We had a great Gatcombe International, and although the results don’t look great on paper, I was delighted with all the horses.
Highmead Proposition (Jake), Hayestown Clover Quin (Harley) and Cascadelle (Lola) ran in the two star while Total Belief (April) was in the one star. All four produced good accurate dressage tests with the odd mistake that cost us a few marks in places.
We went back on Sunday and April was on super form yet again. She jumped a lovely double clear making the step up to one star feel very comfortable and easy. We picked up time penalties but she is a big young horse and it was twisty track in places. I didn’t feel the need to push her. She finished just outside the top 20 but she was still in the money from more than 100 starters.
Jake felt super in the early parts of the course and was jumping really well until we came to a log drop into the woods. On a bright day it went from light to dark in an extreme way and he went to jump and then went “Oh no I’m not sure about this.” We jumped it again and he was still quite panicked and frightened so I put my hand up and decided to call it a day.
It was shame but I will take him cross country schooling this week to make sure he hasn’t lost his confidence and then he’ll have another run in an intermediate before he finishes for the season.
Lola was super. She showed hints of greenness and inexperience cross country, but at this stage of her career I’m not at all worried. She trotted up really well and then jumped a beautiful clear showjumping. She has a huge future ahead of her and every time I ride her she gives me such a great feeling.
Harley has stepped right back into competing in two star company which is admirable progress for a horse that returned to competition just three months ago having had three years off.
He jumped a beautiful clear cross country where I didn’t let the handbrake off as I wanted to make sure he finished full of running with a great confidence giving round under his belt. As it was he was full of himself and went on to jump a beautiful showjumping round with just one unlucky pole. His owner Peter Holdgate was thrilled, as was I.
Cascadelle Hayestown Clover Quin