Bicton International, my local event (of which I am very proud!), was a fabulous way to end the 2023 season. Areas of the UK were under water – but luckily, except for the first trot-up day, the rest of the week stayed relatively dry and the wonderfully prepared ground, despite being a bit soft held up extremely well.
I rode Dobby (King Louis) and Barry (Kings Belief) in their first international classes – the CCI2*L and the CCI2*S respectively. I was generally delighted with their performances. The only mistake was with Dobs… I had a steering issue which resulted in 20 penalties XC… frustrating, but I was thrilled with him otherwise. Dear Barry produced a great double clear to finish 10th. They both learnt a huge amount and it makes me very positive about 2024!! (I need to speed up a bit xc!).
Emily came down with 2 horses whom she was asked to ride this autumn and satisfyingly finished 6th on both.
The horses now have a well-deserved holiday with shoes off and out 24/7.
I need to wean Silvia next week and take her surrogate mum, Thea, back to Twemlows Stud. Dermot (4 years old) and Vinnie (3 years old) will start work again now and continue with their education.
There are always plenty of jobs to do at the end of the season. My Amerigo saddles and other competition tack have a thorough clean and get put away for the winter. I go through my Bucas rugs washing the grubby ones. The stables get a lick of paint, and the wooden ones are painted with a preservative.
A huge thanks to everyone for your support throughout this year.
Photos (thanks to Liz Knowler)