EQUINE: Young Rider Update May 2019

2 May 2019

April continued at the same hectic pace as March!

After Belton, the rather less glamorous part of eventing took over.

Early mornings doing roadwork in the rain; practising dressage moves in the freezing cold and cantering up steep hills in the heather. But it is this variety that keeps my horses interested and keen. Routine is important, but there is a balance between this and doing different things. By way of example, Ian Stark OBE gave me a show jumping lesson. He is absolutely amazing and I am so lucky to have him as one of my trainers. He takes no prisoners, but I learn so much from him.


Burnham Market International Horse Trials arrived pretty quickly (only 2 weeks after Belton). It is one of our longest trips and we decided to break the journey on the way down with a visit to Heidi Woodhead where we stayed the night. I did my dressage test and a few schooling cross country fences to get my eye properly back in, with Heidi giving me some extra training. I find this invaluable – she is so helpful and constructively critical. There was then an early start the next day for Burnham Market.


Kaiser did a personal best of 31.5 in the CCI4* S, had one show jump down (my fault!) and a beautiful clear cross country. I had a few time faults but I know he can do the time and it is early in the season to really push him. I was delighted, coming 27th out of over 70 top international competitors. I am really excited about him.


Sunny also did a respectable dressage test, scoring 34.3, clear showjumping, and then......there had been a long ‘hold on course’ after a horse fall and it was about 6.30pm when we went into the cross country warm up ring. There were about 20 other horses in it, also delayed, and there wasn’t much room. Sunny warmed up beautifully and then jumped me off at a practice table. Air jacket goes pop, and Sunny looked down at me as if saying ‘what are you doing down there? Hop up quick!’ I was about to, when the FEI safety team descended. To cut a long story short, by the time I had seen 2 doctors and Sunny had seen 3 vets, all of whom said we were good to go, it was about 7pm and I was the last to go with no-one else on course. In fact I could see tents being taken down in the distance. So I decided to withdraw him and to save him for another day. Sunny was not pleased!


Next stop is Chatsworth Advanced and I’ll let you know what happens in my next Blog.


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