers crossed!
Chatsworth International.
16th May 11
Bee 2nd in Advanced, Spider 2nd, Gino 3rd in CIC*.......just couldn't quite get a win!
I am still on a high this morning, after a very successful Chatsworth. We had Spider and Gino in the CIC*, and Bee in her first  Advanced. 
The one stars did their dressage on Friday, and both did good tests. Spider was electric outside, but kept his head in the arena and scored 40.5, which was 2nd best, behind Pippa Funnell. Gino was in the other section, and did his best test to date, he is still a little weak to hold a whole test together, but i was thrilled with him. He scored 50.1, and put him 11th overnight. 
Spider ran XC early Saturday morning, and was very keen from the moment I got on, I was glad to get going, and he ran a bit fresh, and strong. He is well established at this level, and nothing backed him off. He was clear and well within the time, and ready to go round again at the end! Gino gave me the best ride ive ever had on him. Quick, nimble, listening and easy. He will be an exceptional xc horse in the future. 
However, Saturday was then the most stressful day of the year so far! Sadly the organisation at Chatsworth was very poor for what ever reason, and having to trot horses up after they had been xc before their showjumping was an added chore, and not necessary. The problem was not knowing what time Spider and Gino were going to show jump, as i also had Bee's dressage test to do, and for quite a while it all looked like it was going to clash. 
Thankfully Bee did her dressage before the other two showjumped. She did a really good test, just broke in to canter in her first half pass, but she did her flying changes correctly, and showed some super movements, scoring 32, which put her in the lead! 
Spider and Gino showjumped in reverse order, and in the rain! Spider was quite wound up down at the collecting ring, but settled to jump a really good clear round. He held his 2nd place, and we were thrilled. Gino was jumping his socks off, and pulled up from 5th after the XC to 3rd with his clear round. Pippa Funnell won both sections on her lovely horses. 
Sunday was all on Beeswing, and she has been in great form, but i never expected to finish 2nd in her first Advanced! She jumped a super showjumping clear round, followed by a faultless XC performance, coming home with 14 time faults. I was so thrilled at how she went, she made it feel easy, and seemed to just keep galloping and jumping. Her performance yesterday makes me excited about the rest of the year, Gatcombe intermediate champs, and the Blenhiem 8/9 yr old CIC***. Keeping my fingers crossed!
It was a real thrill for me to ride round an Advanced, having not done so for 2 years. I really loved it, and can't wait for the others to get up to that level!
Thanks to all my team, we enjoyed such a great weekend, I didn't want it to end.
Hambleden International
10th May 11
Douglas shows his class, on his way to 6th place in the Open Intermediate section.
Having still had no rain, my hopes for Hambleden were pretty low, but to my surprise I had a very enjoyable week end., helped by a well run event, and a lot of overnight rain!! With just 2 horses entered, Mickey was in the novice on Saturday, and Douglas in the Open Intermediate on Sunday......It felt strange not having a lorry full to ride!
Mickey did a very smart test, 30.5, probably his best test to date. Double clear, with just 4 time faults on the XC put him in 4th, so I was pleased. 
Douglas again did one of his better tests, and scored 33.5. He jumped very well both SJ and XC. The XC was totally different to all the other Intermediates he has done so far, as it was much more twisty, and a lot of the course ran in the woods, so fences came up fast. He was very good, and ran for 12 time faults. I intended to keep my foot off the accelarator, as the last few times he has ran, they have been quick and I just felt he was getting plenty keen enough, so a quieter run at Hambleden will set him up well for Brigstock. 
Milly has a new home, she has been sold to Constance Copestake, and we will hopefully see her competing soon, and aiming for Juniors with her. Pascal has also been sold to Nick Lucey, who may aim for Young Riders next year. I wish them all lots of luck, and look forward to seeing them out and about!
Burnham Market
18th April 11
Still no rain........
I had four running at Burnham Market , Bee and Douglas in the CIC**, and Gino and Spider in the Intermediate. With having had no rain for a few weeks now, sadly the ground has got firmer and firmer, and although i prayed very hard for some rain it didn't arrive, and it was a shame I didnt run 3 out the 4 XC. I did run Bee as i needed the qualification of a CIC** in order to go Advanced. 
Spider and Gino both did nice tests, and jumped clear rounds in the very well watered SJ arena. Gino jumped a super round and I was really pleased with him. 
Douglas did  a decent test in the 2*, although he was a little tight. He was the same warming up for the showjumping on Sunday morning, I think he was in XC mode all weekend, so it will have done him no harm not to run!
Bee did a super test, 47.6 and jumped the best yet in the showjumping. I ran her easily and quietly round for 16 time faults and finished 11th, which in a hotly contested 2* section was a great result. 
Having been balloted out of Withington, the horses are not due to run until Hambledon, and Chatsworth. 
I can highly recommend the Hoste Arms in Burnham Market, which is where my owners were staying, and treated us to dinner there on Saturday night. It was delicious!
WOW......What a Belton!
Cavoa WINS Novice, Coopers Law WINS 7/8yr old Futurity Intermediate Class
3rd April 11
Coopers Law (Spider) on his way to winning the Intermediate 7/8yr old Futurity class. His first attempt at Intermediate!
One of my favourite local events in the spring, and I hoped all the horses were in good form, but to achieve the results they did was just brilliant for everyone involved.
Friday I had 3 intermediate dressage tests, followed by both Mickey and Gino doing their Novice class (all 3 phases) I felt I'd done a days work by mid day, as I'd already ridden a couple of the horses twice in order to produce a good dressage test. The work paid off, and the day ran smoothly thanks to both Mladen and Andrea. 
Mickey did a good test, 29.1, followed by a double clear in the jumping phases, and just 1.2 tme faults on the XC, which meant he won his section! I was thrilled, as he is so talented but struggles to get it all right on the same day! He is just big and needs time, but he continually improves. 
Gino did a nice test, I was a bit dissapointed with some movements, and then other parts of the test were a lot better, so still things to work on but he scored 30.5, which with a double clear, inside the time was enough to put him in to 2nd place. He has now upgraded himself in to Intermediate points!
Spider was first to go in the 7/8 yr old Futurity class, which benefitted him in his test, as there wasn"t too much atmosphere, and he did a super test to score 29.1. Bee was very good too, she almost could have done with more atmosphere just to lift her a little. Bee scored 30.5. Douglas again did a smart test, and scored the same as Spider, which put me in equal 1st and 3rd overnight after the dressage. 
We went back again on Saturday morning, for an 8am showjumping. All 3 jumped super clear rounds. I was especially pleased with Bee. I had 3 magic rounds XC, Bee was awesome and never missed a beat. Douglas was foot perfect, although plenty keen enough, so I think a couple of stady runs will benefit him now. I rode Spider last and set off to give him a nice ride in an easy rhytham. To my surprise he finished bang on the optimum time and won the class, outdoing his elders (Bee and Douglas are 8yrs old) 
Spider won, Douglas was 2nd, and Bee 3rd. It was a proud moment for me having produced them all from 3 and 4 yr olds. 
Belton was a great event, my owners even brought another lorry just for the picnics! I think 7 bottles of Champange were enjoyed over the two days! Long may those kind of days continue!
Lincoln 
Douglas wins the Intermediate, Beeswing 2nd.
I feel very happy with all my horses after this weekend, Douglas and Bee really went well yesterday to bring home a first and a second in the Intermediate.
I took Mickey, Spider and Gino on Saturday for the Novice. Gino was 6th, he did a nice test, although a bit inatentive, and jumped a great double clear. He feels ready to go to Intermediate soon so I will have a look at the calender and make a plan. Spider was a bit excited in his dressage test, there were lots of people coming and going next to his arena, and he found it all rather exciting! He jumped very well, and finished on his dressage score of 36, and was 7th. Mickey still found the whole event very exciting. He did a nice test to score 33. In the showjumping he was still spooky at the flower pots, but jumped really well. However he took paticular dislike to a group of people sat amongst the unused jumps so as I turned to jump fence 4 he lost all concentration, went through the top of it, landed violently left handed and we went in the wrong direction! So one down, but 5 time faults! However he was good XC, I tried a waterford pelham and that seemed to be very good. 
Back again on Sunday, Bee did a lovely test (25.5), one down in the SJ, again she had a spook at some people sat on the floor, and we just lost our rytham, as she was jumping very well. She gave me the best ride XC, and finished 2nd. Douglas did a super test and led the dressage in his section (28.2) He jumped a gd clear in the showjumping, and went very well XC. He made it feel easy, and I loved every minute. I couldnt help but feel very excited last night that I had just ridden two very classy horses round a good Intermediate track and they made it feel easy. 
First Event of 2011....Oasby 13th March 11
Richard and Karen Goddards Gino Royale  is a Winner!
I had four horses running at Oasby; Mickey (Cavoa), Douglas, Gino and Spider (Coopers Law). Mickey and Douglas were on Friday, and Gino and Spider on today (Saturday). 
Mickey was very pleased to be out, and although he was quite spooky in his test, the nice bits were really nice, and the odd spook, or loss of concentration just lost us a few marks, but he got a 34 which wasn't bad considering there is plenty of room for improvement! In the jumping he was fresh and just not with me, he was looking everywhere, and not concentrating on his job. he had 3 down, which is so unusual, as he hasn't touched a pole all spring, but I think he just couldn't concentrate in his enthusiasm! XC he jumped a good clear, and has improved so much from last year, although at times he was more interested in watching what the spectators were doing than listening to me! 
Douglas was great all the way through, he did a nice test, just a couple of mistakes, and scored 32. Double clear, and a super XC performance which fills me with confidence to go to Lincoln Intermediate next week. He finished 4th. 
Gino was very good. He got a 34 in his dressage, which has improved from last year, but I still feel there is so much more improvement to be had. He jumped for fun in the showjumping, and really made me smile, a quick and easy XC round left us with nothing to add to our dressage score and he won. What a great result! 
Spider was great, he did a lovely test, and I was a little dissapointed to only score 32.5, but he was in the top few of the section so it compared well. An unlucky rub in the Sj gave us 4 faults, but he jumped well and I was pleased. XC he was class, and cruised round, but to my horror I got 1.6 time faults for being too quick, and yet he didn't feel quick at all, he just has a huge stride, and kept a good rytham. 
So a good start to the year, and i'm really looking forward to Lincoln. I love my local spring events, they are my favourites of the whole year!
January 2011
Happy New Year! 
After such a long spell of bad weather, and a very boring time, we were all desperate to get the horses out in Jan and start getting them fit for the season. I have new members of staff who have joined the team. Mladen has taken on the role of Head lad, and Andrea has come as my working pupil with her own horse Ruby. I have also rented out four stables as a seperate unit, so we are all systems go. 
I have enjoyed training with Di Lampard over the winter, and felt the benefit when attending an Equine Pathway training day at Vale view at the end of January. I took Bee, Spider and Douglas. All were a little wild, but in a fresh and happy way, I was thrilled with them all, and I felt the buzz that the new season is just round the corner. I also had my first session with a personal trainer to improve fitness, and I honestly never knew I had muscles in places that hurt for the next few days!! All good fun!
Our Owners party should have been before Christmas, but due to the bad weather we postponed it until mid Jan. Everyone enjoyed a lovely lunch, and plenty of champagne and wine to celebrate a successful 2010, and an even better 2011 (Hopefully!!) Thanks to Mum for doing the great food. My contribution was a very large Banoffee Pie......which went down a treat!
World Class Equine Pathway
It is very exciting that Douglas, Spider (Coopers Law) and Beeswing are on the new World Class  Equine Pathway. They have all fulfilled the criteria for their age groups, and are among the elite in the country. I am looking forward to attending the training days, which last year I loved and were invaluable. 
Small changes have taken place in the yard. Nenagh has been sold, and I will miss her very much. Molly has been sold, and is going brilliantly out hunting. I have a new big baby 4yr old called Mac, who has an amazing temperament, and good attitude.  
Sadly Aslan had to be put down. He was one of the most naturally talented horses I have had the pleasure of working with, and It is very sad that he will never fulfil his exciting future, but the circumstances were un avoidable. 
Fitz is being a class 1 hunter at the moment, and the other Saturday I jumped some huge things, which was great fun! I am looking forward to a few more days whilst the other horses are on holiday.
Older blogs have now been put in to an archive folder........
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