We are delighted to welcome Claire Benfield, Head Girl to Ireland’s Aoife Clark, to our team of regular bloggers. Claire will be sharing her Road to Rio hopes throughout the season with news from Aoife’s yard and beyond.
All the horses are now back in full work and heading out to showjumping shows and Team Ireland training days making sure they are tuned up ready for those first few events.
We have some lovely horses coming up through the grades. Two of which are the Olympic hopefuls Fernhill Adventure (Biscuit) and Wasting Light (Archie). It’s a pleasure to look after these horses on a day to day basis and the more I look after them, the more I get to know their personalities.
These two are like Chalk and Cheese. Biscuit is quite a big horse (especially for me as I’m only 5ft1!), he is 10 years old. He had a great year last year being placed in his Advanced Classes at the beginning of the season and then followed it up with 3 Open Intermediate wins in a row, a 3rd and Millstreet, Ireland CIC*** and finishing off his season with a double clear finishing 17th at Blenheim CCI***.
He is a big softy and loves nothing more than cuddle whilst I’m trying to muck him out! Archie on the other hand is the opposite. He is a year younger at 9 years old but has proven himself at the higher level by a 6th place at Blenheim CIC*** 8/9 year old class and then a 2nd place at Ravenna, Italy CCI***.
He has his own rule book and if it’s not in it then he certainly makes sure you know about it!! He is very clever and knows when he has been good as I regularly find him in the tack room trying to steal the polos!
We recently had our first Team ACE open day arranged by one of Aoife’s fantastic sponsors Gain Horse Feeds in conjunction with CountryWide Farmers. I’m proud to say that it was a huge success and all our hard work paid off.
The day ran smoothly and all the horses looked amazing. It was a real team effort in making sure everything looked immaculate and I certainly couldn’t have managed it without a fantastic support crew. It was great to be able to welcome people into the yard and show them the stable stars. Some of the owners made it down and it’s always nice for them to see the horses in their home environment looking relaxed and happy.
As Aoife has done the first entries of the season, I will be trying to contain my excitement as we get our ‘Road to Rio’ season started!
Until next time,