It was a short turnaround from Fontainebleau to Hickstead and a very hot one too! We had two incredibley hot days at home and apart from giving Heidi a jump the other horses had a gentle two days. I decided to prioritise Bolesworth with Emma, so she had a check over and treatment from Mike at Cinder Hill and didn’t jump at all at Hickstead. Thursday was forecast to be in the high 30’s so Camilla and I did a whistle stop tour to Hickstead with Askeaton and Heidi jumping them both for two nice Newcomers clears and going straight home. Riding Kvint and Emma at home was quite an effort, those three days are the only time I remember horses just standing sweating in our stables.
Alex Kane came to help me on Friday as a practice for Bolesworth. All the horses jumped well, Askeaton jumped very well in a big Foxhunter in ring two and to my great relief skipped over an open water, Kvint also jumped well in ring two and skipped over the permanent water and Heidi jumped well in the Newcomers.
Saturday saw a total change in the weather, heavy rain overnight and a very wet morning with lorries being towed on and off the Showground, and Steff and Mark needing wellies. Askeaton jumped a good round in a huge Six Year Old Qualifier and Kvint jumped a very ordinary round in the 1.30. I had a lovely hack around on Emma, much to the amusement of Georgia Tame and Philip Miller who were very surprised to see her hacking about in her nathe snaffle when she’s so strong in the ring. Mark and I stayed to watch David Simpson win his second Queen’s Cup in a very exciting jump-off.
We spent Sunday having a lovely lunch with friends and then we were back to real life on Monday. I hadn’t been very impressed with my riding on Kvint either in Fontainebleau or Hickstead so we made a quick trip to David for some help. I wasn’t keeping him straight enough or in a good enough rhythm. As always those eyes on the ground are invaluable - fine tuning is everything!
we had two lovely treats in July. The first was Judy Hancock coming to stay while she was judging dressage at Hickstead. Judy and I have been friends since we were five and it was wonderful to have the chance to catch up properly and to ride together again, and reminisce about our Pony Club days which were very different before health and safety was invented. Amazingly of the riders we were in the eventing team with over the years so many of us are still involved in equestrian sport, Judy competed at Badminton and Burghley and is now an accomplished dressage rider and judge, both her brother Phillip Herbert and Douglas Weymouth are course builders. Nigel and Anne-Marie Taylor have both won eventing medals for Great Britain. The Grafton was a truly great Pony Cub.
We also had Anna and Rory staying for three lovely sunny days.
Rory is developing into a real little character now with a proper melt your heart smile. We’ve just come back from a lovely weekend in Devon minding Rory for the day while Anna and Tom went to a wedding.
Having fitted in some training with David for Askeaton and Emma, Heidi avoided trying as she had a slightly bruised sole, Steff, Alex Kane and I packed up for Bolesworth Young Horse Championships on Monday and set off early on Tuesday.
As always many thanks to Steff, Camilla and Mark and the extended team of Cinder Hill Equine Clinic and Casserly & Sons and all my supporters Saracen Horse Feeds, Just Equine, Precision Equine Solutions, MacWet Glives and Strude Management.