We were so excited to be heading out to Luhmuhlen again in Germany riding Rebecca Salt’s and Caroline Harris’s BAYANO in the CCI*****L

We arrived on the Tuesday after a very smooth trip and allowed Barney a day to settle in and recover from the drive. He felt very relaxed and ready to go for the week ahead! He worked in very well for the dressage and felt really on the money – his trot work in the arena was one some of the best we’ve had and we were trending in the 20’s but unfortunately my flying changes didn’t come off in the arena which really affected our mark.

The course was serious with technical combinations from start to finish so it certainly wasn’t going to be a dressage competition. On cross-country day morning the heavens open and we experienced only what can be described as biblical flooding with the lorry park and stables underwater and the water jumps over flowing. In typical German style they calmly arranged for the fire-brigade to begin pumping away the water and re-arranged the cross-country to start later on in the afternoon.

Barney started off beautifully feeling full of running and taking everything in his stride – he makes the technical lines feel so easy and always looks for the flags. Towards the end of the track he did begin to feel very tired and I made a split second decision to take a long route at the final water. This cost us quite a bit of time so we finished with 21 time faults but I couldn’t have been prouder of Barney and his 3rd 5* cross-country completion and that all important clear round which cased carnage all day.

Barney had plenty of TLC from Charlotte that evening and came out fresh and feeling fantastic on Sunday morning. He flew through the trot up and then went on to jump a beautiful clear round show jumping. The course caused plenty of problems and clears were few and far between – we couldn’t have been more pleased with the result finishing in 16th place. Ideally we certainly would have liked to have been a little higher but Barney has proved again he is a true 5* horse and we will go back to fight even harder to improve on our performance for the next time.

Thank you so much to Charlotte for all her help all week and to Dani and Gemma for holding the fort at home. Also a huge thank you to Becks and my mum for their continued support with Barney, on to the next!