Katherine- A busy past few month!
Summer is finally here and the past few months have been very busy with Romeo and Leo!
After Romeo and I had a bad fall at Withington we took things slowly on the lead up to Chatsworth CIC* just to make sure Romeo was ok – he was thankfully!
I had never ridden at Chatsworth, but it had always been one of my aims to as it is the most beautiful venues I have ever seen and the course is outstanding quality! It was also the first outing with all my Honeychop branded items, which I couldn’t wait to show off.
We arrived on the Friday for my dressage and Romeo warmed up nicely and went in a did a very sweet and accurate test for a good score of 43.3 which left us in 4th overnight going into the jumping!
That afternoon I walked both the XC and show jump courses, the XC was a big, bold course with a lot of questions and combinations in it and looked to be a great challenge!
The showjumping was up to height and technical and on the longer side for a course of show jumps, but it was beautifully built and in the main arena with a huge atmosphere! The following day Romeo came out of his stable knowing he was somewhere special and boy did he perform! He pinged around the showjumping that was not having many clears with his eyes shut and loved the atmosphere of the arena!
Then XC he was the machine that he is and cruise round clear in the time! To my surprise when we went through the finish it came over the tannoy that we were in the lead! I couldn’t believe it as we were near the end of the section with not many more horses to go, and a few hours later it was confirmed that Romeo and I had won the international CIC* at Chatsworth International, I couldn’t quite believe it and was over the moon.. the best result I have had and it was all down to my incredible horse, Romeo!
The next event wasn’t so great, Rockingham Castle with Leo in the CIC* and Romeo in the OI. Leo did his dressage on the Friday and did a good test to score 46.5 which left us in 8th overnight. That evening we were very unfortunate as the heavens opened and the rain came pouring down! Going into the showjumping the following day Leo wasn’t enjoying the sloppy ground and didn’t jump his best so we withdrew him from the xc as he’s still inexperienced and hated the ground conditions.
Romeo was competing the following day and we had even more rain so we withdrew him before the dressage to save him for another day.
Next up with the British Junior Championships with Romeo in the CCI* – a 3 day event! On Thursday we had our trot up which he flew through and passed, on Friday we had our dressage and I thought he did a lovely test which even the selectors thought was a good test, but I was shocked to see we got score of 50.6.. VERY harsh marking which didn’t reflect his test.. oh well!
Saturday was XC day round the 7 minute track, there was one fence which was catching nearly everyone out.. a skinny brush after the log drop into water! We set off out of the start box meaning business and cruised round the first course ahead of our minute markers to make the time.. then we came to the water.. Romeo plopped of the drop in and landed too short and I pushed him to make the four strides, but we were miles off and went past the fence, it didn’t even clock in his head that it was a fence so I couldn’t be cross with him for not reading it properly, it was my mistake! The rest of the course he ate up with no problems and finished well. The talk of the lorry park was about that fence and it turned out it caught over half the class out which was reassuring because it wasn’t just us! The next day was the final trot up which he passed with ease and then the showjumping which he cruised round clear! The champs was a great experience to go to and I took a lot away from it and everyone makes mistakes at some point!
More recently both horses have been to Upton House, Romeo on Wednesday and Leo on the Friday. Romeo was in the Open Intermediate (our first intermediate since our fall), we were in a VERY hot section which was mostly made up of 4* riders with their top horses.. funnily enough Oliver Townend won both of these sections haha! In the dressage Romeo was very fresh and added a few grunts and extra movements to our test, but we got a respectable score of 37.5. The show jumping was very full up and quite frankly huge! It was causing lots of problems with poles flying everywhere! We went in, took a deep breathe and we were off! He pinged round like the course and went clear! On to the XC, which was again huge but also technical.. we set off and he gave me an amazing ride making the combinations feel easy and flew the huge tables! We gained quite a few time faults as I took him steady just to gain my confidence back at this level! We didn’t get placed because of this, but I was very pleased with our performance!
We were back there on the Friday with Leo in the novice, he did a very smart test to get a cracking score of 26.3 which put us in second after that phase. He was on fire jumping, but I let him down coming into a double where I held too much and we had the first part down, sack the jockey! On the XC he was super bold and took everything in his stride, but was a bit too keen down the hills resulting in me having to bring him back way before a few fences which resulted in 9 time faults, overall we came 7th and I was super happy as he’s still learning!
Now its getting hotter the boys are appreciating their garlic Honeychop as it’s helping to keep the flies at bay! And even Barbara the pug loves it!!
Now for a long summer of horses and eventing and hopefully