Browsing Category Competition Reports & Training

Kidney for sale. 1 careful lady owner!

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If the last 20 years had done anything to fade my recollection of just how incredibly MEGA polo was then within seconds of arriving at Cirencester Park Polo Club and hitting the ball it all came flooding back with a vengeance! It’s so hard to explain to an eventer, show jumper, dressage rider etc the sheer buzz that polo delivers. I can imagine the counter arguments: ‘Yes polo looks fun but……’have you but have you ever jumped clear round a 1.30 course of show jumps?’ ‘ridden the perfect passage?’ or ‘felt the thrill of notching up a clear xc round…

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POLO…because YOLO!

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I’m a great believer in the saying ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’  and probably on the strength of that phrase alone I have ended up in some unusual, amazing and down right odd situations. Let me elaborate…. Last summer (which is becoming a bit of a habit) I went along to The Rundle Cup Polo Tournament. It’s a local event to me, great for spectators, and the perfect opportunity for some “competitive picnicking”. If you like lounging about in the sun, quaffing back Pimms with chums, watching fast horses gallop inches from your face, and pottering about the luxury trade stands…

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The best of Badminton shopping: weird, wonderful & wanted!

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Badminton on the Thursday is a very different beast, it’s quiet and low key and has a really relaxed atmosphere. Some exhibitors are still putting the finishing touches to their stalls, and everyone seems to be really chipper (not yet jaded after several days trading, and answering questions!). I really enjoyed the smaller crowds and getting the chance to sit in the sun and watch the Mitsubushi Motors Cup competitors relishing their cross country rounds. Because the 4* event hasn’t yet begun the focus is very much on the shopping village, and it does NOT disappoint. I don’t know if…

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Badminton Preview Evening at The King’s Head

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High tailing it after work last Wednesday I managed to get to The King’s Head, Cirencester in time to enjoy their Badminton Preview Evening in aid of a local RDA group. The evening started with drinks and nibbles and then proceeded to a Q&A session with an expert panel. Before the Q&A I had the pleasure of catching up with Badminton bound Dani Evans and interviewed her about her riding aspirations, approach and thoughts on her second chance to compete at Badminton. (I’ll be posting that interview soon!) The expert panel consisted of Hugh Thomas, Nick Burton, Dani Evans, Tom…

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Wicked time at Wickstead Horseplay

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Now the lorry is back and the eventing season has begun it was time to get Bolly out to do some SJ practice before his first event. We boxed up and whizzed to Wickstead Horseplay a great local arena with lovely SJs and a few XC fences dotted about the arena making it a great place to kill 2 birds with 1 stone.   Bolly is such a dude I totally love this guy, it’s like riding a big hairy marshmallow. A little bigger than I would like atm as he still appears to be ‘carrying a little Christmas weight’…

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Bouncing Bolly aka “The Come Back King”

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Since Dustry is ‘off games’ I have hijacked Mummy Groom’s mount and set about getting to grips with him in prep for some competitions this winter. We went XC schooling and he was ace, check out the video below. We then went for a show jumping lesson with my instructor Amanda Brewer and he was double ace! Compared to Dustry, Bolly feels like riding something that’s about 2 inches long, and made of rubber….reading that back that sounds very wrong! but horsey peeps will get what I mean 😉   It’s taking some adjusting to get used to him and…

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Red Arrows & “Small Pointies” Going AWOL @ Crown Farm ODE

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Finally after 4 months of waiting (due to my new saddle being in production and then a freak muscle strain he needed to recover from) Dustry and I entered Crown Farm 80cm ODE. It was time to dust the cobwebs off my cross country colours and pack up ‘The Beastmobile’ for a days eventing. Having not been between the white boards and done dressage on grass since….errrmm….October last year Dustry managed to contain his excitement pretty well. The ground was hard and slippy so I studded up with ‘little pointies’ (yes that’s what all the pros refer to them as…

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As seen in Your Horse magazine, oh yeah!

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Did you get your copy this month? No! Then hurry to the shops, because this month’s is a collectors’ edition as it features none other than yours truly and Dustry 😉 Back in October last year Mountain Horse arranged for Dustry and I to go for a lesson with fellow Mountain Horse sponsored rider Ruth Edge, and the whole event was covered by Your Horse magazine. Ruth lives in South Derbyshire about a 3hr drive away. So armed with snacks, sat nav, and spare haynets we set off on our mammoth road trip ‘oop north (and yes Derbyshire IS what…

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Our 1st British Dressage Winter Regional Champs!

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We did it, we survived our first ever British Dressage Winter Regional Championships!!!! In the weeks leading up to the Champs things were not going in our favour, the cold weather meant that our arena was frozen in the morning so I couldn’t ride before work at 6am and then frozen again at around 6pm when I returned from work so a few weeks passed with D only getting worked at the weekend when I could box over to my instructor’s. If you know D you will know that this is not ideal because he is a raving maniac workaholic…

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We’ve qualified for British Dressage Winter Regional Champs – YAY!

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By the skin of our teeth we’ve just managed to pick up enough points to qualify for our first ever attempt at BD Winter Regional Champs. Until last week we had 11 points from various dressage outings through the year, but we needed 19 ‘prelim points’ to qualify. Our last attempt to pick up more points was a disaster! I took D to a local venue a few weeks ago and unbeknownst to me where I had applied some arnica cream to his back (because he had done a huge buck in the week and I wanted to make sure…

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