On September 12, 2012 by Sarah Lewis
After Felbridge we were set for the All England Jumping Championships at Hickstead. It had been a busy weekend with Anna celebrating her 25th birthday by having 14 friends to stay. Although the weather wasn’t quite as good as forecast they were able to swim, play croquet and bowls, and also play tennis at Mark’s parents. It was lovely to see them all, especially as most of them we have known since school days. After a delicious dinner cooked by the fabulously efficient Anna, Mark and I retired to his parents’ house so they could make as much noise as they liked.
The weather for Hickstead was fabulous, making up for the monsoons at the two previous shows. In addition to my own horses we had about 16 Old Lodge horses competing, with Malcolm Pyrah attending for two days to watch and advise, and Carolyn, Frank and Robert from the stud to watch and video. After all the work that goes on at the stud during the year, it is hopefully good to see the fruits of that labour at a lovely show.
So far this week a lot of time has been spent dealing with the admin arising from Hickstead and preparing for Arena UK and HOYS.A lot of time was spent watching and assessing the Old Lodge horses, so I was thrilled to collapse into the Bunn box on Sunday which has the best panoramic view of the main ring, and to watch the main class of the day – the 1.40 Grand Prix – won with great authority by Trevor Breen and Adventure de Kannan.I kicked off with Biscuit in the Newcomers, she just had a fence in the jump-off every day, but her attitude improves all the time. Ferro then jumped in 1.20’s every day – perhaps not her greatest show with four faults in each round, but she has worked hard for the last couple of weeks, and although the hard work will pay off, perhaps it took the edge off her for this week. I then jumped Emma in the five year old qualifier where she jumped a lovely double clear. She was a little bit green with the combination of 1.15 from the beginning and ring 2, but she qualified for the main ring on Friday, where she had the first two fences down before jumping a beautiful round. I think I was really worried about how big (1.20) it was for her and slightly over rode expecting her to be a bit green in the main ring. She also had a second chance in the main ring on Sunday as she qualified in the Newcomers as well. Once again she had a surprising two fences, possibly a bit weary on the 4th day of the show, but it will have done her good in the long run, and she certainly should have no fears about the Hickstead main ring. It is just so lovely jumping in there!
My girls have had a very easy week, hopefully they will be jumping out of their skins at Arena UK. It will be a first stay away for Biscuit and Emma, so we will see how they get on.