Tattersalls International

Vardags Saratoga in her dressage

Tattersalls is one of my favourite events so I was excited to be riding Ayesha Vardag’s VARDAGS SARATOGA (Sara) in her first CCI3*L and Alex Haggard’s and Judy Kunkler’s MAGNIFIQUE VAN DE DOORNHAAG (Maggie) in our first CCI2*YHL together as a combination.

The week started on a high with our super groom head girl Charlotte Aitken winning the Grooms award in the CCI2*YH with Maggie – Charlotte’s turn out is always stunning so it was no suprise she received the award but we are always so proud of her and so lucky to have her as an integral part of our team!

First up we had Maggie’s dressage – she worked in very well but felt a little flat in the arena so didn’t manage to produce her usual stunning test. She still scored a very creditable 31.8 with plenty more marks to come in the future.

Sara’s test was the following day and we stuck to our plan of working her little and often and not allowing her to become upset or tense in the final working in. She held it together really well and aside from a few moments of tension in the walk and the simple changes she produced a very solid performance to score 31.4

Sadly on cross-country day Maggie didn’t feel herself at all and our round ended early – she is normally such a brave and consistent XC horse so when she didn’t feel herself we knew something was amiss. After getting her home and checking her bloodwork it appeared she had tied up as a result of a low-grade virus. Thankfully nothing too serious so we will get her feeling on tip top form again before coming back out even stronger.

Sara set out on cross-country feeling really up for it and gave me a great ride. She was foot perfect everywhere and came home easily inside the time to move up the order.

Sunday morning and Sara flew through the trot up feeling really fresh and then proceeded to jump a super clear round SJ to finish in 13th place in her first CCI***L a fantastic result for such an exiciting young horse and her wonderful owner Ayesha Vardag.

Charlotte’s incredible turn out