It was hugely disappointing to have to withdraw Last Touch (Jack) from the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials due to him picking up a very small injury in the run-up to the event and although he hadn’t actually taken a lame step it was on the advice of our vet Peter ‘Spike’ Milligan that we should save him for another day. It was totally gut wrenching as Jack has been injury free for the time I have been eventing him and he had been firing on all cylinders in the run up to the event, but his welfare comes first and it is all part of the sport. Sadly he couldn’t show off his lovely new white brushing boots in the dressage warm up arena that Woof Wear had kindly provided him and with the help I had received from Phoebe Peters and Tracey Robinson leading up to Burghley with his flatwork, which is his weaker phase, he had really started to improve and I would just like to say a massive thank you to both of them along with his owner Lucinda Froggatt, who without her generosity, I wouldn’t have had the ride on Jack for the past three seasons. The plan now is to make our CCI**** debut at Luhmuhlen in 2019.
Our spirits were lifted by Cosmos du Figuier, who won his BE100 section at Wellington horse trials finishing on his dressage score of 24.5. After his Novice run at West Wilts, we just stepped him down a level to ensure that his confidence levels were still high as it is all too easy to over face a young horse and he has only been competing for a very short time. However, he showed us that his Novice run had brought him on leaps and bounds, performing a lovely dressage test followed by two lovely rounds of jumping. I didn’t expect to win and actually heard that I had over the tannoy – a very nice welcome surprise!! He will now have three novice runs at Monmouth, Moreton Morrell and ? to round off his season before having a holiday.
Langton has had a growth spurt, so we have given him a quieter time, but he will have a couple days of Autumn Hunting and then a few days of proper hunting.
Bridge of Diamonds, who we always knew would take time, has returned to us to have a few days Autumn Hunting before he resumes his training over the winter.
Cooley Enno ran in the CIC** at Gatcombe where he performed a mistake free and accurate dressage test that left him in the top 20 – he has the most lovely rhythmical canter that always gains him good marks, his trot work still needs to improve, but we will work on this over the winter. I was thrilled with his cross-country, where he has now started to pull me into the fences and looking for the flags, I took one long route, which in hindsight probably wasn’t necessary with his new found confidence, which means I can be a bit more competitive at his next CIC** run, which is at South of England, along with Well Foxed. Usually we show jump before going cross-country in a CIC competition, however at Gatcombe we show jumped after that phase, which made Enno more rideable and polite, which slightly caught me out at the beginning of my round, that I compensated by quickly moving him up a gear, which annoyingly resulted him having 4 faults, but overall his performance was very pleasing and exciting for the future.
I have a new project to work on – a racehorse who has been in training with both Sam Thomas and Oliver Sherwood, however, he has fallen out of love with racing, so he has come to me to see if he would like a new career as an event horse – it is early days, but he seems to be very amenable and has taken everything in his stride so far.
I cannot believe it is nearly the end of the eventing season – it all goes by so very quickly and hope that Cooley Enno and Well Foxed finish my season off in style.