Another early start for us at Weston Park, the alarm was set for 3:30am. On the lorry we had Sammi’s own ’Hunter Valley’ (Gizmo) and Matt Ryan’s et al ‘Bonza Moorabinda’ (Moo). Gizmo was competing in the intermediate and Moo in the Open intermediate. Moo set the standard for the day by doing a very smart dressage to score 25.9. Gizmo followed suit and did a lovely test of his own to score 28.2. The show jumping appeared to be causing chaos with poles falling and very few clear rounds. Moo and Gizmo were amazing and both jumped perfect clear rounds. Sammi decided she would not wear a watch cross country as the ground was a little holding and Gizmo is still quite inexperienced at this level. Both horses were amazing round a testing cross country track and only notched up a few time faults. Moorabinda finished the day in 4th and Gizmo 12th. A great result that made the early start seem worth it.
Sammi had two horses entered at Ascott Under Wychwood, Susan Lambs stunning 5 year old ‘Kincooley Cruising’ (Minnie) and the cheeky ‘Nimrod’. Amazing working pupil Emily also had her own ‘SannanValley Black Ice’. Rod as always got the day off to a good start by doing a lovely dressage test in the BE100 to score 27.0. Minnie quickly followed suit and did a lovely test herself to score 30.5. There is never a dull moment with Rod around and he keeps us all guessing as to what he might get up to next. Today he decided he really did not like the look of one particular show jump and refused to go anywhere near it. He did however finish his round but managed to notch up an impressive 40 show jumping faults in the process. Minnie showed just how mature she is despite her age and jumped a lovely round only lowering one pole.
The cross country proved to be no problem for either of these lovely young horses. They both flew round. We are all impressed with how Minnie is maturing, she has taken to eventing with ease and is proving to be brave and bold. What can we say about Nimrod? Apparently boys take longer to mature than girls. What will he get up to next……watch this space!
Emily and Ice did a lovely dressage test to score 34.0. The show jumping was causing problems for everyone and Ice was unlucky to have two fences down. Emily and Ice went on to fly round the cross country making it all look very easy. A big thank you to Lesley Skuse (Emily’s mum) for cleaning all the tack and generally being a great help to everyone.
We had a busy couple of days at Belton with Suzanne Lambs lovely ‘Kinorla’ in the Novice along with Matt Ryans ‘Bonza Moorabinda’ (Moo). Nicky Carmichaels lovely ‘High Time’(Bertie) was entered in the intermediate. Sammi also had her own ‘Hunter Valley’ (Gizmo) in the 2* and ‘Winnetou M’ (Winnie) in the open intermediate.
Orla got the day off to a great start doing a lovely dressage to score 32.5. The show jumping was huge, with lots of atmosphere and distractions for the young six year old. We need not have worried though as Orla took it all in her stride and jumped a beautiful clear round. Sadly the day ended here for Orla as she pulled a shoe in the cross country warm up. We had the shoe put back on but Sam felt she was feeling a little foot sore still on course and decided to retire.
Sammi was having her first outing on Matt Ryan’s Bonza Moorabinda. Moo did a lovely test in a different section. She was slightly distracted by the horses galloping past on cross country and very excited to be out at a party again. She jumped beautifully in the show jumping but managed to have an unlucky rail. The cross country proved to be an absolute breeze for her and she flew round giving Sam a lovely ride.
Nicky Carmichael’s lovely ‘High Time’ was next to start. Bertie did a lovely test in the intermediate scoring 30.9. The show jumping was big and he jumped well but had an unfortunate 8 faults. The intermediate cross country was big and bold but Bertie made nothing of it a flew round.
Day two at Belton started at an anti social hour with ‘Hunter Valley’ doing dressage in the 2* at 8am. Sammi had managed to somehow learn the wrong test and had been happily practising all the wrong movements. She had a Nano second to learn the right one and managed to memorise it quickly but the quality of the work suffered somewhat although Gizmo still managed to score a very acceptable 51.5. As was the theme at Belton the show jumping was once again huge for the 2*. Gizmo has the ability to be distracted and have a rail at times and with so much atmosphere we were wondering how he would get on. He jumped a fantastic round only having one down which Sam said was her fault. Cross country was again big and bold for the two star but Gizmo ate up the course giving Sammi an amazing ride. Gizmo really is an exciting horse for the future.
‘Winnetou M’ was awesome in the open intermediate. Winnie was 2nd after dressage, he did a lovely test to score 30.5. He jumped a great show jump round only lowering one pole for four faults. Winnie was amazing cross country and galloped around with ease adding only a couple of time penalties to his score and finished in 4th place overall. We are so pleased with how both the boys went this weekend and they will both hopefully be heading to Tattersall’s in Ireland at the end of May.
Hunter Valley looking classy round the two star!
With 8 horses competing this weekend it was always going to be busy and long without also coping with an unwelcome hour less spent in bed due to the clocks changing. Sunday began for the girls and I at the very antisocial hour of 4am (actually 3am before BST began) so it was a group of very sleepy ponies we surprised only 8 hours after leaving them the night before.
We set off for Howick at an ungodly hour with five horses on the truck. Sammi had her own ‘Calcourt Quattro’ (Gordy) in the BE100 and ‘D’ (aka D!) in the BE90. Also on board was Binnie and Colin Rank’s ‘Paper Mill’ (Patience) also in the BE90 and Kira and Emily’s (aka 2014′s amazing working pupils) own horses ‘Flightline Promise’ (Lily) in the BE90 and ‘Sannan Valley Black Ice’ (Ice) in the BE100.
‘D’ got the day off to an amusing start by doing a very green and wobbly dressage test to score a 36.0, this was promptly followed by ‘Patience’ looking much more grown up to score 31.0. The show jumping was a little like completing a mini marathon and seemed to take as long to get from start to finish but both babies jumped really well and just had an unlucky 4 faults each. The going on the cross country was brilliant considering how much rain they had at Howick during the week and both ‘Patience’ and ‘D’ stormed around clear to complete their first event of the season. Gordy was up next and did a super test in the pre novice scoring 25.0 leaving him 2nd after dressage. He went on to jump a faultless show jump and cross country round to finish on his dressage score in 2nd place overall. Gordy really is shaping up to be a super talented little horse and we all look forward to watching his progress this season.
Kira (aka amazing WP) had her own ‘Flightline Promise’ out doing her first event of the year to. lily was very excited to be out again and we need not say to much about the dressage and show jumping. Lily went on to give Kira a lovely ride cross country and they both completed their first event of the season on a good note. Emily and Ice were in the BE100 this weekend and did a nice dressage test to score 34.5, had one unlucky rail in the show jumping and one annoying stop on cross country at what Ice decided was a rather spooky looking hay cart. Ice jumped it well second time around and flew round the rest of the course to complete.
We set off for Goring this morning with Susan Lambs two lovely 6 year olds, Kinorla in the novice and Nimrod in the pre novice+. Sammi was also having a first outing on Nicola and Zoe Carmichael’s beautiful big Grey gelding ‘High Time’ (Bertie). Nimrod got us off to a great start once again doing a lovely dressage test to score 31.0. Kinorla also did a lovely test but the dressage gold star of the day definitely went to ‘High Time’ (Bertie) who did a great test to score 28.5. All three horses went well in the show jumping with both Rod and Bertie jumping lovely clear rounds and Orla having an unlucky one down. The day ended with faultless cross country rounds from all three horses with Nimrod finishing 8th in his section and Orla 12th, just out of the placing’s. Another good day at the office, humans and horses all enjoyed eventing in the sunshine.
It was a full truck that left the yard for Swalcliffe on Saturday morning, 5 horses, 5 humans and 3 dogs! We had Susan Lambs 2 lovely 6 year olds Kinorla and Nimrod on board and her beautiful 5 year old Kincooley Cruising doing her first ever event. Kira and Emily (aka- 2014′s amazing working pupils!) were also doing their first event of the season with their lovely mares ‘Nimbus Stratus’ and ‘Sannan Valley Black Ice’.
Nimrod got us off to a great start doing a lovely dressage test in the BE100 to score 25.0! He went in to the show jumping feeling as cocky and arrogant as ever and was jumping a lovely round but managed to breathe on a pole that annoyingly fell down about 5 seconds after he had jumped the fence. After not going cross country last week Nimrod finally got into the start box and flew round the cross country feeling more and more settled as he went. Sammi kept him settled and under the thumb as although he can be arrogant and cocky about life he is still quite inexperienced. He completed his first event on 36.2 penalties leaving him in 6th place, a great start to his 2014 season. Kinorla also did a lovely test scoring 27.0 and her show jump round was perfect adding no penalties to her score so far. She to flew round the cross country looking amazing and again added nothing to her dressage score of 27.0 and finished 4th overall in her very competitive section.
Kincooley cruising (Minnie) was entered in the BE90 for her first ever competition, she is such a stunning mare and we are all excited to watch how she matures and develops this season. Minnie was very excited to be out at a party and did a lovely if not slightly distracted dressage test to score 31.5. The show jumping proved to be no trouble to her and she jumped a lovely clear round. Minnie has been cross country schooling a few times and has always been amazing but you never know with the babies how they will react to the fence judges etc. Minnie was a star and took it all in her stride jumping a lovely clear to finish on her dressage score in 2nd place.
Kira and Emily also had a great first event. Kira’s mare ‘Nimbus Stratus’ (Cloud) was also having her very first outing. Cloud did a good but slightly distracted test to score 38.5 and went on to jump a lovely double clear. Emily’s mare ‘Sannan Valley Black Ice’ (Ice) is a lovely looking coloured mare. Ice was very excited to be out and about again and did a good test to score 36.0 penalties and then went on to jump a lovely double clear. A great start for both the girls to their season at Team Mcleod.
After all the rain we have been having over the winter it was not a surprise the first event of the season turned out to be a washout. Aston Le Walls postponed their event to the following week in the hope of better weather. Sadly for Aston this was not to be and we set off a week later still in pouring rain. On the truck we had Susan Lambs two lovely six year olds Kinorla and Nimrod both entered in the BE100.
We arrived at Aston in the still pouring rain and were lucky enough to be parked on the hard standing rather than being towed in to the lorry park. The rain did stop after we arrived and the weather turned out to be quite pleasant for the rest of the day. Aston’s new huge all weather arena turned out to be a brilliant investment as they were able to hold all the dressage and show jumping on a surface. Rod got the day off to a good start by doing an almost lovely dressage test until he spotted a horse going cross country after which he could concentrate on nothing else and finished his test in a rather un dressage manner to score 33.0. Orla had a rather back to work attitude to being back out eventing again and did a lovely obedient test scoring 30.0 leaving her in 3rd place after dressage.
The show jumping continued in much the same way for Nimrod…distracted! He pinged his way round the warm up and tried to dump Sam a few times in his excitement. He started off his round jumping twice the height he needed to and then suddenly spotted something to spook at and pulled up to a standstill between two fences incurring a technical refusal. Rod was obviously thoroughly over excited to be out eventing again. Orla again proved how grown up she was by jumping a faultless clear round in style. Sammi and Susan then made the difficult decision to withdraw from the cross country due to the ground, this being the first event of a long year it was decided to save these two lovely young horses for another day.
We said a sad goodbye to Merlin the Mercedes today! Lots of memory’s go with him, he was a fantastic reliable old friend! We hope his new owners have lots of good times with him!
We welcome Emily Skuse and ‘Ice’ to Team Mcleod. Emily started working for us on Wednesday this week and brought her beautiful coloured mare ‘Sannan Valley Black Ice’ with her. Emily and Ice have had a very wet and windy start to their time here at Rendcomb. We hope the weather doesn’t put them off…we promise Emily the sun does also shine in Rendcomb.
It really is a challenge working with horses during the winter and this winter has become a struggle for everyone due to the adverse weather we seem to be having. Every night as we all trudge home after being soaked for 12 hours, I try to remember all the people in the country who don’t have a dry home to return to. I thank my lucky stars that the horses here and the team all have a dry place to sleep at the end of a long day. A few events have already been cancelled due to the bad weather and the season has not even started yet, it must be a truly frustrating start for event organisers! We carry on preparing the horses for the events that hopefully will run and seem to end up getting soaked through everyday. Today we took a lorry load to the amazing show jumping arena at Rectory Farm in Duntisbourne Abbots. We are so lucky to have such an amazing facility just down the road from us and we make sure we use it regularly during the year for show jump training and BSJA competitions. Today we hired the arena and the horses all jumped amazingly. Kira and Emily (aka…The new AMAZING working pupils!!) had a lesson from Sammi on their horses, and both Cloud and Ice jumped really well despite the horrendous weather.
Pictured below, Kira and Emily remain cheerful despite being soaked! Nimrod jumping brilliantly as always!