Mixed Day At Barbury

Bill Levett
Bill Levett
Bill Levett

Its been a long and mixed day at Barbury. I’ve had a dose of 4 faultitis, with all four horses (Figgy, Harry, Magnus and Coco) jumping really well but each having an annoying rail. Some days it goes like that.

As ever the ground at Barbury is surprisingly good given the lack of rain we’ve had for weeks on end. They have clearly done a lot of work on the cross country course and the ground and I’m happy to run on it. The show jump warm up and ground for the Novice and 2 star was very firm which just illustrates the work they must have done on the cross country track. The main ring for dressage and show jumping tomorrow is better.

It was a long wait until the 2 star cross country – Barbury is a very popular event and it’s a credit to them that they manage to run so many horses, but it leads to long days for all. Figgy went nicely for a confident clear in the Novice. Her day will come.

The 2 star cross country caused lots of problems, most notably at the water coming out over a step to a forgiving log and early on at fence 5, a skinny with bright coloured mushroom to a brush and another skinny on a related distance of 4/5 strides and then 3 strides. I was a casualty of this fence with Magnus. He nearly went the first time but ducked out last minute and then I couldn’t get him over it. I think he spooked at the mushroom and then that was that. Coming early in the course it seemed to catch a few (including us) out.

I’d dearly loved to have schooled him over it at the end of the day but that wasn’t going to happen as there is still a lot going on at the event. Never mind. It was frustrating as Magnus has been going very well cross country. I don’t think it’s a big deal, just one of those blips – I have to remember horses aren’t machines.

Harry was a different story. He stormed round for a lovely clear, I didn’t go super quick as it was his first step up to this level and I was keen to get the qualification and make sure he had time to take it all in. He is a cool customer and this is a real asset for the cross country as nothing seems to phase him. So I’m really pleased with him and thrilled for Veronica and Carol who’ve been such loyal supporters and friends for many years. A pleasing end to the day.

Tomorrow Coco runs cross country in the morning and Hipp and Tim do show jumping early morning and then cross country in the afternoon. Let’s hope the luck from the end of today stays with me for tomorrow.



Posted 10th July

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