My New Years resolution is to keep my website more up to date, so here goes!

Our season kicked off earlier than normal with a trip to Barroca D’Alva near Lisbon with four horses: Fernhill Adventure (Biscuit), Master Rory (Rory), Calling Card (Bond) and Celus D’Ermac Z (Celus). We escaped the heavy snow, but exchanged it for torrential rain for fourteen days solid! Not quite what we had in mind for the “Sunshine Tour”!!

It was full credit to the Lupi family and all the hard work that they put in that the event went ahead, but it wasn’t the start to the season we had hoped for when planning the trip. We were hit by more bad luck with Master Rory picking up a bug in travel and was unable to run on the first weekend. Then Calling Card slipped on a turn and fell on the flat which meant automatic elimination in the CIC*. All was not lost however and Celus put in a super performance in very strong company to place 6th in the CIC* out of 70 starters, and Fernhill Adventure finished 7th in the CIC** with a steady double clear, having led the Dressage by three marks on a 25.

The rain continued to pour down for the second weekend, and by the time the competition started all the warm up areas were completely waterlogged, and I had made the decision not to run Biscuit and Rory around the three star. I had prepared them for an early run, and had travelled for good ground and to set them up well for the rest of the season, but as the conditions had changed and I was not desperate for qualifications, it didn’t make sense to risk them.The younger horses put in fantastic performances to finish in 2nd (Bond) and 4th (Celus) in the CCI* out of about 80 starters and being two of the very few double clear rounds around a very influential jumping track.It was a long way to go for just a few runs, but we can’t predict the weather, and as the season has developed, the rain in Portugal was certainly an indication of what was to come, and I was very grateful of the runs and qualifications that I did get. Bar the weather, it was a fun fortnight, and the hospitality of the Lupi family would certainly be enough to tempt me back again ,minus the rain!

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