It was a very quiet Royal International for me this year with only one horse to ride. Benny was sore after Pyecombe and although he is sound now I decided to give him a bit more time to really recover and Emma has actually been lame, but seems to be on the mend now so I have got my fingers crossed that she is also going to be OK.
I was meant to be a Zuidwolde the week before the RIHS, so I started jumping on Thursday. It was a very early start, and I had lovely Frankie Walker to help me. It had been wet on Wednesday, and although the maintenance crew had done all they could in Ring 2 the ground was a little bit dead. Kvint jumped a really good round in the Foxhunter, just having one down in the jump-off when he rather ran out of steam.
It absolutely bucketed with rain for the whole of Friday afternoon, so I was very relieved to be jumping on the all-weather in Ring 4. Steff, Frankie and I got completely soaked and eventually jumped after six, but Kvint jumped a really fantastic clear round. I was thrilled with him, he is so lovely and easy to ride, and does a bit less sight seeing as he goes round the ring now, and I am really looking forward to taking him to Auvers in France in the middle of August.
By the time I got Kvint back to the lorry the lorry park was a complete quagmire. Luckily I was towed out pretty quickly, but I really couldn't see that anybody needed another HGV to tow in and out on Saturday, and I don't think Kvint would have appreciated ploughing round Ring 2 either.
Mark and I had two lovely afternoons, enjoying the hospitality of Chris Warren and Duncan Gipson and watching the very best of very exciting show jumping. We were so thrilled to see Harriet Nuttall win the Queen's Cup and Yuri Mansur make HIckstead and Brazilian history in the King's Cup.
Going to work at Breen Equestrian today the road sweepers were working hard to clean the mud off the slip-road and the roundabout. I can't even imagine what the showground itself looks like. Well done for the team at Hickstead for still providing the best of competition in the worst conditions that the British Summer could throw at them.