Babies at their first show and gearing up for Portugal


Well, I thought after Bolesworth Young Horse Championships I’d have a quieter few days, but that didn’t happen!

My sister Beth and I took the baby four-year-old to their first show at Summerhouse. There were a couple of green mistakes which was to be expected but they all jumped well and gained confidence at a new place so I was pleased.

We’ve also had a swap round with horses. The six-year-olds have gone out in the field on their holidays while the five-year-olds have got their newcomer double clears for next year before they go out on holiday. Also, a new horse has arrived – the 12-year-old Utrillo De Breve, a former ride of Laura Renwick. He’s here to get going again and jumped double clear in both his classes at Codham Park. We’re gearing up for next year already, time is going scarily fast.

And I’ve managed to sell one or two so with clients and vettings it has been a busy week.

I’m looking forward to the Vilamoura tour in Portugal. We have seven stables booked – six for my horses and one for Darragh Magner – and I’ve already booked the hire car; how organised am I?

I’m actually out at Codham Park in Essex in the little four-horse lorry as the big lorry in sin for its pre-Vilamoura service. We don’t leave for Portugal until 2 October but if we get it in early, it’s done and dusted and there’s no panic if it does need anything done.

The four-horse lorry is it bit like a cattle-wagon but it drives OK and it’s a workhorse, although it’s not quite as comfy as the big one. It takes me two hours to get to codham Park so it’s not a local show but it is lovely, nice people, great surface and they always put on a 1.40m which is fabulous; not many shows do. And, they don’t start the British novice until 10.15am so there wasn’t a rush to get here and I could muck out, get the stables ready and ride out a couple of others before setting off. I’ll get home a bit later than I’d really like, but this show is worth it.

Photos © Beth Mantel

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