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Jo's Diary

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Saturday, 4th August 2012

Thriller

Well so much has happened since my last diary entry!

After Harry (Thriller) won the Novice riding Horse class at Windsor he sustained colic two days later and then had to have surgery. This was a great blow to us all. There was no rhyme or reason why it occurred. He was in his normal routine, nothing had changed. After many worrying hours it was decided eventually to operate. Fortunately no gut had to be removed but obviously this is a massive operation for any horse. Thankfully he has pulled through. He remained on box rest for a month after he returned from the vets being just hand grazed two or three times a day and then progressed to going out in a very small paddock for a couple of hours. He has now just started going on the walker to start some fittening work and then hopefully I shall be able to quietly start riding him after a couple of weeks of being on the horsewalker. It will be a slow process getting him back to full fitness. He is definitely very happy to being doing something again – he found his convalesant period very boring and became quite demanding of any attention! In fact when we cam to tack him up to go on the walker he literally grabbed the bit from our hands!!

Fred and Averil in winning form at the Three Counties Show
Fred and Averil in winning form at the Three Counties Show

Averil and Fred have formed an excellent partnership together – Averil has been very conscientious in coming up each weekend to ride and have lessons and has shown tremendous improvement in the horses way of going and general confidence. At Area 4b at Newark showground Fred was a little cheeky and on his toes so did not come in the very top placings. However we took him to Midland Counties at Arena UK showground and he was impeccably behaved and won his class qualifying for the RIHS and then went on to win the championship and then went on to be Supreme horse of the show!! We then took him to Three Counties show where the ground conditions were nothing short of awful! Deep boggy mud – a familiar situation this season! However again Fred and Averil coped fantastically with all this and went on to win their class and qualify for HOYS at their first attempt! We then went on to North of England Summer Horse show and compete in the Amateur class where he finished third – We did a review of the class and came up with some homework to do for the RIHS. Much practice was then carried out – Averil is very determined and works very hard to get the results. At the RIHS Fred was foot perfect in both his classes and Averil rode brilliantly. He finished third in both the Amateur Large riding Horse class and third in the Open Large riding Horse class – two fantastic results and I was chuffed to bits with the way the pair went!

Fair and Square (Rex) has been also going extremely well. We took him to Area 4b at Newark and Notts showground where he won the small riding horse class and then went on to take the championship. Unfortunately he has missed a couple of shows due to cancellations but we took him to the North of England Summer Horse show in the HOYS riding horse qualifier where he was 2nd to Whitakers Prince and Danielle Heath in a strong class. He behaved impeccably and I was thrilled with the result. On to the RIHS where initially his eyes were on stalks the first day I rode him round and I had to give him a lot of work to settle him down. By the third day he was well settled and went well in his class to be pulled in fifth but unfortunately finished 9th at the end. I was delighted with the way he went and the way he has come on since he has been with me. He is a much more confident horse and now seems a very happy chappie in himself. Onwards and upward to more HOYS qualifiers in august!

Daldorn Esctasy winning at Three Counties Show
Daldorn Esctasy winning at Three Counties Show

Daldorn Ecstasy has continued to improve each week and I have been delighted with his attitude. I took him to Shropshire Country Spring show on 20th May where he finished 2nd in the large hack class getting his qualification for the RIHS. I then kept him at home for a few weeks to really try to improve his strength and way of going and then took him to the Three Counties Show. He was amazing in the deep mud, dug deep and got on with his job and finished 1st in the large hack class getting his HOYS qualification. I was so proud of him. >From this moment on he really started to suddenly improve, blossom and mature. He has always been in my yard to eventually sell as Lady Benton Jones only keeps the mares for breeding and unfortunately the boys have to go! He has now been snapped up by John Harvey for Brogan Taverner to ride and I would like to take this opportunity of wishing them all the success with him. They have a really lovely young horse to produce from now on who will only continue to improve and I think we shall be seeing a lot of him filling the top placings! He had become a really fabulous ride and he has left a rather large hole in our yard with his lovely disposition.

Polo (Roccaille Etoile) went to the Shropshire Country Spring Festival as his first show and had to compete as a small intermediate show riding type with Holly in the Open section. He took everything in his stride and although looking a little on the pony side (148cm) did everything he should and finished 5th. He has since been sold to Heather King who will compete him in dressage competitions and carry on with some of the showing classes as well. He was a really beautiful bright intelligent pony who thrived on working so I am delighted that heather is so keen to get out and about on him and again I wish them every success for the future.

Daisy in winning form at the East of England Show
Daisy at the RIHS

Daisy also came back to the yard to stay and I must say I really love this mare. We took her all the way down to the Bath and West for her first show of the season and she finished 2nd in an enormous class just missing out on her HOYS qualification. She then went on to Midland Counties where she won her class. Unfortunately neither Teresa (who makes the entries for Daisy) or myself were aware that Margaret Cartlidge was the mother of Katy Carter who had previously produced the mare four years ago. Obviously if we had been informed of this fact before we even took her into the class we would never have even shown her. Rightly so we were stripped of our HOYS qualification by CHAPS but it obviously necessitated a lot of ill feeling from fellow competitors and some letters from CHAPS. As I say it is a shame that people cannot be upfront and perhaps have had the decency to have informed us of the connection and none of this would ever have arisen! Onwards and upwards and moving on! We took her to the East of England a week later and she won a very large class in lovely muddy conditions and thus securing her HOYS qualification thank goodness! Now we have to sit down and discuss who will take her on for HOYS. At the Royal International Horse Show she was a little on the bright side – her eyes were constantly drawn to the bottom ring where the small plaited coloured class was taking place. Personally I couldn’t see what the fuss was about but clearly she thought it was a strange occurrence. She behaved beautifully with me on the initial go round and we were pulled in top. Unfortunately with the judge she was a little unsettled and was a bit exhuberant going into canter so was rightly demoted to 5th. A shame but just goes to prove that horses are not machines – on the plus side Sammy (Fulwoods Festival Boy) who I broke in for Ginny Duncan back in last August and produced until he went to my mothers in November for his winter holiday came 4th! A fantastic result for a 4 year old – congratulations to Aimee Hoare who now currently produces him for Ginny. He looked really lovely!

Whalton Razzmatazz and Holly

Holly has continued to ride Whalton Razzmatazz for Claire Cooper. She rode her at Area 4b in the small hack class which she won and then went on to be reserve champion. She then contested the large intermediate show riding type classes and finished 5th at Three Counties, 6th at BSPS ~Area 10 and then went on to the North of England Pony Show where they gained their HOYS qualification – yippee!!! Holly also rode a Novice Intermediate Hunter type for Charles Le Moignan at BSPS Area 10 - a lovely young horse who was a little green on the day but finished 3rd and then went on to be 2nd in the same type of class at the North of England Pony Show - This is a lovely 5 year old horse who has a very straightforward temperament and lovely paces who is now being advertised for sale. I understand he also has a serious pop so intermediate working hunters would also be an option.

Cambridge was in absolutely flying form and qualified for all his young horse classes and the Novice Regional Finals. We always try whenever possible to turn out all the horses every day including Cambridge. He has always had to be turned out after he has worked as he will always mess about and be a fool. Unfortunately however much we try to protect our horses they will still have the upper hand – He came in one day having ripped off his shoe and half his foot along with it and was very very sore – This has unfortunately made him miss all his championships in July and we are still patiently waiting for it to heal and grow – so very frustrating.

Heather and Curtis winning the Novice Regional Finals at Addington on 70%

Curtis and Heather have been in flying form for the last couple of months – they have qualified for the Novice Winter Regional Finals and the Novice Music Regionals as well. They have always been getting high scoring percentages in the 70% plus which is so encouraging. They are never far from my eagle eye when they are schooling and they have also managed to fit in a couple of lessons with Ferdi Eilberg as well. At the Novice Regional Finals at Addington last week everything came into place and they won their class on 70% qualifying for the National Dressage Championships. A big fat well done and I am so proud of the pair of them – it was worth all that hard work!!!! Here’s to the Nationals!! They are now going to start on the Elementary qualifications. Heather is studying Business Management at the Royal Agricultural college so has a long drive from Cirencester to the yard to ride her horse – now that’s dedication!

We are now waiting for Lara to come back to us to have another refresher course – Lara is Spirits half sister out of Melody by Caprimond. Also waiting is a small Intermediate show riding type to break in and produce as well. Its funny we had horses coming out of our ears right up to the RIHS and then with two sold we have two spaces to quickly fill. We are always happy to take on horses for short term schooling as well as horses to produce for the show season. Horses come and go in a day in our business – one minute they are up and running and the next they can be sold or they can injure themselves or they need a holiday and then we have spaces – it is always very varied from week to week! Feel free to discuss any requirements that you may need!

On another plus side another of my pupils Vicky Nicholls (15 years old) won her Search for a Star competition at Bury Farm with her show hunter pony and qualified for HOYS – she has also started competing in Small Hack classes on her Kilvington Scoundrel gelding and is gaining very valuable experience for the future here as well – congratulations!

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