Pau 20th - 24th October
Our preparation for Cooly's first 4 star was a struggle as a crack to his heel had allowed infection to set in and just a few days before we were due to set off he still had his shoe off, trying to draw out the last of the puss! However we made the to decision to travel down to Pau in the south of France with Francis Whittington and Annabel Wigley. We arrived Monday Lunch time to fantastic weather as well as a very warm welcome.
The first horse inspection was a more nervous affair than usual with recent events at Burghley, after Liberal unbelievably being spun on the Sunday morning, we were not taking anything for granted!
Dressage had been kindly moved to Friday morning to accommodate owner Dave Corney which was fantastic effort by the organisers at Pau. He produced some fantastic work but also made some silly mistakes where he remains a little weak and still loses concentration. However, some encouraging work and his attitude remained great.
It was another sweltering day for XC, and no one had expected to have to gallop nearly 12 minutes of in 26 degree heat at the end of October! The course was long and relentless with accurate questions all the way, it was twisty and technical. If I'm honest at the moment it was not a course which suited a very big wobbly horse like Cooly, but he coped extremely well. An unscheduled long route at fence 6 due to a slip on the turn meant we struggled to catch up on time. He remained full of running and finished with a super clear round.
The show jumping tends to be a big imposing track and was no exception this year. There were very few clear rounds throughout the day. Again Cooly was so nearly brilliant just having fences 9 &10 down, possibly lacking a little in stamina at that point, resulted in him slightly tightening up, but still a pleasing round, overall growing in confidence through out.
The storm over the south of England on Monday meant all ferry crossings were cancelled. We made the decision to stay down at Pau for a further day to enjoy an end of season wind down! Big thanks to all who made it possible and a great way to finish the 2013 season with lots to look forward to next season hopefully with both Liberal and Cooly aiming for Badminton or Luhmuhlen.
Pulborough 12th October
It was a good end to the season for Rossi, Bob and Lori at Pulborough. Rossi has kept improving all season, resulting in first place in the BE100. He did a great test to get 28.5 and jumped a fantastic double clear to remain on his winning dressage score. It has been a great first season for him, Tom and Louise Jackson an we are all looking forward to next season to hopefully see him keep progressing and move up the levels.
Lori was unfortunate to be up first for her dressage and deserved a slightly better score, after doing what we thought was a very nice test. She jumped well and finished 14th. Bob was also placed well, adding just 4 penalties in the SJ to his dressage score of 31.5 to finish 9th. He remains a really exciting prospect for the future. Tom was also competing Nairobi Star for Romy Saville while she she was away preparing for exams. He too did very well, jumping a great double clear to stay on his dressage score of 29 to come 2nd!
Little Downham 7th October
Good final preparation for Pau at Little Downham for Cooly, running in the Advanced. He did a very nice and much improved test to get 30.7, all the practice on his flatwork paid off. With all focus on dressage we left the show jumping a bit to chance and he was unfortunate to have 2 poles down in what is usually his best phase, could have done with a bit more practice. He then did a nice steady clear XC round resulting in 9th place in a fairly competitive advanced section.
Berkshire College 1st October
Rossi and Lori continued their good form from the weekend to be placed well. Rossi finished in 4th after jumping a great double clear to remain on his dressage score of 30.5. Lori did a great test to get 29 and also jumped clear to finish 2nd. They will both have their final run of season at Pulborough in a few weeks time.
South of England 28th - 29th September
It was a great weekend for Rossi and Lori, both jumped double clear to finish 4th and 7th respectively. We also had Cooly running in the OI as preparation for Pau at the end of the season if all goes to plan. He did a good test and jumped well, just unlucky to have a pole down.
Landrover Burghley Horse Trials CCI**** 5th - 8th September
We arrived at Burghley on the Tuesday to get Red settled in, then had the first horse inspection the following afternoon. Red was very excitable to be up at the main arena in front of all the crowds again. We had a quiet day on Thursday in preparation for his dressage late on Friday.
We were slightly disappointed with his test as he has been getting good marks all season but the big occasion got to him and he never really settled. Although he definitely redeemed himself on XC day and jumped an amazing clear just picking up a few time penalties.
Unfortunately he wasn't quite right for the final horse inspection before show jumping the following day but early scans showed no signs of anything serious. He'll now have some time off and we will bring him back next year and hopefully aim for Badminton.
We had Red and Cooly at Wellington for the OI. It was Reds last outing before Burghley and the plan was always not to run him. He did a good test and jumped a good clear in preparation for Burghley a week later. Cooly was a bit more relaxed to do a nice test and also jumped another great clear. We decided not to run him as the ground was a bit too hard, despite the best efforts by organisers to improve the going.
Hopetoun 26th - 28th July
We travelled up to Scotland for the CIC*** on Wednesday with Francis Whittington and drove through the night. Not sure how we mangaged to pack everything for 4 people and 5 horses. As soon as we got to Scotland it started raining! Cooly and Red both got slightly disappointing dressage marks but Red was still lying in the 7th place on 50.8. We had heavy rain for the show jumping but Cooly jumped clear just picking uo a few time penalties, whilst he was jumping Red decided it would be a good idea to try and roll in all the mud whilst tacked up but luckily we stopped him just in time - he seems to get naughtier with age! Red went on to jump a really nice round and was just unlucky to rattle the middle part of the combination. Both jumped clear XC resulting in a 5th place for Red and 16th for Cooly. All in all a good weekend and definitely worth the long drive.
Brightling (unaffiliated) 20th July
We took Rossi and Lori to the unaffiliated event at Brightling and both did very well. Rossi 1st and Lori 5th!
Barbury 4th - 7th July
It was our first time back at Barbury since Cooly had a bad fall there a few years ago and also first event on Red since his fall in Luhmuhlen. We arrived on Thursday for Coolys dressage test, the big atmosphere at Barbury didnt help Cooly as he struggled to settle and wasnt that rideable ending up with a slightly disappointing score of 58.4. Red was up next the following day and despite the heat and the flies bothering him he did a nice test to get 47.4. They both show jumped on the saturday and Cooly yet again jumped a lovely clear round, Red also jumped well but was unlucky to have 2 down. Sunday was XC day and was the hottest day of the weekend. Both had steady clears and Red did especially well as had to jump round half the course with a front shoe missing after pulling it off early on.