We came back to some very woolly horses, so Steph and I spent the week clipping, not anybody's favourite job and particularly depressing at this time of year when they need clipping every 10 days. Shane very kindly found time to give me a lesson on the two younger horses on Monday and Benny and Emma on Tuesday before he went off to Lyon which set us all up for Crofton Manor.
A 4 o'clock start on Saturday morning saw me at Crofton in time to jump Catokyo and Culana Z in the Newcomers. Catokyo did a lovely clear round and Culana just had a slightly spooky four faults. Benny jumped brilliantly in both the 1.20 and the 1.25. Emma was very fresh in the 1.25 and then a little bit over careful in the 1.35, but all in all it was a good warm-up for the Addington Premier Show.
Steff and I set off for Addington on Tuesday in order to get the horses settled in for an early start on Wednesday morning. Having booked very early we had the lovely indoor stables. It makes life at the show so much easier being stabled near the lorry and being able to keep everything tidy and dry.
Catokyo jumped very well round a big Newcomers first thing on Wednesday, Culana Z also jumped well. We then had quite a wait before Benny jumped in the 1.25 and then in the 1.30 B&C. He jumped well in both classes, and I was thrilled to have finally got a good round in a 1.30 under my belt. Emma really didn't like the going in the warm-up and was bit silly and over careful in the B&C so I decided not to jump her in the 1.35.
On Thursday Catokyo jumped another super round, I just had too many strides on a turn-back in the jump-off to a big set of planks. Culana Z stormed round for a double clear like a real expert.
I jumped Emma early in the 1.30 so she would get better going straight after the course was harrowed, a good decision as she jumped a great double clear to finish 19th.
It was the first time I had gone straight into a 1.30 with Benny and he jumped really well, just having a pole coming out of the double, but easily our best round to date.
We had a very late finish on Thursday, and another quite early start on Friday. Both Catokyo and Culana Z jumped lovely clear rounds in the Newcomers.
I then jumped Emma and Benny in the 1.25, jumping Emma early again. They both stormed round, Emma finishing 4th and qualifying for the Blue Chip Championships. My lovely step-mother Zandra came to watch on Friday, as Addington is really home territory for my family, which was great, and having finished quite early I took the decision to withdraw the horses from their Saturday classes and come home a day early.
Catokyo has done so well this summer and I feel she is going pretty much how I want her now and has done everything a five year old should so she is going to have a month out in the field. I also think that Emma is due for a longer break and so she and Catokyo are keeping one another company. They have got lots of grass and lovely warm rugs, and so long as it doesn't get too wet they should benefit from a mental break as well as a physical break.
Having had a great show I fell swiftly to earth this morning when some deer shot out of the wood in front of Culana and I shot off hitting my shoulder blade very hard on a piece of hard-core. It was a very long and sore walk back before spending the rest of the morning in A&E. Luckily the suspected broken shoulder blade is just a big haematoma, so I will take life a little bit slowly this week and see how it resolves itself.
We had one extra member of the party at Addington. Sadly Ruby has gone back to London, so a rather lonely Twiglet joined us for Addington. She was absolutely thrilled with such a busy social life. She is the most selfish person to share a bed with as she constantly tries to push you out, but she seemed to thoroughly enjoy the trip, and we managed not to lose her, in spite of the fact that she is rather mecurial and just popped by the stables from time to time to check that Steff and I hadn't left without her.
As always many thanks to Steff for looking after the horses so beautifully and always having them look so smart and to Addington which is a very slick operation and put on a great show.