Wow what a fantastic past few months we’ve had! We had an incredible time out at the Young Rider European Championships, coming home the new Young Rider European Champions!!!! It was such a special week, and with this being my first year of Young Riders is was certainly one to remember. Foz was a star all week, but unfortunately he wasn’t feeling quite 100% on the final show jumping day, which caused us to have a couple down and move out of the individual medals. But still – to come home Young Rider European Team Gold Medalists is something I was dreaming about, so I’m completely over the moon!!!
Once we returned home, it was all go with the rest of the horses gearing up for their final big International runs and Three Day Events of the year. Charlie headed to Blenheim for the prestigious 8 & 9 Year Old CIC***, where he performed very impressively but narrowly missed out on finishing 4th and becoming the best British 8 year old, due to having an annoying run out at the end of the cross country! Still, he performed the best he ever has in the dressage and showjumping (and most of the cross country!), and with him only being 8 I’m very excited about him for next year when he steps up to CCI***. He had his final run of the season last week in the Advanced at Little Downham, finishing 4th on a 32 double clear, so that was a great note to finish on and hopefully he’ll come out ready for some good results next year, being that step more confident and established.
The following week we headed out the Ireland, Co. Cork for Ballindenisk International, with Brook and Zara in the CIC***, Dre in the CIC** and Currant in the CCI*. And what a great week it was… Brook was a superstar from start to finish and recorded my best result to date – 2nd in the CIC***!! He did a very smart test of 35 which put us in the lead after the dressage phase, then gave me such a great ride cross country around one of the toughest and most diverse tracks we’ve done – the time was tight and we recorded one of the fastest times picking up just 3 time penalties… but Mark Todd managed to get the time, meaning we went into the final SJ phase lying 2nd on 38 and Toddy in the lead on 36! Brook tried hard in the final SJ but we unfortunately rolled two poles which took the pressure off Toddy, who had just one fence down… so we ended up 2nd!! Still absolutely over the MOON – coming 2nd to my idol by just a few points, the youngest and oldest in the class (a 40 year age gap)… is something I’ve been dreaming of, so it was certainly week to remember!! The other horses also had a great event and Cooley Currency (Currant) finished 6th in the CCI*.
After travelling back from Ireland and having a quick switch around at home, Dre then headed up to Osberton, for the KBIS British Eventing 7 Year Old Championships. This was his main event he’s being aiming for all season, so I was really excited to see how he faired against the other British 7 year olds… and it turned out pretty well!!! He was on great form all week, posting a very smart test, followed by a lovely double clear to then finish on his dressage score and claim runner up spot in the 7 Year Old Champs!! It was so close among the top few that we finished 2nd by only 0.1! I was so pleased with him, as he’s such a talented young chap, who we have high hopes for, so it was great for him to obtain some worthy recognition.
I am now home for a week, gearing up for my first EVER CCI**** at Pau (October 20th – 25th), which is just so so exciting I’m actually finding it hard to contain myself!!! It will be both Brook and myself’s first ever CCI**** and with me being 19 years old, I’ll be one of the youngest competitors to compete at 4 star level. I’ve been waiting for this moment all of my life and I’m very lucky to say it’s now just around the corner. So absolutely everything crossed that it all goes to plan, and that Brook and I do you and everyone at home proud!!