I love the Hickstead Derby Show but it has sometimes been a bit of a mixed bag for me. I have won a few rosettes there, but two years ago I fell on my head at the 4th fence on the first day and then again on the Saturday, and with so many long courses to jump in different rings my sat nav can be very unreliable there. Having had a warm up jump at Felbridge where Emma won a very welcome rosette and paid all the entries I set of with a reasonable amount of confidence.
This year I had only two horses to jump and fantastic help in the shape of Jessica Finnegan who came over from Ireland to groom for me. Emma jumped really well in the 1.25 the first day for a double clear, and then jumped two fantastic rounds in ring two. One in the 1.30 on Thursday and one in the 1.35 on Friday, both times just having a pole in the jump-off, which I think is a little bit down to inexperience on her part as she still jumps a bit too high and I need to get that leg on a bit more to really get her across the fences.
Luendi also jumped well every day. Dropping her down to Newcomers made it very relaxing, and I have also dropped her back to a straight bar Beris snaffle which she seems very happy in, full cheeks make the steering a little easier as well. Not having jumped much on grass she struggled a little bit with the terrain the first two days, but jumped a fantastic Foxhunter round in Ring 4 to finish the week.
We were then treated to watching the highest class Speed Derby that I have ever seen followed by a wonderful and very emotional Derby on Sunday. There were some really high class rounds in both classes and it was wonderful to see Trevor Breen take the Trophy home again.
Little Lava hof ter Zeedycke continues to improve and had a rather exciting trip to Hickstead on Saturday. Her flat work is nearly done and she is jumping little fillers very happily so she will go in the field for a big rest and grow very shortly.
We are off to Pyecombe for what will hopefully be a happy jump round on Saturday and then off to Keysoe CSI2* on Monday.