I made a slightly late decision to go to the Area 37 two day show at Addington, and to stable for two nights to avoid two extra rush hour journeys round the M25. This turned out to be one of my better decisions. The indoor stables at Addington are lovely. Huge and airy with rubber matting and the lorry was right outside making life so easy.
The first job was to meet Anky Sederholm to sort out Benny's saddle. Despite my determination not to spring for another saddle, Emma's really doesn't really fit him and I find myself fighting to stay in balance in it. Such is the efficiency of Sederholm Selected's service that I had already tried a saddle at home and Anky was able to lend us a saddle that fitted Benny better to use while Benny's own saddle is being made.
First to jump on Tuesday morning was Catokyo in the Newcomers. Her only visit to an indoor school was a lesson with Shane the previous week, so I was not expecting miracles over a strong newcomers in the imposing school at Addington. Although she was a little bit tense about her new surroundings Catokyo was a little star, just getting a bit weary in the jump-off.
Benny jumped next in the 1.20 open. He was fairly full of himself, and felt fabulous in his new saddle, obviously it's better if you're not having your shoulders squished, and jumped a great clear round.
Last of the day was Doonaveeragh Emma who jumped in the B (1.30) section of the B&C Handicap. The course was certainly strong enough and she jumped a very good, and fast, round to be placed. She felt very good after her rather short holiday. Ideally she would have had another couple of weeks off, but she got so wild in the field and so difficult to bring in and out that I decided she was safer being ridden. I watched Julien, Alona and Shane jump in the 1.30 and 1.40 before putting the horses' rugs on and having a very late supper.
Catokyo really jumped her little socks off on Wednesday morning. She felt super confident and jumped round the Newcomers very easily, I am so excited about her future, although she isn't very big she is so scopey and so brave, the most difficult thing is not falling off over the front.
Benny jumped another very good double clear to finish just out of the money in the 1.20. I am really enjoying him now, and will get going with some 1.30's now.
We had a long wait for Emma to jump in the £1,000 to the winner 1.30 open. She absolutely shot round and did some fabulous turn-backs, unfortunately I hadn't realised she had the back bar on fence 5, but as there were only 9 clears out of 52 starters, she actually only just finished out of the money and was fast enough to have been 3rd. Georgia won the class easily on Zidane with Tracy Priest second. With a long journey home I didn't stay to watch the 1.40, but was thrilled that I had decided to go. Addington is a super venue, the courses are always strong, and if you can go well there you know you are doing OK.
We have had a quiet few days, and a thorough soaking on Saturday to remind us that Winter is just round the corner. Mark and I have just had a lovely night away celebrating the 250th Anniversary of Tattersalls and watching the first day of the yearling sales. We were able to watch the top lot, a colt by Dubawi, sell for 2,600,000 Guineas. The prices paid for some of these yearlings are like Monopoly money - but a stud fee for Dubawi is £250,000 which helps put the stud fees for top sport horse stallions into perspective a bit.