Time for another CR Event Team update! The horses are all running well with an average scattering of highs and lows.
Longleat is a very local event for us. Quite literately around the corner which is great as it means no un-godly hour to start! It is a beautiful park, which has been a Wildlife and Safari park for years. As you arrive in the lorry, you drop down this steep hill overlooking what looks like an African plain. It makes for an interesting event, with all the different animal sounds and sights. The horses go nuts at the sound of the sea lions and the sight of the odd Hippo swimming by. Fortunately we did not have to drive through the monkey part (Scott is very lorry proud!) or the cross country course included within the lions park (would have made for quick times though!).
All the horses ran at Longleat except Harley, who was suffering from a slight muscle strain and was kept at home for another day. Longleat has the distinction of hosting a safari park and the barking of the sea lions made for some very interesting dressage tests! Amber and Glam both finished on their dressage scores in the pre-novice and were 4th and 5th in their respective sections.
Ben did a lovely test in the novice in spite of the horse in the arena next to him, who bolted out of the ring at the sound of the sea lions! Ben also show jumped clear but his rider suffered a “blonde moment” on the cross-country when she, by her own admission, got him into a corner combination on such an “off” stride that poor Ben couldn’t jump out. The rest of the course was fantastic, says Cindy, and she was just cross with herself for letting her horse down.
Davey did a lovely dressage test as well and jumped a nice round in the intermediate with just one rail down. The cross-country was very influential at all levels but especially in the intermediate with several corner, angle, and arrowhead combinations which caused more than their fair share of problems. Davey went well but fell foul of one of the arrowheads. Oh well, now we know what we need to work on!
Back at Tweseldown again! Just South West of London by Aldershot, Tweseldown is also a racecourse. It has great sandy footing and runs practically all year.
Benny made his debut at Intermediate level. His dressage was ok for his first effort at this level but was slightly marred by tension. I think he knew that bigger things were expected of him that day! His jumping round was lovely and he answered all the questions asked of him. On the cross-country he had a lovely round and ate up the bigger fences and more technical questions. He flew ’round the course and just came to grief when he tripped up the bank coming out of the water combination. He literally landed on his nose but managed to continue the rest of the course clear and finished full of running. Cindy was ecstatic with his performance and feels he is a real “big-time” horse.
Davey again did a lovely test and a fantastic clear cross-country but sadly, 2 fences cost him a top placing. He still finished 9th out of the 40 horses in his section and you can bet that his show jumping will improve if Cindy has anything to say about it at the competition in Wyoming.
Milton Keynes is a nice event about 50 miles north east of London.
After a ridiculously early start we arrived at Milton Keynes with high hopes. Luckily we packed the sun tan oil as this turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far — so hot that us Brits started to lament about the good old rain!
Davey was entered into the intermediate. In (again) another class of 40+ horses, Davey was excellent. His dressage is improving each competition. He was near the top with a very good 36 but unfortunately was unlucky enough to roll two poles in the show jumping. Cindy was disappointed for Davey but, again, it is all part of the learning curve for horse and rider.
Anyway, the cross-country soon restored the smile on Cindy’s face. She flew around inside the time. The course used to be classified as an advance course with some tricky combinations and fences that Davey had not seen before: sunken roads, and some difficult ditch and bank combinations. Davey really was a star. His fitness was good, and he showed that he could run just as well on hard ground as he can in the mud. Cindy came away with real feel for the future and, although a long way off definite Badminton potential (estimated to be in 2003 for those who want to book flights and accommodation at Hotel Rawson).
As a very proud husband, I think this was quite a defining moment in the Cindy/Davey partnership – although I’m not getting jealous (yet!).
The next few events will involve the babies. Glam and Harley are set to run at a local event whilst Davey and Benny have a short rest.
Amber, who was put up for sale a short time ago due to one of her owners moving abroad, has very quickly been snapped up and was taken yesterday to her new home. She will be evented by a good English rider who is especially interested in Amber as the mare has very good bloodlines. When Amber finishes her competitive career she will be bred, so we think she has found a nice home and more importantly, a home for life. We’ll miss her, though!
Cindy is already out looking for replacements for Amber. We’ll keep you posted on her progress.
We have received some great action pictures back from Longleat, which we have scanned and attached to the e-mail. They are all of Benny. Davey pictures to follow.