Category Archives: Eventing News

FEB 2017

So its only been 8 months since the last update, I think that’s pretty impressive!

Last season ended quietly with not much to report except that Twizzle really was not right, and has  been turned away after an examination at the vets was inconclusive. She had become more and more difficult to deal with, even to catch (we became very apt at teeth dodging) and was clearly trying to tell us that she was hurting. This was a blow to say the least as she was still relatively young and had so much potential. However she is clearly not the type to suffer in silence! Zeb went home to Roz for his winter holiday and she will be competing him herself this year, following the birth of their gorgeous little boy.

We have had one of the driest Winters ever so our horses were for once able to spend a longer time than usual in the field having a decent break. We backed one of our rising 4 year olds Corona (now belonging to Clare White!) who proved an absolute saint, and gave us no trouble whatsoever. She and her friend Stella will be coming back home to continue the process as soon as the ground dries out. We hope they may be ready to do some light competing before the end of the season.

Hamish has had the entire season and winter off, having spent a lot of time recently on the walker! His legs look great and a scan next week will hopefully bring us the news we that he can come back into work.

A couple of delightful new equine faces joined us at the end of the year . Milo (Hawkeye Blue) is going to be joining us on our trips around the  BE venues, he is a smart 8 year old Irish Sports Horse who was finding dressage in his old home a little too boring and was finding his own entertainment! Hopefully eventing will be more his cup of tea. Felix is a 5 year old Arab/Friesian who we decided to buy to bring on – he has beautiful paces and a great jump as well as being a very sensible lad for a baby.

We have been fairly quiet with our winter competing this year, apart form our regular Lucy T clinics, but have plenty planned form now on.

Grace finished her apprenticeship and moved on to Coldblow Farm, we wish her and her super mare a successful season and a great future.

Things are changing slightly here and so our equestrian services are being somewhat reduced, however if there is anything that we can help with or you would like to discuss your requirements then please do contact Matt on 07798676407.

June 2016

Wow, doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun, we are already half way through the event season and we haven’t updated this once!! Quality blogging as usual.

So it started pretty well, apart from the usual abandonments due to heavy rain throughout March and then April. Twiz and Hamish were re-routed from Tweseldown 1 to Gt Witchinham 1 where they both had great intermediate runs, with nice double clears to kick things off on a positive note. However, the ground was very changeable, going from firm in places to quite deep, and poor old Hamish (The Believable Fox) was not himself in the days following. It transpired that he had injured his left front leg in some way and despite being sound for a couple of days, he soon began to hobble around and so the vet was summoned.  On first impressions the vet was very dubious and thought he had done his deep flexor, which would have been pretty bad news, but the scan revealed hardly anything, with minor damage around the check ligament insertion point, so he has been treated as such and has had the usual box rest, walker etc etc, Hopefully he will be out again by the autumn but true to form he has doubled in weight after we had worked so hard over winter to get him thinner!!

The TB’s (Blue, Blue and Zeb – African Blues , Bluecrop Boy and Edging Forward) all started with good runs at Goring Heath BE90, with lovely double clears from L Blue and Zeb.

Next up was Twiz (Flirting with Twilight) who we were doubtful as whether to run at Hambleden as the weather had been slightly iffy. (!) and they were debating whether to abandon. However we got the green light and decided to go, and thank god we did, as she was on fire and produced a decent test and a bold double clear in challenging conditions to win her section. We were so pleased and made up for her owners/ breeders David and Ang, for her to pull this one out of the bag was simply awesome! she even got her photo in Horse and Hound!

Chilham 1 was our next outing, where all the horses at 90/100 were running. It was Zebs first BE100 and he would have had a good placing had his short sighted rider not got him eliminated on a a technicality and come out of the wrong flags at the water. Whoops. Luckily owner Roz  was very understanding and pregnancy hormones are obviously having a soothing effect on her!! (maybe its like Twiz being on Regumate…)

Highboy (Game Charade) had his first run and had a super dressage and an unlucky pole to finish 9th. This was welcome news for his owner Sarah who is unfortunately poorly at the moment and undergoing treatment, but we are hoping that she will be able to come and see him run soon.

Tweseldown 2 saw a first run for Annie Jeffries lovely grey mare Quinny (Guinievere) who had an unlucky pole but a great clear XC, and Highboys second run where he came 10th, a good XC round before upgrading to Be100. A rather eventful second day saw Matt and Twiz upside down in the second water, after a pretty nasty horse fall, This was a real blow after Hambleden but after putting a great effort in the SJ for a clear, she just did not feel right around the XC and in hindsight Matt should have pulled up but he didnt…. Neither were seriously injured but the day ended there and Zeb and Blue were withdrawn and a rather sore jockey drove them home. Physio Chris found a very painful area behind Twiz’s right elbow which has been an issue in the past and we are trying to address with different girths so hopefully we can stop it becoming a chronic problem.

Borde Hill was a good day, but the showjumping arena was firm, something totally alien to us these days, and technically difficult with undulations and none of the horses jumped particularly well, however the Xc went much better around what was a tough ask at the levels, and Highboy rose to the challenge around his first BE100, Quinn jumped a double clear, and Bluecrop Boy had the leading dressage score, and finished 11th due to lowering two poles SJ.

Twiz was next, at Little Downham where she was originally entered for the Advanced but after her fall we decided it probably wasnt a good idea so downgraded to intermediate. She pulled out the most atrocious dressage test known to man, refused to do any of the movements except one shoulder in and the final halt which was lovely. We have no idea what upset her but how matt sat on her and how they didn’t eliminate her for exiting the arena we will never know!! Fortunately owners Ang and David have GSOHs and found it quite amusing! After some doubt about whether to risk her in the SJ arena (fear for the general public) she actually knuckled down and after a couple of early poles, she started to focus and look more like the Twiz we know and love, and her XC round was foot perfect. She will be aimed at Gatcombe Int Champs and hopefully go advanced as planned, barring any more blips!!!

So this takes us to today, Rackham. Quinny did a lovely XC round, but sadly Matt once again should’ve gone to specsavers. He had his second technical elimination of the season by missing jump 17! Oh dear. Highboy and African Blues had a few poles between them but good clears XC’s. Bluecrop Boy was sadly withdrawn due to a sore foot after losing a shoe earlier in the week. We are looking forward to local events Brightling and Eridge, hoping the rain stays away!

In other news:

Lauren didnt last long. (she wasnt ‘challenged enough’) but luckily Grace took her place and has fit in really well. Her new mare Aithne is proving to be a very good find and she competes her and Fergal at BE100 and is longlisted for junior teams.

April saw the very sad loss of Rusty, our lovely smart youngster. He had a tragic accident in the field and due to his very sensitive nature, was impossible to treat, even after 2 lots of sedation, leaving us with no option but to let him go. Gutted is an understatement, he was just coming into himself and we were excited for his future after he had an amazing few outings with BD.

On a brighter note, May saw the birth of Harry, Foal to Lorraine our TB mare, by Connemara stallion Skellorn Harrison. He is adorable, playful, and i doubt our girls will ever let him be up for sale.

Think that’s it. Til next time!

 

Jan 2016

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Hamish Gatcombe 2015 Photo courtesy of Thoroughbred Sports Photography

So, we are now already into a new year, the last event season seeming a distant memory. It finished well, with Hamish (The Believable Fox) and Twiz (Flirting with Twilight) storming around the CIC2* at South of England with great XC rounds and a few poles between them. Happily Twiz had forgotten her previous issue with the flat tyre and made nothing of the beefy track. Since, we have been ticking them all over with a little affiliated dressage and the usual clinics with Lucy T and some flatwork help from long term family friend Brigid Grant. The dressage seems to be paying off, even young Twiz managing a 67% in a medium test – now we just need to get her to do this at event! Highboy (Game Charade) and Rusty (Ladiesmans Silver Crest) have had some fab scores and wins as well, and are notching up a few BD points to add to their CV’s! Hamish has been his usual steady and reliable self and scoring well at Medium level, his extensions and lateral movements are massively improved from last season so hoping for more great things this year! Jackie’s racehorses and Zeb have been ticking over with some unaffiliated dressage and will be revving up properly in the next few weeks in preparation for the season. This winter we said goodbye to Forest (Coronado Forest) who has gone home to Jackie for a well earned retirement where he will continue to be in light work and hack out – what a fantastically game little horse he has been, and so lucky to have an owner like Jackie who was willing to give her TB’s another job out of racing. There’s no doubt that he has paid everyone back ten fold and absolutely rose to the eventing game and the challenges thrown his way.

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Forest and Dulcie

Other changes this winter are that Dulcie has left after 4 years, and  we wish her and Bobby great success in all that the future holds. We welcome new apprentice Lauren, who is coping brilliantly with the big event horses, considering she has only ever worked with riding school horses,  and soon second apprentice Grace, who will be aiming for U18’s teams in BE with her horse.

We have a new horse in the form of Murphy – a lovely little Irish eventing type – and have sold one of our babies Corona – to a lovely lady Claire, who is keeping Corona with us until she is broken in.

We have a couple of new equine faces, not forgetting the return of Ed – a big lad belonging to Theresa and who we trained and evented a few years back.

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Flirting With Twilight South of England 2015 Photo courtesy of Thoroughbred Sports Photography

Think that’s pretty much it for now, Happy New Year to all! Keep warm!

End of 2015 season

Okay, so I’m going to stop trying to make excuses as to why this blog hasn’t been updated more often as by now all of you will have guessed that we aren’t brilliant at remembering to do it! We’ve had a busy second half of the season as per usual and there’s lots of things to write about so you might want to put the kettle on…

Hamish has been very busy after completing his first CIC** at Brightling with a fab double clear. He then ran at Eridge picking up 7th place in preparation for The festival of British Eventing held at Gatcombe. He put in a really good performance over the toughest course he’s been presented with to date. Sadly he picked up 20 penalties at the third element of a down hill combination but considering how much trouble the course caused to much more experienced combinations, we were very pleased with that result. He has come on in leaps and bounds this year and is looking to be a very serious horse for the future.

Twizzle too has completed her first two star at Brightling. She produced quite a tense dressage test but redeemed herself and jumped brilliantly in both the showjumping and cross-country. She was also fantastic at Wilton Intermediate gaining 6th place and made extremely light work of a very tough and challenging track. At Keysoe… well the less said about that the better really! Twizzle had a very peculiar round so Matt decided to retire and we later discovered that he had a flat tyre. Literally, one of the air pockets in her saddle had deflated which obviously was causing discomfort. Thankfully Chris Caden-Parker our physio noticed so we have had it repaired and Twiz is now back to her old self and rearing to go at South of England this weekend.

Arnie (Amarillo) was due to run at Brightling in the CIC* however after riding both horses in the two star, his broken wrist was not looking or feeling particularly up to riding a horse like Arnie around a cross-country course. So unfortunately he was withdrawn and this was the last event for Arnie. He had been for sale for a while although without much success, so instead he has gone home to live with Debbie and David and have an easier life hacking out to have some fun. Arnie was a fun horse to work with and came a long way from the horse we started with so we are glad that he’s having the retirement he deserves.

Team Taylor have been out and about regularly, the star of the show being Bluecrop Boy who has been placed nearly every time out including another win at Borde Hill and 2nd place at Munstead last weekend. Little Blue (African Blues) has dropped down to BE100 level for the last few runs as he’s been fairly untidy in the showjumping recently although is entered for the Novice at South of England this weekend so hopefully will remember to keep the poles up! Coronado Forest has been back on form and ran very well at Munstead, so well infact that he overtook the horse in front of him so he’s obviously proving that he’s not slowing down quite yet!

Ros South’s horse Zeb has been very consistent this year and has improved a lot and is starting to keep the showjumping poles up and be much more competitive. He is done for the season and will go home for the winter and will back for the start of the season next year until Ros is fit and well enough to ride him at events.

Highboy finished his season with a very confident run at Chilham UA. The judges are starting to notice his undoubted talent for the dressage phase as his marks are improving all the time, finishing with a 25. He will be aimed at a winter of BD and BS to showcase his talents. Dulcies horse Bobby has been competing and is getting better although doesn’t quite believe us yet that there aren’t monsters hiding in ditches or water jumps!  Rusty has been out to a few BE90’s over the last few months doing great tests and has been clear around the cross-country every time although is still slightly green in the showjumping phase. He has turned lots of heads this year and we have been told that he would be very suited to a showing career as a working hunter so if you hear of anyone looking for a show prospect then keep him in mind as we feel that this is something he’d be brilliant at. Red, our little ex-racehorse has been out eventing to Chilham UA where he did a fantastic double clear on a 30 dressage to come 2nd in the 80. He too is for sale and would be a fantastic allrounder or teenagers event horse and has a bright future ahead of him in the right hands. Also at Chilham was Annie Jefferies horse Quinny who was green but very smart and is a very talented horse for the future. She has gone home for the winter to hack out with Annie to continue her education.

So as things wind down for the winter, we are still busy in the yard. We have two youngsters in for backing – Ginny a warmblood mare and Indy a Catherston Dazzler mare. Our foals (not foals they’re 2 year olds now!) are looking well and growing bigger and bigger every time I look at them.

We are looking forwards to the last event of the season and possibly some hunter trials to finish off for these youngsters. Then we had better get cracking and get out to some BD and BS over the winter. Yawn…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid season Thrills and Spills!!

Right, where to start?!?
Its almost July already and the blog has been as regularly updated as always. Lots has happened on the yard and out eventing so this may be quite long winded!
Hamish and Twizzle have been competing regularly at Intermediate level, and have been improving from every run. Hamish got a great 2nd place at Tweseldown Intermediate and has qualified for Gatcombe Intermediate championships in September. Twizzle has improved a lot and is finally starting to relax and be a bit more rideable partly thanks to Nupafeed which seems to be having an effect so far, and changes of girths, bits etc. Both of these horses are entered up for their first CIC** at Brightling Park this weekend so fingers crossed it goes well for them both. Also running at Brightling in the international classes is Arnie (Amarillo) at CIC*. He has been as consistent as always and has been placed at Chilham NRF and Mattingley IN.

African Blues (Little Blue) has been out and completed his first novice at Mattingley. He did a lovely dressage test and made the XC feel easy, so just needs to improve on the control in the SJ phase. Bluecrop Boy (Big Blue)  has been on fire this season and seems to have cracked his showjumping technique and had a great win at Mattingley finishing on his 28 dressage score, aswell as coming 3rd at Chilham and 4th at Munstead. Coronado Forest has also been out and about enjoying his last season with us before retirement. He has been showing signs of slowing down (after all he is 16!) and seems to feel the hard ground a bit more than he usually does, but has still been placed at Chilham and Tweseldown. All of team Taylors Racehorses are sporting new saddes and saddlecloths thanks to Winterwood Farm fruit growers.

Dulcies horse Bobby (Lava Flow) has been competing at BE90 and has been green but very honest and still has a lot of growing and filling out to do. Game Charade (Highboy) had a good start to the season, however Mattingley didn’t go quite to plan. Highboy jumped too big into a sunken road and sadly unseated Matt breaking his wrist in the process. Matt being Matt thought it would be a good idea to try to finish the course with said broken wrist (which was rapidly filling his glove!) although this proved easier said than done, resulting in a second unseating. Matt being Matt also thought it would be a good idea to ride him at an event two weeks later with his arm (which SHOULD have been in cast). Highboy was rather sticky and sadly lack of whip functioning arm meant that he had a few steps back at a ditch resulting in an unfortunate elimination. Luckily Highboy seems to be none the worse for these mishaps and is running at Brightling this weekend. Zeb an ex-racehorse owned by Ros South has been out eventing with the crew this season and came 9th at Stratford hills. He is still quite green but is improving with every run.

Red and Rusty have been starting to get out and about, although sadly for Rusty he just did a very expensive dressage test at Mattingley and then came home due to Matts arm and problems with Highboy! Both Red and Rusty had a great time at Chilham hunter trials doing the pairs with Hannah and Hayley Wilson where they bought home 2nd and 5th place rosettes.

We have managed to find some lovely homes for some of the horses that we’ve had to sell over the past few weeks. Jaffa has gone to live in Essex with Rebecca Rooke and from the photos we have seen he looks to be very spoilt and is having the happy ending that he deserves and we wish them the best of luck! Kestrel has also gone to an eventing home with Alice shoey and is sure to be out collecting rosettes very soon. We have also sold Lance the legend cob to Ella who Matt teaches from Benenden school and they have already been out having lots of fun. New additions include Apollo – a Welsh cob looking for a loan home, Quinn a quality grey mare owned by Annie Jeffries who is here to start her eventing career.

So for now that’s all, over the next few weeks we have a lot to look forwards to including Matts 40th birthday (I know he looks much older and its hard to believe but he is actually only 40!) which we are celebrating the evening of Brightling so we may be celebrating or commiserating depending on how the horses go!

 

 

 

 

 

We are back! – March 2015

We have finally made it back on to our website after 9 months or so (!)

This is apparently due to some hackers (of the IT world as opposed to people who ride out on  their horse), and being not very techy minded I have not asked any further but Matts clever big bro has worked very hard on getting us back online so apologies to those who have commented that our website is down – welcome back and lets hope that the new firewall works.

So the website was not in business but we have certainly been busy on the yard. The end of last season was not straightforward as usual. Matt was feeling extremely tired for a few weeks during August, and didn’t improve despite a week on a family break in Northumberland. He was finally diagnosed with pneumonia after being carted off in the back of an ambulance one evening. He managed to give most of the horses a final run, including a really good performance from Twiz, Arnie and Hamish around South of England’s Intermediate track which left him completely knackered and in hindsight probably wasn’t the best idea but we were delighted with the horses. In the midst of all of this chaos our son Joseph joined us at the very sociable hour of 5pm on 21st September, a nice straightforward labour and a very welcome addition to the clan.

The winter has been a productive one in that we have done a lot of indoor showjumping (no excuses now) and a little bit of dressage. The first event of the season for us will take place on Friday 13th March with the big 3 at Tweseldown.

Will keep you posted!

I hope you are all impressed at how quickly this is being updated since the last time! We are as busy as ever so there is still plenty to report.

Eridge was a manic weekend for us, with 9 horses out of the yard over the two days. Sadly, Rusty was put out of action due to throwing a splint the week before, but luckily Laura Shaves Hooray Henry stepped in last minute after not being ridden all week! He took on the challenge though and jumped the best he has done at BE90 level.
Jackie Taylors Bluecrop Boy was also on top form, only rolling one fence in the showjumping so picked up 5th place. Forest and little Blue ran well round the BE100, and Annie the super cob had a brilliant time in the BE90.
Arnie ran well round the novice, jumping a double clear and picking up 5th place. Hamish jumped his first clear XC at Intermediate level, and Twizzle did her first one too. Although she had a bit of a wobble in the SJ, she flew around the XC until the 3rd to last fence where she didn’t quite spot a the ditch part infront of a very big ditch brush! So sadly she picked up an unfortunate 20 pens, but came round again and flew straight over it.
Her and Hamish will be running at Aston Le Walls Intermediate this weekend.

Last weekend we did another two days at Brightling Park. Team Taylor were out in force again, and highlights include Annie picking up 10th place on her double clear, although added a few time penalties XC as the Brightling hills slowed her down a bit!
Big Blue scored an impressive 25.5 dressage, although Matt forgot to turn on his GPS so after a slight detour in the SJ resulted in a few time penalties and a couple of rolled poles. Forest and Blue absolutely flew round the XC inside the time, and both did good dressage tests but unluckily lowered 2 poles each in the SJ. Arnie jumped well round the CIC* and Twizzle came along for a fun run around the novice, although by the look of it there was nothing wrong with her confidence!

We have a couple of babies entered for Chilham in a few weeks, including Highboy and Hazel making their debuts in the BE80T.

The other horses in the yard have all been keeping us busy. We have had a lovely thoroughbred called Zeb owned by Ros South in for a couple of weeks. He is very talented and was very good fun to work with, although had a bit of a know-it-all attitude when it came to his jumping! However, after a few reminders about who exactly was in charge, he improved quickly and has now gone back home and we hope to see him making his eventing debut soon.
We have also said goodbye to Hugo, owned by Meg and Pippa Parr. He came to us to event for a while whilst Meg did her exams, and was great fun. We are also pleased to see him out at events, and has jumped 2 double clears since going home, and hopefully will soon be picking up some placings.
We have another lovely irish horse in to sell called Socks, who has already been busy in the school being ridden by the two work experience girls Sophie and Georgia. Boringly they have now gone back to school, so the workload for us has piled back up again!

Here are some photo’s of the gang in action:

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Start of season 2014

Right…
Dulcie here. As you have probably gathered, Nero and I are back for more, after my winter sabbatical. Nothing has changed, as ever this blog late for updating again!

We’ve had a good start to the 2014 season, I will try my hardest to remember as best I can but forgive me if I miss anything out. There is quite a lot to mention!

Arnie (Amarillo IV) has had good success this year already, after a green run out or two at the beginning of the season he has now buckled down and is back to his usual consistent form. He was 2nd in the novice at Tweseldown last weekend, and had a good run round Chatsworth CIC* in May. At Chilham in April he behaved impeccably as a last minute jockey change (due to Matt being wiped out by a horrible sickness bug) meant that I had the challenge of taking Arnie, Twizzle and Hamish around the novice. Thankfully they all were on their best behaviour, and were all a pleasure to ride. Just as well really as they are all far too big for me to ride if they are being naughty!!
Arnie will soon be going on the market, which will be very sad to let him go as he has been a fantastic horse to work with. However, the time has come for him to move on and start his next new chapter. So if anyone is looking for a big gentle giant eventer then you know where to come!

Twizzle (Flirting with Twilight) has started well this season, highlights I can remember include a 4th place at Hambleden in the Novice, and a couple of other placings too. At Chatsworth in the CIC* she scored her best dressage to date and is hopefully starting to settle in that phase and produce the tests that we know she is so capable of. The only minor issue for her this season was consequently at Chatsworth where the big arena and grandstands in the show-jumping resulted in a very distracted Twizzle and not her usual customary know-it-all round. However, we do forget that for such a young horse it is such a big event with so much to take in, and she will hopefully get more used to the more exciting atmosphere once she has seen it a few more times! Next up for her is Eridge Intermediate in a couple of weeks so I will try and keep this more updated.

Hamish has already been round an Intermediate this year, and other than a duck out at a big open corner, Matt described his XC round as “Bloody awesome” so I would hazard a guess that he is… well… bloody awesome. He has finally lost his fat winter belly, (Hamish, not Matt) so next for him too will be Eridge Intermediate with the Twizster.

Jackie Taylors racehorses have also been out in full force, along with Annie the super event cob. They have all been improving every time out, and Coronado Forest has so far been the star of the show with a win in the RoR BE100 last time out. This is great news for him as he seems to be getting better with age, and refuses to ever think about slowing down!

Rusty (Ladiesman Silvercrest) has been to his first ever affiliated event last week at Stratford hills. As ever, you never really know what to expect when taking youngsters to their first ones, and apart from the fact that Rusty is obviously still very green, he showed loads of promise and even took Matt for his very own little detour through the woods on the XC! He is such a laid-back character to do at home and out and about, so it was good to see that there is the sharp edge in him to make him a really exciting prospect for the rest of the season. We also hope that his field friend Red can join him at some events soon, as well as High-boy to get some competitions under their belts.

We welcome back Hooray Henry, Laura Shave’s little standard bred, who is in to do a few events before he goes out on loan again at the end of the summer. Laura has been out with the other resident super-cob Rocky, doing hunter trials, showjumping, showing clinics etc etc (the list goes on!) and its good to see him getting on so well.

We have a few exciting horses to keep ourselves busy as well. Hazel, a 5yo Mill Law mare who is in to sell, and Jaffa a carriage horse who is having a change of career and will soon be looking for a new home.

Bond has found a new home, and will be leaving this weekend to go and do dressage on the Isle of Wight. Although we will all be sad to see him go as really does feel part of the furniture, we know that it will be best for him as it will mean that he doesn’t spend any more time being wasted with us!
The other horse who will be leaving us soon in Nero. I’ll have to write this quickly as I’m still being a bit of a cry-baby about it! He’s going to Katie and Frances Davies over at Eaglesfield at the end of July where hopefully he can teach Katie the ropes of eventing like he did for me. In the meantime I will be ordering a lorry load of Kleenex for the day that he goes!!

So thats about it for now, I have tried to be brief and cram 4 months worth into a reasonable length blog post without boring you all to death in the process! The next time I update this will hopefully be a bit sooner, and I hope to have more stories of success. I’ll also get some photos on here at some point too as that is far better that reading eh?
Anyway, I had better wrap it up now as since I have been writing this, Alice and Olivia have covered me from head to toe in various horse stickers…
Great.

Dulcie

Spring 2014

So after the wettest winter on record since 19– (whatever it was) the sun is finally out and the rugs are coming off! For now anyway. What probably should have been a productive few months turned out for us to be the quietest and least exciting winter i think we’ve ever had. Mainly, this was due to the lorry’s problems being not so straightforward as they looked and the ongoing costs involved in its repair meaning it has taken literally the entire 6 months to get it back on the road, (said with bated breath as it has still to be plated…) however the pressure is well and truly on as the first entries for the season have been processed and the start of money in – money out to BE  – has begun in earnest. Who likes eating food anyway?The yard has nonetheless been full over the winter months and we’ve been kept busy and well entertained with some interesting projects to work with. Equine faces for this year are mainly the same as last, with a couple of new babies hopefully starting their careers with us.

Other news, Dylan was sold to a fab home in Wiltshire where he is apparently doing very well (we asked them not to give us updates if he wasn’t). We also said farewell to Dulcie who left us after a decent two year stint, and hope her and Nero continue to have much success. We welcomed Bryony and Gaby who have been helping part time on the yard.

End of summer 2013!

It must be time to update this blog because the school is as we speak being dug up and having the fencing replaced, as there is only so much tack one can oil! The event horses are having a well deserved break, whilst some of the liveries are being prepared for sale or winter competition. The event season seems like a distant summer memory, as it seems to have rained consistently since the beginning of October, so I’ll try my hardest to be accurate in reporting the last few events…
The marathon that was South Of England proved to be a great event in a very hotly contested competition. The famous four all competed in the CIC* in a field of around 85 strong. Twizzle was slightly fresh in the SJ phase and decided that she knew best, unfortunately lowering a few poles in the process. Luckily, and true to her usual form her cross-country round was faultless making nothing of the strong one star track.
This was Arnies last event of the year and he finished on a high, with a smart test, only one pole rolled in the show-jumping and a very good XC to round off his 2013 season.
Hamish too had an excellent day, much better than South of England 1 at the beginning of the year as this time his rider managed to stay on board for the entirety. The star of the day went to Nero as he and Dulcie achieved their first placing at One star level.
Grey Charlie had a great competitive day on a double clear and would have been placed had there not been brake failure on the XC course, which resulted in 20pens with a circle that the jump judge deemed too close to the next fence. Bummer!
2 days later, we ventured out to BCA and wished we hadn’t! An unfortunate prang in the lorry on the way in was followed by lots of torrential rain and a few miserable performances. A highlight however was African Blues, jumping his first double clear at BE100 level, in a very competitive arena finishing 8th, so at least it was worth it!
So we headed to Pulborough in West Sussex for our last event of 2013. On the Friday, Twizzle, Hamish and Nero all competed in the Intermediate Novice section. They all finished their seasons competitively and very confidently. Particular praise again goes to Nero, for jumping a very rare double clear and some much appreciated prize money! Grey Charlie jumped a super double clear in the BE100 picking up a placing, and African Blues finished well and just outside of placings, and had a very exciting day due to the sight of racehorse gallops on the horse-walk to the dressage!
This was to be our last day eventing however, as on the Sunday Dylan, Lad, Forest, Annie and Big blue were all loaded and ready to go at some ungodly hour in the morning when the lorry decided that our season was over and we wouldn’t be going anywhere. Initially one of the hinges on the ramp had rusted through and snapped, but on further inspection it became clear that the whole of the back of the lorry would have to be rebuilt. Talk about timing!
In other news, Grey Charlie has gone out on loan to Lauren Geeves to have some fun in the pony club for a while before he goes back on the market.
Lad has been sold into a hunting home where he should be very happy.
Paddy was sold locally to a lovely home, to be an all rounder and we hope to see him out and about soon.
Lottie has returned home to Wendy, and will soon be contesting their first dressage show together. We wish them the best of luck!
Twizzle has gone home for some much needed time off after a very hard season.
New faces, include the return of Bobby a young dressage horse, who we backed last year and is now in for some further education, the only difference being he is now minus the crown jewels after some rather near misses with the mares at home! This is what happens when you teach them to jump!!
Also new are Bailey, a lovely palomino horse with a cracking jump in to sell, and High Boy a lovely moving warmblood with plenty of character!
The foals continue to grow, and thrive and have now been joined by a coloured gypsy cob foal (belonging to Dulcie) called Crackle.

It is well and truly feeling like winter, and the fields are enduring what will be the last few weeks of turn out whilst the final touches are made to the school and lorry before our campaign for 2014 gets well and truly under way!!

arena and digger