We woke up on Thursday morning to the horrible news that Jack Dodd, a charming and supremely talented young rider and former Breen Team pupil, was severely injured in a car accident last night. Whilst praying for Jack and his family and his very many friends this puts life in perspective and makes me realise both how very important family and friends are and also how fragile life is. Carpe diem - seize the day - a good motto!
Askeaton - 5 year olds
I haven’t been to Bicton since 2002 when I was still eventing, but although it’s a very long way it was one of my favourite events. This year I had a lovely drive down the coast road, seeing new foals in the New Forest and the dramatic views on the A35. My tummy flipped over when I saw the old cross-country practice fence. I got the three horses settled into their stables, had a quick lunch and gave them all a quick hack round the lovely park. Askeaton was at her first stay away show and was extremely excited to be there. Bicton is a really beautiful show, and fantastically well run by Helen West and her team. It was friendly, efficient and had a fantastic selection of classes.
Askeaton was jumping on grass for the first time so we did a slightly wobbly clear round before the 5 year olds and she then jumped a lovely clear to be equal first in the class. I had a long wait to jump Kvint in the 1.30. He is very inexperienced in grass and had two early fences, but was bold and honest as always.
I then had an even longer wait to jump Emma in the 1.40, she jumped very well for 2 poles in the jump-off. I finished a very long day, having got on Askeaton at 7.30 am and off Emma at 8.30 pm, feeling pleased with the way all three horses had gone, but really noticing our lack of an early tour on grass this year. Rafa Suarez built proper 2* courses in the very atmospheric arena.
Luckily the overnight thunderstorms didn't arrive and the going on Friday was still good. Kvint was first to jump on Friday in the 1.30. He jumped well again but he had a little bit of a sore mouth which he was very sensitive about so I turned a circle to one fence when he shot off to the right with me. Askeaton jumped well in the Discovery on grass, and Emma jumped really well in the strong 1.40 Grand Prix.
Kvint and Emma just jumped the two classes as they have both got a long summer ahead of them and there was no class for them on Saturday. Once I had jumped Askeaton on Saturday I had a lovely hack on the two older horses, and a very relaxing, if rather rainy and thundery evening catching up with friends and watching the Fancy Dress Speed Derby which was brilliant fun. It was lovely to meet up with Fiona Chesterton who bought Spring Spartan from me, and rode him at the Young Rider Europeans at Blenheim, many, many years ago. Askeaton jumped two more double clears in the 5 year old classes, finishing feeling super confident and having had very good show.
What a fabulous show Bicton is. Bicton Park is a wonderful setting and the show is fantastically well run by Helen West and her team. It was friendly, efficient and had a fantastic selection of classes, I hope I will be back there in September and look forward to the proposed international show in 2019.
I had finished jumping by 10.30 on Sunday, so I quickly packed up and set off for home. I had a brilliant journey to be home by 5.00, in time to enjoy a lovely evening with Mark, Anna, Sophie, Tom and Alex. We then had a very satisfactory morning of Wedding Admin and a very relaxing Bank Holiday Monday
The rest of the yard have been having a very successful time while I've been away. Karen Ibberson and Valentino Rossi (Vinnie to us!) was 4th in the BE90 at Borde Hill, Elena Watson and Lyra have been unstoppable in their BS and NSEA competitions, already qualifying for the main ring at Hickstead at the Schools Meeting. Marine has had her head down studying for her university exams and Claudia and her lovely RiRi have been to their first show and to cross country clinic.
As always many thanks to Mark, Steff, Camilla and Izzy who keep the whole place going while I'm away and to Jackie and Phil Turner-Adams who helped us out on Saturday afternoon while Mark, Anna and Sophie were at the Rugby Premiership Finals.
I am thrilled that my blog is now being featured in the Top 25 Equestrian Blogs on Feedspot.com.