Heather McCredie - Keysoe Event Report (Summer 2017)
This was our first event back since April due to lameness - luckily it spontaneously resolved! I decided to give Dewey an easy run round a BE 100 to get back into the swing of things. We had a very late start time of 4 pm, it felt very strange having a lie in rather than being up before dawn. Unfortunately, we got caught in traffic on the way there, meaning we arrived 20 minutes before our dressage time. However, the organisers were very understanding and allowed us as much time as we wanted to warm up. Dewey did a fairly nice test picking up 35.5 penalties, the whole class was judged harshly. The showjumping didn't go quite to plan. He felt like he was listening and jumping well, but we unfortunately had two poles down. We were the last of the competition to go cross country, and what a round it was! Dewey was very laid back in the warm up as usual, which is always a bit disconcerting, but he went out the start box as if he hadn't had a break at all. He sailed round the course, making light work of even the more technical fences. We finished clear and well within in the time. Apparently, the cross country course wasn't quite long enough as he dragged me back to the lorry park, but at least he’s fit enough! We are currently on the waitlist for the Novice at Burnham Market, which puts us back on track for the rest of the season.
Harriet Bagley - Autumn 2016
As an eventer you don't always know how your seasons are going to go, horses are very unpredictable, so things can change so quickly. However, despite many early cancellations due to the poor weather through March and April, I had a very good and promising season with my horse, George. At the start of the season my main focus was to improve in the Show Jumping phase as it is George's weakest of the 3 and also to complete my first few International competitions. The show jumping has had a steady but strong improvement throughout the season, and is something I continue to work on through the winter and into next season with the help from various teachers, such as Paul Beecher, who I will spend a couple weeks with over winter in Cork, Ireland. We also successfully completed a number of CIC1*s and two CCI1*s, finishing off the season with a great week at Osberton with a brilliant round cross country.
The season also included a trip to compete in the Pony Club Open Eventing Championships, to finish individual 10th with one very few clears over a tough cross country tracks. Next season, the plan at the minute is to run a couple Novices to get back in the swing of things and then start into a few Intermediates. I also intend to take George to our first 2* events, hopefully firstly to Rockingham CIC2*, then perhaps finishing off at Osberton again but in the CCI2*, but as I said before a season never tends to go as planned so for the moment I'm just going to carry on bringing George back up to fitness after his end of season break, take him to some show j umping and dressage competitions over January and February and see how he comes out in his first few runs in March 2017.
Amy Kinsella - Summer 2016
I've been out in Kenya for 3 and a half weeks, working at the Borana Conservancy in Laikipia. Here are a few photos of what I've been up to so far!
The conservancy covers 35,000 acres and is home to Black Rhino, Elephant, a range of big cats, Giraffe (my faves) and a large assortment of other animals including Zebra and Buffalo. I'm helping with hosting at the lodge as well as on the riding safaris.
Most of the horses at Borana are thoroughbred crosses, many are ex-polo horses that have been retrained for safari so they are pretty forward-going and fun to ride. Here we have a herd of inquisitive Buffs and Linda the Rhino in the background.
There is so much open space here, you can gallop for miles and it's absolutely dreamy...
Today we returned from the evening ride to find a visitor in the paddock. It's rather dry here at the moment and this Giraffe has turned up to have a nibble on some greenery.
We were exercising the horses yesterday morning when a couple of Porcupine appeared out of the grass. The Porcupine is usually a nocturnal creature so it was pretty unusual to be able to watch these two as they bobbed through the bush in front of us for a good 10 minutes.
Below is a heavily pregnant Linda the Rhino. The horses graze out during the day as a large herd so are well used to the wildlife and this makes for a great safari as you can get so close to the animals. Although we generally give the Lions a wide berth!
Watching the sunset with a gin and tonic... Hakuna Matata...
Lots of Equestrian love,
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