ON THE HOOF: WITH DEBORAH SMITH

Roll on the rosettes. Summer means competition time...
Filly-May Sams and Rocco. Photo: Tracy Kidd
Filly-May Sams and Rocco. Photo: Tracy Kidd

Well, the summer is well and truly here and there’s plenty happening – at last! Oli and Strider have both been out and about and we’ve made several weekend away trips to competitions further south and in Scotland and managed to pick up some hard-earned rosettes, so it feels all worthwhile.

One of the highlights of the regional eventing calendar is the Bramham Horse Trials, near Wetherby, which attracted over 60,000 visitors this year in glorious sunshine. What a difference the wether makes in this country.

The horse trials is a three-star level international event and hosts three classes: CCI*** senior, CCI*** British Under 25 Championship and CIC***.

A host of other arena classes are held alongside the main event. These include British Show Jumping classes, hunter and young stock classes, plus a stallion parade.

Julia Krajewski show-jumped clear to take the Equi-Trek CCI3*.

Verity Ward and Strider

Verity Ward and Strider

Julia and Chipmunk FRH had two fences in hand, but they rode a textbook round and she finished the winners with 8.6 penalties in hand. Izzy Taylor and Be Touchable won the CIC3* and Emily King and Dargun landed the U25 CCI3*.

A special mention to my friend Filly-May Sams, who took her young show jumper, Rocco, there for his first trip to a show of that size and in the main ring. No rosettes this time for Rocco, but a great experience for them both in such a huge atmosphere. Back in 2019!

Elsewhere, the dressage area festivals are underway with Arena UK kicking off the season in style. Oli has qualified for the Areas at elementary level, so I’m hoping to get to one of them over the summer.

Strider has been out winning at dressage with Verity Ward, who is riding him over the summer while her own pony gets over a slight injury. Always keen to put Oli in his place, Strider and Verity picked up a win in their first outing together and have had a great time at BE under 18 camp. Good boy, Strider!

Oli and I had a great double clear at Warwick Hall and the XC rode brilliantly and very fast. At the lovely Kirkley Hall, the students had done an amazing job and the XC fences were dressed with flowers and vegetables – it was like a mini Blair horse trials with its up and down twisty track. We had such fun on the cross country; I was still grinning that evening.


 

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