Four o'clock is never a great time to drag yourself out of bed, especially when it is to say goodbye to your favourite horse. The lovely Wayfer has now been sold to Switzerland. My aim, and excuse for indulging in such a lovely hobby, is to produce nice young horses until they are ready for other amateurs to take on, so should be viewed as a major success, but it is always a bittersweet moment when they leave, and "Ferro" is one of the nicest horses I have ever had anything to do with so I hope she will continue to be treated like a princess and give as much pleasure as she gave here. We had a lot of fun and both learnt a lot in the four years she was here, and she let me not only jump in classes I had only dreamt about, but also be successful in them.
Having packed Ferro off it was time to pack Biscuit and Emma into the lorry and take them to Hickstead for the first day of the All England Jumping Championships. As is often the case a very successful week was followed by a distinctly ordinary one! Emma had felt very careful when I jumped her at home, and was terribly green and over careful when faced with quite a strong course. Sadly a couple of helicopter moments made it impossible to get sensibly round, so we jumped a nice confidence restorer in the 1.10 and lived to fight another day. Biscuit was her normal happy self in the 1.20, but I think the rider was a bit slack to the first fence and we had that down.
The next day, Friday, was like a flashback to 2012 - pouring with rain. However Biscuit jumped a great round in the 1.20 just having an upright when I turned too tight in the jump-off, and Emma felt more like herself, although still a little bit green.
Saturday started with an unusual warm-up as I went for a hack with Rowena and John Breen (Shane's sister and father) first thing in the morning. Rowena on Homer, John on Biscuit (both Homer & Biscuit came from John) and myself on Emma. I don't know who was more surprised, me or Emma as we set off at a gallop across the fields. We arrived at Stuccles pretty quickly, had a quick chat with Sue Bunn and hacked back to the showground for me to jump Biscuit and Emma. Homer stayed down on the showground as a mobile grandstand for John.
Both mares jumped really well round a strong 1.20, Emma feeling completely like herself and Biscuit putting in yet another good performance.
The 2013 season is pretty well wrapped up for me. Emma and Biscuit will probably jump a couple more local shows before they get turned out. Biscuit, Little Penny, is properly on the market now. She has been so consistent at 1.20 level now having placings at Foxhunter and in International shows, and is ready to share her experience with someone who will benefit from it. Homer is properly back in work and is also on the market, and hopefully, once one more is sold, I can find some replacements and start all over again. If they are anything like as rewarding as these have been, I will be very happy.