I’m not sure whether I ever really have an official ‘plan’ for the season as such, as I don’t like it if I can’t stick to it, however I quietly have ‘aims’ and I would definitely say a few things have diverted off course this season, some on a better route probably, others not so much.
Stan (Stanhopes Travelling Man) was the only horse I had Eventing at the very start of the season, and the focus was primarily on the Badminton Mitsubishi Motors Cup. I felt we had the best preparation he could of had given the weather we had (which seems weird talking about now considering how dry it currently is!) We managed 2 out of 4 planned runs due to the rain and snow, and with 2 runs it was also 2 wins under his belt. We were very fortunate though as I know a lot of people didn’t even manage to get 1 run before. He did a fabulous test at Badminton, I probably wouldn’t of changed much if I had the chance to go in again, but the sticky ground got the better of him in the showjumping and he had the unluckiest 4faults, but with a heroic effort on the XC to finish clear inside the time, we finished 11th so we were thrilled with him. He had a couple of quiet weeks afterwards and followed by 2 more runs picking up another win and a 3rd #supercob
Early in the season my focus was also on getting Arizona ready to begin his new Eventing career. He only saw a xc fence for the first time in March, so we entered him in 2 unaffiliated events to see what he thought of the job. With wonderful performances he began his British Eventing career in May at Shelford picking up a placing in the 100. He is getting fantastic dressage scores and feels unbelievable on the XC despite his lack of experience so I’m very excited about his future and he seems to absolutely love it!
Also pre Badminton, 5year old Shutter Fly had an unaffiliated run in preparation for the season in which we had hoped she would contend the Osberton 5year old qualifiers. She ran amazing to pick up a 3rd and we went home excited for her future and the rest of the season. However, as we all know can happen with horses, she had a slight set back with an injury. We decided to take the opportunity to put her in foal whilst she’s young and time is on her side. So fingers crossed that goes to plan as it will be a very exciting chapter if it does, and I’m sure she will return better than ever.
Iv also had another horse join the team called Vivogue. She’s a horse I owned as a 4year old and has been beautifully produced by Lauren Rayner who still owns her, however with Lauren working full time she has joined me for this season. We had a couple of 100open runs where she picked up two 4ths, and then had a brilliant run in the Novice at Catton where she finished 2nd. She’s an amazing horse with all the ability in the world.
Following Catton we have had a bit of a mid season break which has come at a good time with the hard ground. However its no rest for the wicked with training in all disciplines continuing. Ive had a few showjumping outings which have been fun and will continue to showjump in between cracking on with the second half of the season, and I can’t believe I’m going to say it, but hopefully we will have a bit of rain?!