Michele Hedley's Hugo (Kings Advocate) put up a fantastic performance in the CCI** to finish in 16th place out of over 100 starters, a very unlucky pole in an otherwise superb show jumping round denying us a top ten finish. I am thrilled with how he has finished the season. He feels very established at two star now and I am really looking forward to stepping him up to Advanced in the Spring with Tatts CCI*** as his next main aim. He is still just 8yrs old, but has the step, scope, blood and temperament to be a top class horse of the future.
We were supposed to have three on the lorry going to Osberton but unfortunately Rienroe Lucky Ranger fell by the wayside the weekend before. He was due to run in the CCI** but came down with a snotty nose and cough. It was such a shame as he has been on top form with a 4th at Somerford, 2nd Millstreet CIC** and 6th at Pontispool O/I and I had been hoping for a top run, but these things happen and at least he is all recovered now, albeit without a 3day to finish the season on. We also had Richard Last's Jensen competing in the 5yr old Championships and although he went brilliantly we were again frustrated with a dropped pole in the show jumping which denied us 5th place out of 55 starters. He did a superb test in a big atmosphere for a young horse to get a score of 28 and lie 6th after dressage. Then he jumped a super round over an up to height 1.10 track - his first time jumping this on grass and just touched the first part of the double. Sometimes you have luck and sometimes not and unfortunately it was a late faller. However he stormed around the cross country inside the time and finished in 13th place - still a very respectable result amongst the top 5yr olds in the country. It capped off what has been an excellent year for him with 2 wins, 3 seconds and 2 thirds. Not bad for a first season eventing! He will now have a well deserved break and hopefully grow an inch or two!
While I was delighted with how the horses went it was frustrating to have four fault-itis, but the real disappointment and rough luck went to Charlotte and Karen Huyton's Sannanvalley Justice. She did a PB of 49 in the CCI** dressage and stormed the cross-country - one of the fastest times of the day, only to have picked up a puncture wound to her knee and was unable to complete. Thanks to quick reactions from the vets there and at Oakham she is now recuperating and will be back in no time but really disappointing and undeserved. To add to the mix of little things not going our way, I had been going back and forth to ride Wasting Light who was entered for Boekelo. However he had picked up an overreach at Blenheim which was still a bit niggly and having jumped him on Saturday morning and opened it up again I decided not to go with him. He is a stunning young horse and only 8, with a brilliant Autumn season already under his belt so I didn't want to risk running him and being unable to complete. I'd far rather wish I had done something, than wish I hadn't!!