Having five to muck out when you got to bed at 1.30 am reminds you that you're back in the real world. Emma and Luendi went out in their paddocks for the morning for a leg stretch and a roll, and for Luendi some outrageous bucking, while I went to Hickstead to do a little bit of catching up with work. In the afternoon I took advantage of having Steff Gibbs on hand while I lunged Lima and Culana and got back on them. Both of were really well behaved and felt great. Lima's flat work is really coming on now, and she jumped well during the week, feeling much more sure on the approach and making a much more confident jump.
I was lucky to get entries for Pyecombe's first four day show of the year. The excellent new "Paris Arena" and an excellent range of classes makes these shows so popular that classes were full almost a week in advance. A long day started with Culana Z jumping a super confident double clear in the Discovery and a good round in her first Newcomers. She seems to have picked up where she finished the Sunshine Tour and once she has had her daily spook is great fun to ride - super careful and very easy to ride to the fence. I think she's going to be a real winner.
Luendi then jumped a lovely double clear in the Foxhunter to finish just out of the money. She felt ultra-careful after her experiences in the mud in Hardelot so I didn't jump her in the 1.30 as I'd always rather finish on a good note.
Emma had the first Fence in the 1.30 when I changed my mind on the approach and then jumped a fabulous round in the 1.40. Sadly she so nearly jumped me off over fence 8 that I had to turn a circle, but she feels so confident and easy at this level so I am really looking forward to the summer with her.
A long, but rewarding day and made much easier with Steff Gibb's excellent help. The Light family deserve their success as some reward for investing in such excellent facilities. The courses in the Paris arena were really good, with open, flowing lines to encourage the horses to travel and jump.
We have had a lovely restful week in St Lucia. It's lovely to be warm and to have loads of time to read, although perhaps we could cope without today's torrential rain.