Day one of Barbury we had our lovely young horses in the BYEH. my own and Brenda Watson’s CLASS SPEC was in the 4yo section and VIVENDI DE VARDAG and ESCAPE ROUTE were in the 5yo class.

Specs was much improved on the flat and then again gained the highest jumping mark in the whole section of 38/40. He also scored very well in the confirmation and quality and made it into the top 10 in 3rd place. Unfortunately he was rather cheeky in the gallop so didn’t score his best mark and finished in 4th place – still a very creditable result in a huge class!

Escape Route was beautiful on the flat aside from one or two extra moves and jumped a class round SJ just rolling a very unlucky pole where his boundless enthusiasm got the better of him! He also scored very well in the conformation and quality. Vivendi de Vardag also performed a lovely test and followed this up with her best jumping round to date. The conformation judge didn’t like her quite so much but both horses finished just outside the top 10 so overall a very productive and positive day for the team!

Ayesha Vardag’s ¬†VARDAGS SARATOGA was competing in her first CIC**. We are still a relatively new partnership and she has only competed in one Intermediate in her career so far. She was an absolute star in her dressage scoring a vert creditable 30.9 to lie 20th in a huge section of over 80 horses. Dressage is not her strongest phase but she tries SO hard and is such a joy to train, I am so excited about the progress she has made already and with further work I think she do a beautiful test. Her show jumping was in the main arena with the notorious Barbury bank. She jumped a lovely round just rolling one pole up on the bank where she went a bit spooky, totally understandable as she would certainly never been in such an environment before. The XC was certainly tough enough with big bold fences and some technical lines. She was absolutely incredible everywhere and cruised round at her own speed just picking up 8 time and finishing in 11th place. A cracking start to her international career – thank you SO much to Ayesha for allowing me the ride on such a special girl.

Rebecca Salt and my mum’s own BAYANO was having his first run back since Badminton in the CIC***ERM. We had hoped to run him in an OI before hand but with the ground being to hard we hadn’t managed to make it happen. He was a little too bright on the flat for the really top marks but I was still pleased with 29 to lie in 8th place in a seriously hot section. As the SJ is run in reverse order I had plenty of time to watch the first few go and it was clear it was not going to be a dressage competition as the poles kept falling. There was so few clears but BAYANO was incredible and jumped one of only 7 clears from 40 horses to move up into 4th. We set of XC on a mission and he gave me an incredible ride, he felt a little bit tired towards to the end having not had a run for a while but I was thrilled to finish in 4th place just off the podium. BAYANO has clearly gained in confidence since Badminton and we can’t wait for a successful Summer and Autumn campaign with him.

Thank you so much to our incredible team, sponsors and supporters for all their hard work over a busy few days – nothing would be possible without you!