Doonaveeragh Emma CSI* Grand Prix.
Keysoe have already held two very successful summer CSI*/**'s and this was their first indoor International Show. With just Doonaveeragh Emma to ride I arrived in good time for the trot-up on Thursday afternoon which was very lucky as due to the recent wet weather the stable area was very wet, and it was quite a challenge to find nine dry stables for Emma and her Breen Team mates. She trotted up well and was soon settled into her stable, and I got the lorry all hooked up and started to get a few of the Breen stables bedded up, supper in the oven and all the horses declared for the right classes on Friday.
Keysoe always provides excellent courses built by Kelvin Bywater, and although 1.20 isn't big for Emma, the school at Keysoe is quite tight and the course was technical. Emma jumped a brilliant clear round, but unfortunately I made a mistake on a turn-back in the jump-off collecting four faults, and finishing 12th - last of the prize-winners.
Shane won the big class on Cosima 204, so we all took full advantage of the wonderful Champagne Reception with the most delicious champagne provided by the Champagne Cave. It slipped down very easily and a very good party ensued. Being a thoroughly responsible adult I went to leave the party at 10.30 - so it is a complete mystery as to how I found myself cleaning my boots at 12.30 am!
It was a bit of a short night as the real party animals went to bed rather noisily at 4.30 am and at 6.30 it was time to get up! It was just a 1.25 two-phase for Emma and she jumped a really good round, just having a pole at the last fence in the first round. My debrief from Shane was that perhaps I could keep my inside hand up a bit more, but really it was just one of those things. Another day of high class jumping ended with Shane winning the 1.35 speed on Fragile d'Or and Cosima coming 2nd in the 1.45 two phase. No more partying though, just an early and alcohol free night.
Such responsible behavior should have resulted in a better result in the Grand Prix than one down in the first round when I had Emma a little bit off an oxer, but such is life - she is not quite a machine, and she has notched up some very good 1.30 results over the past few weeks. I stayed to watch the excellent 2* Grand Prix, won by Lance Whitehouse who was last to go in the jump-off.
I had left the horses at home in the very capable hands of Steff Gibbs, Jemma Tester and Mark, the only loose bit of the plan being that Mark and his brother, Simon, had to get Luendi and Tops in on Sunday. Disaster struck and Luendi managed to kick Simon on the arm giving him a horrible broken arm and dislocated elbow. Luckily Simon is on the mend now, and has been incredibly phlegmatic about the whole incident, but it was a far from ideal home-coming.
Emma is now happily wrapped up warm and turned out in the field next to Bert and Rabbit. She is so relaxed and happy and will benefit enormously from switching off completely. Bert is also having a little break as our yard is being re-concreted and extended and the logistics of having more than two horses in work are too difficult. Rabbit and Emma will come back into work in the New Year.
Meanwhile Luendi has jumped her first Foxhunter and is really catching up her peers. It is great having the opportunity to concentrate on her and spend more time with her which seems to be really paying off. Also, having been a bit disappointed with myself at Keysoe it was good to note find that when I schooled Luendi I never missed a beat and felt super confident, so I can't have ridden too badly at Keysoe! Meanwhile I have more time for catching up with work, and with home admin, my own batteries are beginning to recharge in time for some serious Christmas partying and I am beginning to think about plans for next year.
As always many thanks to my kind sponsor Diva Equine & Country who provide me with lovely bridles and saddle cloths to keep the horses looking super smart at competitions.
Emma CSI* Keysoe