2018- What a year!
In short the year didn’t start off great, Elle (Hillgarth Rachelian) had undergone surgery a few days before Christmas 2017 to remove a bone fragment in her fetlock joint and upon surgery the fragment was larger than the initial x ray suggested and the arthroscopy showed fairly significant damage to the cartilage.  The upcoming months of rehab was touch and go, we didn’t really know if she would remain sound or how much work she would be able to hold up to, so it was very much taking every day as it came and ever so slowly upping the work.

By the time Elle was granted turnout and had returned to some light schooling sessions and all seemed to be going well *touch wood*, Cruise (Cefncoch Crusader) then took the sick note and had to have several months off due to a lameness issue which was painstakingly hard as for several weeks he wasn’t improving at all. By about May I felt I had had enough of horses on box rest and I felt 2018 was going to be a write-off year!

Somehow the back half of the season everything seemed to turn around and what a few months it’s been- Elle returned to full schooling sessions and had started to jump so we had started having a go at some BD and managed to squeeze qualifications in for area festivals- Elle attended her festivals in July at Rockrose and won her novice bronze, joint 1st in her prelim silver and won both her warm up classes.

 By August Cruise came sound just two weeks before our PetPlan Area Festival and having schooled once since May we decided to wing it and headed down to Northallerton, of which being first rider on he scored 70.6% and almost 40 riders down the line he maintained his lead to win his area festival too!

In October we headed across to Glasgow with them both to attend the Petplan Area Finals at Morris EC and what a weekend! Elle won the Novice bronze final and Cruise won the Prelim silver final with a 6% lead. I couldn’t quite believe my luck (although it was my debut wearing my SXC White competition breeches so I swear they’re a good luck charm!), but to qualify one horse at one level to the BD Winter Nationals was one thing, but to do it twice I couldn’t quite put it into words!

Since then things have cooled down a bit, the shorter nights and being busy at work on the run up to Christmas myself and the horses have all enjoyed a bit of a break. The hard work begins now with Hartpury being just three months away!