Hungerford, England

Hungerford, England
November 14, 2014

Now that the eventing season has officially wrapped up, it’s time for me to catch up on the tasks I often neglect, like writing a blog! So here’s a little update on the last few months.

We’re now completely settled into the new yard in Hungerford and, a little bit at a time, the business is growing. I currently have 12 horses stabled here including a handful of nice young horses to work on over the winter ready for the 2015 season. We’re so lucky with the miles of hacking, hills to canter up, and logs to pop over, my four year olds are nearly ready to go eventing now!

Smartie (Clever and Smart) is a 6 year old that we picked up over the summer after a brief foray show jumping in Belgium. We managed to squeeze in three pre-novice events before the season was out, and although incredibly green in every way, he improved every time out. He is exceptionally talented, has a huge heart, and loves cross country. I’m excited to put a winter of training into him and hopefully he will come out at Novice, aiming for a 1* in the spring.

Kinnordy Rivaldo made his return to competition in the summer and after only a few light runs, we headed over to Ireland for the CIC3* at Ballindenisk. He stepped up to the task nicely, finishing 12th and getting a qualifying result for a CCI3*. Three weeks later, we headed to Holland for the Nations Cup CCI3* at Boekelo as a member of the American team. It was such fun returning to Boekelo as it was four years ago that Finn and I made our first trip to Europe for Boekelo. The event never disappoints when it comes to great competition, great parties, and great company, and it was wonderful to be a part of the team again. Unfortunately, with the limited preparation, Ken was too green for the task, and I ended up retiring on cross country. We are still a relatively new combination, and very much lacking in match practice, but every time I compete this horse I get to learn something new about him. I will very much look forward to next season with him, and picking up where we left off. A big thank you to David O’Connor, Joanie Morris, and the US support team for their help at Boekelo and their continued help throughout the past year.

My intermediate mare Sambuca is recovering exceedingly well (touching a lot of wood) and I was thrilled to get the green light to start doing dressage. She is absolutely loving being back in full work and the long summer of walking her in hand is hopefully paying off. The girls all deserve an award for the endless hours of hand walking the roads, in rain or shine, for the last 4 months. I probably owe each of them a new pair of shoes after all the miles they have walked! We can now look forward to a winter of dressage and hopefully start jumping in the spring.

Finn is very jealous every time the lorry goes out of the yard without him but he is still in full work and taking his job of hazing the working pupils very seriously! This horse really does know how to make his own entertainment, and the girls can’t help but come to be amused by his silly antics, eventually! As much as he begs us to do something more exciting, we’ve decided to keep him home and be absolutely sure his leg is fully strong before he goes eventing. Like with Sambuca, I really believe that the long dedicated hours of doing everything properly and cutting no corners will pay off for us in the end.
With a bit of luck I might get home to the states for a holiday this year, but we will see!