A Roller Coaster Week

Bill Levett After the excitement of Hartpury and Blair and hearing the news about Burghley it was back down to earth with a bump on Wednesday.

Urchinwood was one of those events which just didn’t go right – firstly we got lost on the way, turning the wrong direction off the M5 and ending up with rather a long detour. Then I managed to get deposited from Minty before leaving the lorry park; she is always sensitive to get on and I hadn’t got both my stirrups organised and she promptly bucked me off as soon as I got on and started trying to organise my stirrups – that will teach me!

After that things improved with Minty going much better cross country and Eleanore and Issy having days which didn’t win prizes but which enabled them to learn and progress against some personal milestones.

It was then on to Hunters today for some dressage and an opportunity to ride through the Blenheim and Burghley tests in a competitive environment. Again it was a day not without incident! Coco and Harry went OK but not as well as I would hope as I’m always striving for the best I can do – never mind it was a good outing and gave me some match practice and clear idea of what I want to focus on with each horse.

Tim and Hipp did the four star test and Hipp went well ahead of what will be his first competitive eventing outing for a while at Highclere. I’m praying for some more steady soft rain to keep helping the ground, hoping it will be perfect by Sunday. It will be exciting to be riding him cross country again on Sunday.

Tim’s dressage test was rather more eventful than I would like. Ten minutes in to our warm up he went hopping lame behind in canter – crisis! However thank goodness for my wonderful back up team – within 30 minutes both Tom (our vet) and Nick (our farrier) were on the scene to have a look and the long and the short of it is we think he must have whacked in to himself as after much poking and prodding he was sound again – phew, but a scary moment. Horses… we love you Tim but less excitement please!

Thanks to my backup team for coming to the rescue as ever, I couldn’t do what I do without them.

I’m hoping for less drama over the next few days and weeks over Highclere, Burghley and Blenheim.



Posted 25th August

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