I was absolutely thrilled to make it to Badminton for the first time this May but, in the end, it wasn’t quite the debut we had hoped for, having a fall at the tricky pond fence. But Austen (Chance Remark) and I live to fight another day and we will regroup, rethink and fight again!
Before we knew it, we were on to Chatsworth, where the lovely Cavatina Tinkerbelle was a real star in the one star with one unlucky fence down. I was impressed with how she coped in the atmosphere, and it was great that her owners Chris and Viv Prior were there to see her in action. I think she has a very exciting future.
Anne Staley’s Priospark Passionate also gave me a brilliant ride XC at Chatsworth and was feeling very confident at one star level! I was sad not to be part of the Event Rider Masters series this year, but what a brilliant afternoon of sport it provided and it was fantastic to be able to watch live. Well done Gemma Tattersall – a brilliant result!
At Rockingham, Antonia Browns Freestyle R led the dressage and jumped a super double clear to finish third. This lovely horse has not been out of the top 3 this year, a complete super star! Kathryn Pepper’s Mongarif Duke was making his debut and excelled himself with a 29 dressage and lovely double clear to finish 4th. My working pupil, Hannah (Hobhouse) was also doing her first one star dressage test and posted a personal best and then went storming around the XC.
For the last weekend of May we called in at Bishop Burton and Shelford and saw all our horses make the top 10. Geminis Proposal was having her first run of the season and also our first together and finished third. Neelix was also having his first run and also finished third! Champions Firecracker was back to his best with a super double clear and 26 dressage finishing fourth, while Cavatina Tinkerbelle and Austen also jumped great double clears and gave me great rides! Shelford saw BE debutant Woodcroft Harvest excel himself with a 29 dressage and lovely double clear to finish third. Kathryn Pepper’s Mongarif Duke also jumped a lovely double clear to finish 4th.
Then it was a quick turn around before catching the ferry to Ireland for TheTattersalls International Horse Trials with the girls – Caja 20 and Moonlight Dance S – for their first CCI3* and 2* respectively.
Sadly, Tatts didn’t begin well as we didn’t start the 2* with Moonlight Dance who spread a shoe just before trot up. I guess that’s horses for you! So, the WNE team’s hopes rested solely on Caja in the end.
This was Caja’s first big question after our victory in the CIC3* 8/9 Year old Championships last year at the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials. I’m delighted to report that we finished on our dressage score, a close third behind the eventual winner, Italy’s Vittoria Panizzon and Piggy French in second.
Thank you Caja and my beyond brilliant team. We exceeded all expectations! Thank you Tattersalls International Horse Trials & Country Fair for a fantastic event. Definitely one of the all-time greats. Thank you to my team, owners and sponsors who made it all possible.