The U25 CCI*** competition at the Equi-trek Bramham International Horse Trials has always been my Spring three-day event aim for Last Touch (Jack) and after a great prep run at Chatsworth we headed up to the Yorkshire event as prepared as we could be.
Dressage is not Jack’s strongest phase but his overall frame and way of going is continuing to improve and although a mark of 36.7 left us in 25th position, with the cross-country course as strong as it was, this wasn’t going to be a dressage competition and fitness was going to play a big part on this 10 ½ minute track incorporating the well-renowned Bramham hills. Jack gave me the most wonderful ride, he was looking for the flags and we were up on our minute markers until we were held on the course for 7 minutes and as he has been quite strong in running and jumping it took us a little time to find our rhythm again once we were re-started, and therefore was thrilled to be only one of four combinations inside the time, which catapulted us the leader-board to 8th position going into the final day.
He recovered extremely well from his cross-country exertions to fly through the trot up the following day and into the final phase, the showjumping, which was quite twisty and therefore the time allowed would be quite influential. Jack jumped the most super clear round, just incurring 3 time penalties that kept us in 8th position – I couldn’t have been more proud of him and would like to say a massive big thank you to Hollie Bradshaw who looked after Jack so well and to the support team that make up Team Bacon. Jack will now have some ‘downtime’ before preparing for Burghley Horse Trials, our CCI**** debut!!
Well Foxed travelled over the Irish Sea to Tattersalls International Horse Trials to compete in the YR CCI** that allowed his Irish owners, Jim and Sally Gleeson a rare chance to see him compete. He was very relaxed on the ferry and I was delighted how well he ate and drank, not only on arrival, but also throughout the competition.
This being his first three-day event he coped well with the atmosphere in the dressage arena and the area that was surrounded by the different national flags of the competitors to perform a lovely test that was I feel marked rather harshly. The cross-country course was strong and it was the biggest course he had tackled but he gave me a fabulous round, the best I have had on him so far, on his lines and looking for the flags, As it was his first time at this level I didn’t push for the time, but with his incredible gallop he only had two time penalties. The facilities at Tattersalls are second to none and he was particularly happy in his stable, where he was very relaxed throughout. Show jumping is his weakest phase, but I think a lot of that is due to him still being weak in his canter, however, he really wants to please and always try and although we did pick up a few show jumping penalties, I was encouraged by his overall performance.
Team Bacon had its first winner of the season, Cosmos du Figuier won his BE100 section at Rockingham International, posting a lovely dressage score of 26.8 and a double clear jumping round – I am very excited about this young horse and look forward to seeing how his progresses.