Dani and I made the long trip up to Somerford with DIAMOND HOLLY in her first CIC* and MONARTS MASTERPIECE in the CIC**. I was also helping Helena Vardag Walters with her 2 horses in the BE100 and Alex Haggard in the NOV so it was definitely a busy weekend.
Princess tried very hard in her test, earlier in the week she had sustained a bite high up on her lip which had ended up infected and so I didn’t feel we had had the best prep. I hadn’t been able to ride her with a bit at all all week but she stayed very rideable in the arena until the last few movements when tension slightly got in the way. She scored a very respectable 29. She then jumped a beautiful clear SJ making it all feel very easy. The XC was definitely her toughest to date with plenty of questions spread around the course. We set off positively as the 2nd fence was very spooky but soon got into a great rhythm and she cruised round with me not pressing for time at all. She still ended up just one second over the time so picked up 0.4 faults and finish in 10th place in a HUGE section. Such a promising result for her, she is really beginning to pay back all the faith we have had in her.
Smudge was competing in his second event back after some time off, he was really lovely on the flat and made a few very minor rusty mistakes so I was a little disappointed with his score of 29, but it still left him in a fairly competitive position. He too jumped a lovely clear round SJ round a tough enough track so I was delighted with how he felt. SJ is his weakest phase and we have worked hard on his technique so it feels as though things are starting to pay off. He gave me the most incredible feel XC, I did not plan to go quick as we have some big plans in the pipeline for him, but such is his smoothness and ease he still only picked up 0.4 time and finished in 8th place in another massive section.
Overall a great weekend with two very exciting and special horses.