Chatsworth is another of my all time favourite events set in the stunning grounds of Chatsworth House near Bakewell. It has never been my most lucky event but the courses are big and bold and encourage really forward riding so I was looking forwards to getting stuck in.
I was riding MONARTS MASTERPIECE (Smudge) in the CCI****S and AMAZING VIII (Maisie) in the ERM CCI****S.
We kicked the weekend off with Smudge’s dressage and I was over the moon with his progress. He gained some amazing scores in the trot work and the pirouettes, but some slight tension in the canter meant a couple of mistakes krept in. He still scored a good mark of 29 to stay in the top 10 after dressage in a huge section.
Maisie’s dressage was Saturday afternoon in the very atmospheric Masters Arena. Despite our best efforts we never really managed to get her brain to settle and she was very over the top! She earned some 8 and 8.5’s for some of her enormous trot work but didn’t manage to cope at all in the walk and so deservedly ended up on a 37 and further down the order than we would have liked.
The showjumping on Sunday morning was huge and after the first few horses all came out with cricket scores it was clear it wasn’t going to be a dressage competition! Smudge’s showjumping has always been his weakest phase so I was absolutely over the moon with his performance to come out with only 4 faults for a single fence down. An enormous thank you to my incredible trainer Jeremy Scott for his tireless help in this phase, he can turn anything in to a jumper!
Amazing also jumped a super round also picking up 4 faults where I left her a little bit off going into the treble. She coped much better in the atmosphere as can sometimes be very spooky in this phase so I was really happy with her performance.
Smudge set out beautifully XC from a competitive position – He was giving me a very good feel until about 3/4 of the way round where I really felt him tire and he took a pin at a large over with his hind end. Understandably this upset him and we walked home from the final combination. Such a shame to end his competition this way but we can only go home and build on the positives whilst addressing any flaws that arose with his performance. Amazing is such a pro cross-country and gave me the most awesome ride. I didn’t press her for the time at all as after her dressage antics she wasn’t in the hunt to win but just enjoyed the ride on this class class mare. She really is like putting on an old pair of slippers and I trust her so completely – she finished in 13th place, a result we were all very happy with.
Thank you to Trevor Holt for the photos.