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.

Wellington 24th August

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. 

Rackham 22nd June
Rossi and Apollo both went well to finish just outside the top 10 in the BE100 at Rackham. Roosi did a nice test to get 30.5 and was unlucky to have a pole down SJ but jumped a great clear XC.

Luhmuhlen CCI**** 13th - 16th June
We got off to a good start with Red achieving 51.7, his best dressage to date at 4* level. The XC was a tough track and caused quite a few problems and unfortunately Red fell at the first water, which is the first time Tom has fallen from him in the 9 years he has been riding him. Luckily Red is fine after his fall and we will now be aiming him for a 4* run at Burghley.

Little Downham 2nd June
Bob followed on from his good run the week before to come 3rd at Little Downham after another great dressage of 26.5 and a fantatstic double clear. Rossi improved from last week, also coming 3rd in his section, remaining on his dressage of 29. Apollo improved on his dressage, was a bit cheeky and excited SJ, having 2 down but jumped another great XC clear. All three are looking to be exciting prospets for the future!

Saumur CCI*** 23rd - 26th May
Didn't quite go to plan out in France, Cooly wasn't 100% so we decided not to run him and save him for another day where he can be more competitive.

Tweseldown 18th May
It was the first BE outing for Bob, Apollo, Rossi and Lori. Apollo finished on his dressage score and Bob just had 1 pole down SJ to add to his dressage score of 28.5 and was clear XC. Lori and Rossi were both good as well, however both had problems at the water but still lots to like and look forwar to for net event.

Chatsworth 10th - 12th
All went to plan at Chatsworth, with Red continuing his good form in the CIC*** with an easy double clear. There were a lot of positives to take from the dressage. He got a good score of 49.9 despite a few obvious, silly mistakes, but hopefully all ironed out for Luhmuhlen in a few weeks time.
With Saumur just a week away, it was always the intention not to run him. He jumped a great SJ clear and we are now really looking to taking him out to France for the CCI*** next week.
Overall a great weekend, Chatsworth remains a favourite event.

Hambledon 21st April
We had Red at Hambledon in the OI for combined training. He did a great dressage test of 23.2 then redeemed himself in the SJ after Belton last weekend, jumping a lovely, relaxed clear round.

Belton International 12th - 14th April
Cooly continued his great form this season in the CIC*** at Belton. He started well with a good test of 46.4 then jumped yet another clear round SJ and was clear XC with just a few time penalties to finish in the top quarter in what was a very big class. Next stop for him will be Chatsworth then out to France for the CCI*** in Saumur.
Red was very cheeky all weekend but still managed to pull off a good dressage test of 45, then spooked his way through his SJ round resulting in a few poles down. He jumped clear XC and came back barely out of breath so at least we know he is feeling very fit and well and looking forward to Chatsworth in a few weeks time.

Great Witchingham 22nd March
Despite snow being forecast, it was a great day at Great Witchingham with both Red and Cooly on good form in the AI. Cooly did a nice test and jumped a fantastic double clear to finish 10th. Red was also on very good form with a competitive dressage of 23. He jumped well and was unlucky to have one pole down but we decided not to run him as the going was getting heavier. Both will now go to Belton in a few weeks time for the CIC*** fingers crossed the weather holds up.

Tweseldown 7th March
Red and Cooly had their first run of the season in the OI at Tweseldown. Luckily they had the best of the ground on the Thursday before the rain came! They both jumped well with good but steady clears XC to finish 13th and 19th.